Susan Emmons

“Snapshot” is a mobile partition designed by Susan Emmons. Comprised of fused glass with a metal base, this partition, a collaboration between the architect, Bullseye Glass Co., Batho Studios, and Columbia Wire & Iron, was created for the group architectural exhibition Betweenness, curated by Randy Gragg.

Emmons was taken with the sculptural possibilities of glass and with emphasizing the handmade aspect of it. For this work, she first hoped to build a 3” thick piece in order to create “a world that a child would want to stare into.” But Emmons discovered the internal magnifying qualities of glass made that unnecessary, and concluded that six layers of glass could create “an entire universe in three-quarters of an inch.”

With Batho Studios as the glass fabricator and Bullseye Glass as the advisor, Emmons varied the translucency within the glass panels from clear to cloudy by using a combination of sheet and crushed glass. This resulted in a rippled explosion effect.

Struck by how layered glass, when in profile, resembles the bars on sheet music, Emmons decided to make a composition of slashes through the screen. Bullseye’s Director of Research and Education, Ted Sawyer, persuaded her to limit the idea to one slash, with the remaining slashes going deep into the glass layers but not penetrating all the way through. This resulted in areas of kiln-carved relief that Emmons said better exhibits the world within the glass rather than the world on the other side.

Emmons designed her screen to be easily moveable and customizable. “It can be something that rolls across a door or window… blocking a space physically but still allowing a connection to it.” With a simple, mobile stand, the partition is a piece of furniture usable in any type of building without special ceiling or floor conditions.