Slag-20 is part of a series where I photograph pieces of slag, which simply put, is the waste product produced in glassmaking. Some of these waste pieces are collected, ground up and recycled, others are just thrown away. Some of these waste pieces are broken into smaller pieces and used as landscaping gravel, the bigger pieces are used as ornaments in landscaping design or even as aquarium decoration. I photograph these pieces using a macro lens and focus-stacking up to 40 images. The area photographed is no bigger than a half-dollar coin but the amount of detail that is hidden from the naked eye is remarkable. From this small area of waste was revealed a unexpected, fantastical world of color, texture, shapes, swirls, streaks, smears, specks, bubbles, cracks, reflections, distortions and light. I found that within this trash, within a square inch of this scrap piece of glass, was a universe of beauty.
Dan Gilkey is an Art Director/Designer from Los Angeles and a graduate of the Art Center College of Design. Photography is another creative outlet in which he likes to explore textures and colors in otherwise normal or mundane objects.