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Turning the 2000 year-old glass-blowing pipe into an improvising instrument

Philipp Weber and his glass-blowing trumpet
I met a young German designer – and jazz fan – Philipp Weber. He was trained at the Design Academy in Eindhoven in Holland and had a stall as part of the ‘Young Talents’ programme at the DMY Design Festival  at the old Tempelhof Airport in Berlin today.

Weber has been made an intensive study of glass-blowing methods, and has been working experimentally with the traditional, essentially unchanged, 2000-year old technology of the blowpipe for glass-making, invented by the Phoenicians, to see if the creator of glass could be given more capacity to improvise by having a different pipe.  The valves enable different channels in the glass to be opened. There is more about Weber’s idea and process HERE

Weber worked with glass-blower Christophe Genard and engineer  Mart Van Hest. Genard is a craftsman employed at the Val Saint-Lambert crystal glass-works in Liege, Belgium. Val Saint-Lambert has a history: it is in fact a few years older than the Belgian State itself. Scroll down for a moody video about it: “Creation of a Strange Symphony” Lips finally touch the mouthpiece at 3:03. Perhaps Weber will end up working for Dale Chihuly developing glass-blowing implements, but he told me his real ambition is to invent new musical instruments… for Francois Louis, perhaps…

A close-up of the glass-blowing trumpet

Glass sculpture by Philippe Genard

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