photo <i>Pâte de verre</i>


Pâte de verre (French, “glass paste”) is made by first taking a plaster mold of a clay model. Next, glass powder is mixed with a special binding agent to create a paste. The resulting paste is put into the plaster mold and fired. The heat causes the glass to melt and fuse, taking the form of the mold. The piece is slowly allowed to cool and then removed from the mold and finished. When a piece is created this way, extremely fine bubbles of air are trapped within the glass, giving works of pâte de verre their signature translucency and distinct, pale glow.


  • 1.A clay model is made in the desired form.
  • 2.A plaster mold is taken from the clay model.
  • 3.The clay is removed from the mold. The glass powder paste is inserted into the mold and heated in an electric furnace.
  • 4.Once the piece is cooled, it is removed from the mold and finished.
  • Reference: Nihon Kōgeikai Higashi Nihon Shibu (Japan Kōgei Association Eastern Branch), ed., Dentō kōgei-tte nani? – miru, shiru, tanoshimu gaido bukku (What Are Traditional Crafts? –A Guidebook to Seeing, Learning, and Enjoying). Unsodo, 2013.