Etsuko Nishi is a leading expert in the pâte de verre, one of the oldest and more difficult forms of glass making. The desired form is first created out of clay, which is used as the basis for a mould. Glass powder is then mixed with a special kind of paste, and the mixture is placed into the mould and fired. The heat causes the glass to melt and take on the form. Once it has cooled, it is removed from the mould. Etsuko Nishi creates very complex forms using pâte de verre, and to do so relies on over ten years of studying as well as years of experimenting with glass. Over the course of her career, she has developed a unique technique for creating her moulds that are inspired by floral forms.
Glass is often perceived as a sharp, hard and cold material. Etsuko Nishi instead skilfully creates pieces that are delicate, warm and soft. Her work embodies Japanese appreciation for nature, its asymmetry and irregularities. Her pieces are reminiscent of the Japanese art of Ikebana, which is a type of floral arrangement that appreciates the beauty of single flower and respects its natural shape. The form of her pieces and the colour combinations are what excite the artist, and remind her of flowers.
The artist has work exhibited in permanent museum collections all over the world, including Japan, Australia, Europe and USA.