Isabelle Böhm: "Weinende" - German/German

Isabelle Böhm, who grew up in the glass town of Wertheim, is one of the many women working artistically with glass on the kiln today. At the Institute for Artistic Ceramics and Glass in Höhr-Grenzhausen at Koblenz University of Applied Sciences, she studied free art glass with professors Ingrid Conrad-Lindig and Jens Gussek.

The Mary you see here before you is what Isabelle Böhm calls "weeping". It is a Mary who weeps blood. Böhm takes her cue from the recurring reports of figures of Mary who are said to have miraculously wept blood. Mary is

both a cult image and a consumer product, and everyone can carry it inside themselves or also as a kitschy souvenir. Faith - according to Böhm - is something intangible and as fragile as glass.

Böhm made her "Weinende" in 2012 from white bone glass in full fusion. The artist first models a positive mould out of wax. Then she builds a negative mould around this positive from a plaster and fireclay mixture. Then the artist melts the previously painstakingly modelled positive out of the plaster-fireclay negative again to make room for the glass.

Now she fills the plaster fireclay mould with glass crumbs and at the same time heats the temperature of the oven to about 850 degrees Celisus to make the glass melt. This process can take up to 10 hours until the glass has completely adapted to the mould. After the melting process, it is important to cool the glass down slowly. Without this cooling or relaxation process, the glass would shatter into a thousand pieces.


Isabelle Böhm: "The Weeping"- English

Many women work artistically with glass using a furnace today and one of these, Isabelle Böhm, grew up in the glass centre of Wertheim. She studied the free art of glass at the institute of artistic ceramics and glass in Höhr-Grenzhausen and at Koblenz University of Applied Science under professors Ingrid Conrad-Lindig and Jens Gussek.

Isabelle Böhm has called the figure of Mary in front of you, "The Weeping," and it is a Mary that sheds blood tears like the ones repeatedly reported in the news who by way of a miracle seem to cry tears of blood. Mary is just as much a cult figure as a consumer product that can be carried inside everyone, or as a tacky souvenir. According to Böhm the belief in her is something intangible and therefore as fragile as glass.

Böhm made her Mary from milk glass in 2012 using the full-melting method. The artist first made the model out of wax and then moulded a plaster of paris and chamotte mould around it. She then melted the painstakingly detailed wax model and removed it from the inside of the mould to make room for the glass.  

Then she filled the plaster of paris-chamotte mould with glass frit and simultaneously heated the glass-melting furnace to around 850 degrees Celcius to melt the glass. The glass can take up to10 hours to shape to the mould completely. A long cooling phase after the melting process is extremely important otherwise it can shatter into a thousand pieces.