Making Ideas: Peter Sís

This past summer, we invited designers featured in Making Ideas: Experiments in Design at GlassLab to come to the Museum for public design performances. Illustrator Peter Sís had never worked in glass when he arrived in Corning for his June design session. “I did animation but I never was able to create things in space, and here, it’s fascinating to see that these things are working in the third dimension. Somehow you feel the object and it’s completely inspiring – and magic – I would say.”

Peter Sis at GlassLab in Corning, June 12 - 13

Peter Sís works with gaffers Chris Rochelle and Aaron Jack at GlassLab in Corning, June 12 - 13

Sís chose to use illustrations from his most recent book project, The Conference of the Birds, to create 3D vessels. The result was a series of whimsical birds, cats, and flying fish that reflect the recurring characters in his work.

Creating a design in hot glass by Peter Sis at GlassLab

Creating a design by Peter Sis in hot glass

“I like the idea that the Museum is forward-thinking and inspirational,” Sís said of his experience. Embracing the concept of prototyping ideas, Sís already has inspiration for future projects. “I wish I had had more time to integrate more complicated techniques such as graphic elements… I was just touching the surface of possibilities and connection to my two dimensional work.”

Design sketch and finished prototypes by Peter Sis for GlassLab

Design sketch and finished prototypes by Peter Sís for GlassLab

“Glasslab was an interesting experience,” Sís said. “It was fun to see how quickly they could take my sketches and decide how to proceed and how to translate my ideas into glass.” More images from this summer’s design performances, as well as designer bios, process videos, design drawings, prototypes and more are available on the web-based GlassLab app at 

Making Ideas: Experiments in Design at GlassLab is on view at the Museum through January 6, 2013.

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