Is it art? I hate the question, but can’t avoid it, somehow glass always has to prove it’s worthiness. Much like me. I’m constantly striving to prove my worthiness with my art. I hope, but cannot expect, that the media will convey the satisfaction of taking an unloved piece of trash and turning it into something of value again, something of beauty to share my life with. The implied message within each piece is how much in the everyday world is dismissed because it’s potential isn’t obvious.
Most of my art comes with a message, literally. I like words. Words convey meaning. Sometimes our messages are lost without the right one, sometimes people are lost without enough of them. A poignant word can lure back, motivate and inspire when all feels hopeless. A good phrase can stick with me for years. Unfortunately though, even the best words can be crowded out by my busy life. So I put them on my art. I write them, draw them, carve them into everything I can. They refresh my soul as they gallop off my fingers and into the light of day; I can only hope they do the same for my viewers.
Which brings me to my last point. I want my art to make people smile, to bring delight to heart and joy to the spirit. Some of my art might be titled whimsical, perhaps even a little childish, but why isn’t that a valid goal? If we can see like children again, the fun and laughter can inspire hope, and hope is the universal fuel for change. Hope is the light that can energise those numbed into lethargy and despair from the sheer volume of chaos and negativity our digital age serves up every minute.
Glass is a liquid media, it just stops moving freely at 550 C.
I’ve been working with this mesmerising material for a while now, starting off with stained glass panels in 1992 and transitioning to hot glass torch work in 2008 and finally kiln work to expand the range of my creativity.
My skills have been learned from excellent teachers including: Ian Pearson, Emma Mackintosh, Lucio Bubacco, and Marcel Rensmaag, as well as printed materials, but the most influential teacher is the glass itself, the hours spent creating.
These are pictures of my hot glass studio. You can see how cluttered my bench gets by the end of the day. This is tidy, compared to when I’m working the ‘softer’ Italian art glass. Then there will be piles of glass shrapnel covering everything from all the times the glass explodes in the flame due to thermal shock. Never a dull moment when working with glass. 🙂