Science in the Cafe: Dominic Fonde | 31 May 2011

The World Without Glass

History talks about the “Stone Age”, the “Bronze Age” and the “Iron Age”. As we start the second decade of the 21st Century, glass artist Dominic Fondé proposes that we may very well be living in the “glass age”. “The World Without Glass” will first of all examine the material properties of glass, its applications in all arenas – from the food industry, architecture, electronics, bio-medical sciences to transport. Even a cursory look at these myriad applications tells us that glass is important in every aspect of our daily routines. Café attendees will then carry out a “thought experiment” to imagine a world without glass. With no spectacles, no TV screens, no glass valves for electronics or even glass bottles, our world will be unrecognisable and conceivably, technological advancement will slow to a crawl. Through this exercise, Dominic hopes to demonstrate the astonishing versatility of glass and how it has shaped our modern world.

The Café will lastly focus on the work of the artist, Dominic Fondé. Dominic is one of the very few glass engravers living and working in Singapore. He specialises in the technique of drill engraving but is also a trained glass blower. As art is how he interacts with glass, this café will conclude with a demonstration of glass engraving: using a portable bead torch, Dominic will make a number of glass beads for the audience in a live demonstration of some of the properties of this remarkable material.

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