Collaborations and Other Projects > Heart of Glass

Heart of Glass, 2021
An ink bottle collaboration by Julia Norton and Goldie Poblador


Heart of Glass - an ink by natural color material artist Julia Norton and a bottle by glass artist Goldie Poblador - is an object presented in the spirit of Valentine's Day. The ink, made from rose, hibiscus, whole cloves, and rust, will change over time in hue and saturation. This is an ink for writing love letters or diary entries, and for painting anything the heart desires. Made from natural materials that are both plant and mineral - including minerals that also exist in the human body - the ink is an art material with a lifeforce all its own. The bottle, designed and fabricated by Poblador, comes in an amber edition and a clear pink edition. Both editions feature a pen handle sculpted using a Venetian stamp tool in a transparent ruby red glass. The use of this stamp as well as the bottle’s shape speak to the Venetian tradition of glass making, yet without perfect symmetry - appearing as amorphous and organic as the ink it contains.

Depending on the kind of paper it is applied to the ink may look rosy or purple at first, but it will inevitably change over time as it dries and is exposed to the elements. It might change to a deeper purple, grey, black, or even green. The iron of the rust will take hold, deepening the color. If left in the sun, the saturation from the flowers will lighten and the chromatic hue will fade, due to the lightfastness of the ink. Regardless of its initial appearance it will always be there over however long a time period. The ink’s one constant is to make its presence known - an “ever-fixed mark”.

The vessel that holds it is sturdy yet fragile. It was once liquid itself, so it relates to its contents. Glassblowing is an alchemical transformation of liquid to solid. Each bottle is created with this process in mind, much like the ink. The bottles are created with the glass flameworking technique - a process that uses a torch to hand sculpt glass. It has been used for centuries dating back to Mesopotamian and Roman times. This type of vessel design is as related to ancient Venetian traditions of glass making as it is a reflection on glass making of the present. The amber colored edition of the object reflects a nostalgia for coke bottles or antique pharmaceutical containers. The clear pink edition is a reference to Depression era glass tchotchkes that might be found in vintage shops.

Available in two editions of 10, one amber and one pink, each Heart of Glass ink bottle is made to order and is one of a kind due to the nuance of its handmade quality. Extremely limited, order here.

Full artist statement available here.

See more of collaborator Goldie Poblador's work here and here.