— Glass lab
In 2010 Lonny van Ryswyck and Nadine Sterk made a Sand Journey following ancient Roman sand and glass routes through Europe. Atelier NL's Monnikenwerk exhibit took place in the Bergmann Church and featured the results of the Sand Journey in a large format catalogue. During their journey, Atelier NL shoveled sand from more than 40 locations, including sand quarries and sand dunes. The Monnikenwerk exhibit brought Atelier NL's research and material transformation together via an extensive catalogue of sand cabinets and glass lab stations. The raw materials and semi-finished products on display represent a vast palette of material possibilities. Through the catalogue of raw sand and material experiments represented in Monnikenwerk, Atelier NL showcased valuable research meant to trigger the interest of scientists and industry regarding further applications of sand as a material.
An important part of Atelier NL's sand research involved fusing sand into glass, which revealed many different colors and textures. From deep dark brown glass darkened by iron in the area of Maastricht - to yellow pink glimmers in the glass of Oosterhout - each sand has a unique fingerprint. By making glass from sand, Atelier NL proved that sand is potentially worth as much as gold, due to the natural minerals innate in the grains. Like true alchemists, Atelier NL fired a wide variety sands until they foamed, burst, or crystalized. Atelier NL's research goal was expose the great potential to be found in natural sand varieties.