“Repurposing factory-made glass is quite tricky,” says Anselm, “because it’s not designed for hand work, it’s originally made for a machine. And then there’s the colouring factor. If you’re working with various sources of glasses, you need strong colouring agents which we achieve by running different colours through our furnaces to produce unique results.”
Melting tinted office window glass yields a chic grey; wine bottles give shades of olive to emerald; and plain scrap window glass results in a classic recycled aqua. Exclusive colouring powders from Germany to clear glass offer up reds, yellows and pinks.
Anselm and his glassblowers like to make really complicated objects, using tricks from the Italian masters to manifest organised colours and shapes like stripes, dots, rings (murrine) and lines into what they’re making. What’s more, as pre-made glass stiffens quickly, the team must work magnitudes faster with this medium. But Anselm believes that the results are worth it, giving each of Kitengela Hot Glass’s blown pieces a handmade look.