Jonatan Nilsson Creates A Flexible Mold For Glassblowing


Jonatan Nilsson’s Ambition with this Shifting Shapes project was to create a flexible mold for glassblowing.

“I like the distinct shapes that you can get with mold-blown glass, and wanted to create a method where you don’t have to go through the time consuming and expensive process of making a completely new mold in order to obtain a new shape. I ended up designing a machine constructed in sheet metal in which you can fasten different shapes of wood.”


The machine’s door turns on hinges, and you are able to slide the wooden shapes back and forth, allowing you to get in and out with the glass when blowing. I made the wooden shapes (that gives the finished glass its shape) in a quick manner and combined them with each other in different ways. It’s quite hard to tell exactly how the finished glass will turn out just by looking at the silhouette created between two wooden shapes.


I like the fact that there is a bit of a built-in chance factor in the process since it gives way to unpredicted shapes in the finished glass. An ambition with the project was also to show how much a manufacturing process affects the result of the finished product. During a two-week-long “artist in residence” at The Glass Factory in Småland, Sweden, I had the chance to try the machine out. The result is the glass pieces below. They are between 25-40 cm high and can be used as vases.




Photography by Tor Westerlund with courtesy of Jonatan Nilsson

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