Shipwreck Glass Art
Chip Steeler is a 40 something Portland Oregonian and the artist behind Shipwreck Glass Art. He was drawn into the glass art industry and electroforming in 2009 by his brother.
Steeler eagerly began learning the glass craft once initially exposed. He worked tirelessly to learn glass blowing as well as electroforming at the same time.
After having gained exposure to both mediums he developed a preference to electroforming. Steeler saw the potential electroforming had as a valuable design element when combined with functional borosilicate glass art.
Today Steeler creates stunning one of a kind electroformed collaborations with the glass art industry’s leading talents and thought leaders. Glass artists around the world will mail Shipwreck different objects and he electroforms copper to embellish them. The copper can be polished to where it appears bright and shiny or it can be treated with chemicals to achieve a weathered rustic look.
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It’s Not Rust It’s: Patina!
Patina is, “a green or brown film on the surface of bronze or similar metals, produced by oxidation over a long period”(Google Results for Patina, 2017). But Steeler is able to create this oxidation effect in a controlled manner with chemical reactions.
This process produces beautiful colors and tones ranging from an army green to a fall brown. This has an effect which creates a wonderful juxtaposition of natural brightness and color. The copper he adheres to the glass is between only .03125″ – .0625” in thickness. Wow. Thinner than you might think.
This process is done in a similar way to electroplating, like how gold is adhered to jewelry, however glass isn’t conductive like jewelry so a conductive paint applied to the glass in order to adhere the metal.
Electroforming Is Art
It is easy to see electroforming is art. Some might criticize the art form. Claiming that it covers up the beauty of the glass art. But Steeler rejects the notion it’s a detraction from the glass.
Anyone could see how tastefully he applies the copper. Adding color and texture variations to the object. It adds unique and dynamic character the the objects he adorns with metal.
Steeler uses rotary tool to work the copper and apply etching techniques to create his beautiful functional works of art. His art is inspired by the work of Snic Barnes, and Big Pizzle.