Daniel Clayman, who is known for geometric, minimalist sculptures cast in glass, is the subject of the latest documentary short in the “Master Class Series” produced by The Corning Museum of Glass. Casting Glass with Daniel Clayman follows the artist and his team through each step of kiln-casting with glass. Focusing on the creation of two large-scale pieces—one from his amphora project and Aspen Spire, an austere work Clayman calls a “physical manifestation of a beam of light”—Clayman provides a visual play-by-play of the labor-intensive processes behind his art, discussing modeling, rapid prototyping, and various wax techniques. Highly informative and instructional, Casting Glass with Daniel Clayman will benefit those interested in kiln-casting processes, particularly students and artists.
As William Gudenrath notes in his introduction to the film, “Dan has developed a number of processes highly specific to his needs as a sculptor.” While Clayman spends a great deal of time utilizing complicated and time-consuming processes, he is honest about the difficulties glass can present as a material. “As much as I’m into the technical aspects of what I’m doing,” he says, “I’m not particularly enamored with glass as a material to work with because it’s so difficult. But I’m enamored with how it looks when I’m done.”
The patience required for kiln-casting may seem extreme to those more interested in watching hot glass processes, but the resulting sculptures are worth the wait. Clayman’s attention to detail and more than 30 years of experience emerge throughout the documentary as he guides viewers through each step in his creative process. “I want everything to look intentional,” he says, “so that’s why I spend these hours poring over [the work] with my magnifying glasses.” Long hours put in by Clayman and his team culminate in stunning, deceptively simple works that embody perhaps the artist’s greatest interest: light. “Mostly everything I’m working on involves light in some way,” he says while discussing Aspen Spire.
A trailer for the film is available here. Other artists featured in the “Master Class Series” include Davide Salvadore discussing murrine, Kristina Logan on beadmaking, and Rudy Gritsch on kiln-forming.