Friday, May 20, 2016

Week 8 Nanotechnology and Art

Growing up, I loved making stain glass art pieces. I would create a geometric design that included various different colors of glass and would cut and solder the glass myself. Making stained glass piece was a tranquil escape. Similarly, my family owns a glass blowing company. I grew up watching them manipulate glass by heating it and morphing the glass into their desired shape. However, I never looked past simply assembling a piece, putting it up for display, and it was not until lecture 5 that I started to realize that there is much more that goes into stain glass.
The vibrant colors of the glass are created through nanotechnology. Gold and silver Nano particles are trapped inside of the glass to create the colors. It is the shape and size of the nano particles that determines the color of the glass. Each color of class has individual characteristics. For example, blue glass has nanoparticles 40 nanometers in size and the particles are shaped like spheres. Red glass has nanoparticles 100 nanometers in size and the particles are shapes like prisms. After reading about how nanotechnology affects the color of glass, I feel a little na├»ve. I thought that the make up of glass was all the same and that color was based on artificial dye given to glass…however; color is based on the varying nanoparticles inside of it.
            Artificial muscles remind me of the organization that is talked about in lecture 5. Artificial muscles are made out of carbon nanotubes. The carbon nanotubes are woven together like yarn, with different materials filling in the holes. When you want the muscle to contract, heat must be applied. The Nano fibers expand against the surface, making it stiff. When cooled, the Nano fibers come back together. Nano muscles are being used as a way to make robots seem more realistic and in firefighters clothing. In some areas, developments in nanotechnology seem extremely beneficial. However, there are some areas where nanotechnology is making the world more artificial.

I believe that Nanotechnology is extremely important because it has expanded the limits of art by providing artist with new materials to work with and giving them with new ways to work with the materials. Nanotechnology has allowed for a broader understanding of how science works. However, depending on how it is used, nanotechnology can have positive and negative implications to our lives.

1. Diep, Franchie. "Artificial Muscle Stronger Than the Real Thing : DNews." DNews. Web. 21 May 2016. <>.
2.  "Frequently Asked Questions." Nano. Web. 21 May 2016. <>.
3. The Nanomeme Syndrome: Blurring of Fact & Fiction in the Construction of a New Science. Vesna, Victoria and Gimzewski, Jim. PDF.
4. The Science of Stained Glass. University of Wisconsin-Madison. PPT.
5. "Nanotechnology." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 21 May 2016. <>.


  1. Same as you, I loved making stain glass. My elementary school actually had an after school class I participated in every week. In high school I took glass blowing as one of my elective art credits. I really like how you used these passions of yours and connected them to what we have been learning in class, because I did not do that in relation to these forms of art creation that I really enjoy. I never really considered how the colors of glass were created, so I enjoyed learning that it was through nanotechnology, because I also thought it was just dye put into the molten glass mixture.

  2. I really enjoyed reading your blog post this week. It is nice to see the connection you made with your own interests. As a child I would have never thought that there was a science to the color of the stained glass. Nanotechnology is a big part of both science and art, and i too agree that it is essential because it allows artists to expand what art means.