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Jeffrey Sarmiento, Erin Dickson

Emotional Leak: Collaboration in Glass and Monumental 3D Printing

Dr Jeffrey Sarmiento and Erin Dickson

Affiliation: National Glass Centre at the University of Sunderland

Keywords: waterjet, 3d printing, architectural phenomenology

Project summary:

As practitioners we combine our knowledge of glass, print, architecture and digital fabrication. We share a common interest in the potential for extracting new meanings from historical objects, the phenomenology of architectural spaces and social contexts. We contribute to each other’s individual practice by finding new conceptual and physical solutions to site and material.

Our approach is experimental, combining the craft of glassmaking with new technologies in 3d visualisation and fabrication. This has resulted in a number of proposals for site-specific artworks and commission. We will focus on a monumental scale glass sculpture, Emotional Leak, which utilises a waterjet cutter as a 3D printer in a sculptural response to the quirk in an architectural site. In this work, Dickson’s expertise in architecture, digital modelling and machining is combined with Sarmiento’s skills in glassmaking, particularly in printing, kilnforming, and construction.

Together our work deepens the relationship between the digital and physical, pushing the physical boundaries of studio glass and digital technologies and providing new viewer experiences. Through combination of craft skills and technology we expand our ability to pack objects with information by encapsulating the image within the glass object and using aspects of data capture. These result in new ways to read the printed image as well as to visualise architectural phenomenology”.

This paper will consider the impact of an approach to printing with glass that relies both on digital and craft skills. It describe how collaborative practice has merged concepts of the printed image on glass with manufacturing technologies, moving from the flatness of pictorial space to the interiors of transparent glass and beyond into concepts of printed sculptures and innovative ways of making images with glass.


Bachelard, G., 1994. The Poetics of Space. Boston: Beacon Press.

Adamson, G., 2013. The Invention of Craft. London: Bloomsbury

Buchli, V., 2013. An Anthropology of Architecture. London: Bloomsbury.

A question that arises from your project: What are the limitations of interpretation, scale and physicality when making and reading an object based on invisible phenomena?