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Vaz Zastera's Cold Glass Sculpture


Forefactor Awards

Forefactor Awards - September, 2011.

Vaz Zastera of Zartwerks Studio was honoured to be commissioned by Forefactor Toronto to design and create custom one-of-a-kind glass sculptures as awards for the Canadian Investment Technology Awards, held September 20th, 2011, at the Bell Lightbox building in Toronto on the beautiful 6th floor roof terrace.

Vaz created the awards as cold-worked optic crystal scultures, based on his original design, "The Egg". Each award was hand-cut, ground, laminated, and polished over a 4-month period and each sculpture is a one-of-a-kind piece based on a similar theme.

Vaz was thrilled to attend the gala. He spoke to the receiptients about the awards pryor to the ceromony.

To view a photo essay of creating the awards and the gala in Toronto click: Forefactor Awards, 2011.

Vaz creates his cold glass sculptures in his recently completed state of the art cold glass studio at his home on the banks of the historic Rideau River near Ottawa, Ontario. His studio incorporates traditional cold working tools and modern day precision glass machines.


Vaz Zastera apprenticed as a master optician (precision glass machinist) for 10 years and has worked with cold glass for the past 22 years. When he is not in his studio creating glass sculptures, he works in the high-tech industry, fabricating ultra-high precision optical components for research and development and for the telecommunication, laser, aerospace, and medical industries.

Vaz works at Lightmachinery.

His glass art career began by experimenting with small optical components that didn't meet spec, and creating optical glass jewelry from them. People loved the way the jewelry sparkled and changed colors in the light. Demand eventually outgrew supply, so Vaz purchased grinding and polishing machines at an auction, set up his own shop at home and started to make his own pieces for use in the jewelry. He experimented with different ways of organizing the diachroically coated pieces of glass and various cutting and layering techniques.

Many pictures of Vaz's jewelry reminded him of buildings, unique architecture, and he began to wonder what these would look like if made on a much larger scale. He began to explore creating models of architecturally influenced sculptures, buildings, in glass. "Driving downtown in Ottawa I came across a new 30-story building with an all glass exterior. Shivers ran up and down my spine. It came to me that day that I would create scaled sculptures of similar form and design. I grew up surrounded by architecture as my father, and now my brother, are architects. Unconsciously, I absorbed the imagery.

Vaz continues to explore and develop new techniques to create theses unique works of art. Due to the care and precision required to create one of these larger individual pieces it can take anywhere from 3 months to a year to complete and involves hundreds of steps. It's a painstaking process of cutting, laminating, grinding, polishing, cutting, re-laminating and repeating the process until the sculpture has the desired properties and dimensions. Each piece is assembled and finished by hand. It is a very labor intensive process that takes equal parts of hard work and skill, not to mention incredible patience.

Once completed each sculpture is truly a one of a kind work of art.