Sensing the Rhythm

Analysing human and non-human movement in a glassblowing process



Emneord (Nøkkelord):

glassblowing, movement, human and non-human, practice-led research, video


Glassblowing is a craft in which both human and material movement are essential. However, what kind of movement is required in glassblowing, and why does that movement happen? This article presents a practice-led case study conducted in a glassblowing studio. During a glassblowing session, clear drinking glass blanks are blown in a wooden turn mould. The process of glassblowing is documented on video and analysed using the visual data. Additionally, diary notes and participant observation are used to understand and contextualise video data more profoundly. The analysis focuses on the movement of the two main actants of the process: the human movement of the glassblower and the non-human movement of the hot glass. Altogether, six categories were identified to represent the human and material activity. This article concludes that the movement under investigation is relational between the glassblower and the hot glass, and it happens as a consequence of the glassblowers’ situated embodied knowledge. Furthermore, we discovered that research in the processes of glassblowing offers a rich ground for practice-led research that adopts relational ontology and sociomateriality as its theoretical perspectives. The purpose of this study is to fortify the craft of glassblowing as a vital practice in the fields of art, design, and craft.


Sara Hulkkonen, Aalto University

Doctoral Researcher
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Miia Lötjönen, Aalto University

Research Assistant
School of Arts, Design and Architecture

Maarit Mäkelä, Aalto University

Professor, Doctor of Arts


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Hvordan referere

Hulkkonen, S., Lötjönen, M., & Mäkelä, M. (2023). Sensing the Rhythm : Analysing human and non-human movement in a glassblowing process . FormAkademisk, 16(4).

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