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Dot by Dot: Pointillism within Glassblowing

Pointillism originated as a painting technique, pioneered by Georges Seurat and Paul Signac in Paris during the mid-1800s. Works of pointillism are created using anywhere from hundreds to 10,000s of dots, rather than brushstrokes, to make an image.

The technique in regards to painting was founded on the premise of using pure, unmixed colors. Artists would use dots of colors like red, yellow, and orange to achieve different hues when the piece was viewed at a distance. Vibrancy and contrast were achieved instead by placing dots of complementary colors next to each other; for example, blues and oranges could be used to represent shadows. (See below)


This technique has now been adopted by glass artists such as Junichi Kojima (@roseroadskojima) and Takao Miyake (@takaomiyake), both of which reside in Japan. It’s common for Japanese artists within the pipemaking community to specialize in some sort of prep work like dotstacking, fuming, linework, or pointillism (also known as "dotwork" in the glass world). Because of the stricter cannabis laws overseas, its common for glass artists in Japan refrain from creating functional sculptures and focus on perfecting prep work techniques to send elsewhere to be made into a full piece.

BACK Cab on the Avatar x Miyake collab Astralcycler; Courtesy Rach Beers

Close up of the FRONT flip on the Avatar x Miyake collab; Courtesy Rach Beers

In the piece above (Avatar x Takao Miyake, 2018), you can see the images throughout the piece are made up of Miyake’s intensive dotwork. Each dot is meticulously placed using a spaghetti-thin piece of glass (called “stringers”) onto a bulb of glass. The result is a complete image with tons of dimension.

Another example of pointillism in glass can be seen below in a pendant from Kojima. Every pendant he makes is just as unique as the last, but just as intricate. There is a fantastic video by Torch Talk on YouTube, showcasing North American dotwork artist Zariel Shore (@zshoreglass). The video will be linked at the end of the post - be sure to check it out!!!

Junichi Kojima (@roseroadskojima) Pendant; Courtesy Rach Beers

Junichi Kojima (@roseroadskojima) Pendant; Courtesy Rach Beers

Glass artists continue to push the boundaries of the medium every day. Glassblowing is an ancient art form that’s been around for 1,000s of years: yet, the creativity never ceases. Knowledge of art is not one-dimensional and transcends between forms. No matter what mediums you’re interested in, the knowledge you accumulate through practice, observation, and collaboration is unique to you. That phenomenon is what makes art ever-evolving.

Thanks for reading about the history of pointillism and how it’s been incorporated into glass art! Artists like Kojima, Miyake, and ZShore are what keeps glass art new, exciting, and of the highest quality. We here at The Depot have so much admiration for those who constantly hone their craft and have nothing but the highest standards for their work.

Follow @thedepot734 on Instagram for more like this, and keep an eye out for future blog posts!

Check out the artists:

Torch Talk Youtube Channel

Check out this fascinating video showcasing the dotwork technique! See how stringers are made and the intricacy it really takes to make a piece like these.

Credit to Torch Talk and Zariel Shore.

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