VAZ ZASTERA - COLD GLASS ARTIST
After apprenticing for 10 years as a master optician, Vaz continues to work in the high tech industry fabricating precision optical components for research and development as well as the telecommunication, aerospace and medical industries.
His glass art career began by experimenting with small optical components that didn't meet spec, and creating optical glass jewellery from them. People loved the way the jewellery sparkled and changed colors as they moved. Demand eventually outgrew supply at which time he purchased grinding and polishing machines at an auction, set up his own shop at home and started to make his own pieces for use in the jewellery. He experimented with different ways of organizing the diachroically coated pieces and various cutting and layering techniques.
Many pictures of Vaz's jewellery reminded him of buildings, unique architecture, and he began to wonder what these would look like if made on a much larger scale. He began to explore creating models of architecturally influenced sculptures, buildings, in glass. "Driving downtown in Ottawa I came across a new 30-story building with an all glass exterior. Shivers ran up and down my spine. It came to me that day that I would create scaled sculptures of similar form and design. I grew up surrounded by architecture as my father, and now my brother, are architects. Unconsciously, I absorbed the imagery.”
Vaz is continually exploring and developing new techniques to create theses unique works of art. Due to the care and precision put into the creation of these larger individual pieces it can take anywhere from 3 months to a year to complete and involves hundreds of steps. It's a painstaking process of cutting, laminating, grinding, polishing, cutting, re-laminating and repeating the process until the sculpture has the desired properties and dimensions. Each piece is assembled and finished by hand. It is a very labor intensive process that takes equal parts of hard work and skill, not to mention incredible patience. Once completed each sculpture is truly a one of a kind work of art.