A N C E S T O R S
|When stone becomes transparent – or better still – when transparency becomes stone, all the dreams on earth may be read. Edmond Jabés - Alexandrian Poet|
Glass is an alloy, a synthesis of components, says Marcel Paquet.
Old Pliny, remembering a legend quoted by Flavius Volpicus, tells of the creation of glass by Phoenician merchants who were hurled by a tempest onto the banks of the river Bélus, and forced to make a pot for cooking. They did so mixing clay and saltpetre they carried aboard the ship. When they put the pot on the fire, resting on a tripod, they saw a nobile liquore, a liquid crystal, a miele turchese, filtering from their recent blend. It was like stellar matter spouting from the depths of earth.
That was the birth of glass as it is still manufactured today, from the fusion of a vitrifying element, namely silicon present in sand, blended with a flux, soda or potassium, and a stabiliser, gypsum, nowadays lead oxide. Born out of a chance action, fused glass is a liquid untouchable by hand that solidifies upon cooling down.