Aquatic Scenes #20 SP-C

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The Aquatic Series is one of several series that reflect experiences and impressions from Steffen's time living in Hawaii. Aquatic pieces focus on stone, water, and the shoreline, trying to capture the essence of a certain coastal environment. It is probably the most challenging series that he has worked on to date since the physical properties of the colors used are not very compatible with each other. In the beginning, he would lose control of the pieces in the blowing process, or they would crack during annealing. It took several gradual adjustments to ensure that pieces would survive intact and the risk of losing a piece remains higher than with any other series. Fortunately, Steffen kept all the pieces that did not make it and eventually designed a new series called Fragments based on pieces of unsuccessful Aquatic pieces.

The challenge with the Aquatic series lies in the properties of the different colors used. The Aqua Blue, being based on copper, is a very soft color, which means it will move and stretch before other colors do. The white and gray section has stiff colors in it that move slower and the band in the middle is a “short” color, which means that, as temperatures decrease, it goes from very liquid to very stiff quickly, with not much time in between. As a result, the bottom of the piece wants to blow out while the top doesn’t want to move, and the middle is constricting everything once it drops below a certain temperature. All in all, it makes for an extra complicated process.

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