Studio practices

I work primarily with hand tools and I work alone from design to the completion of a work. Making glass objects involves several stages to achieve the final object. I work exclusively with Bullseye glass which is the world’s best glass. It is double hand rolled and the colours are like no other. There is no finer glass in the world.

 

In making, initially I spend some time on design. Usually a lot of time! I am primarily interested in geometry because it is a shared language across cultures. In a time where disunity seems to define us, my work constantly seeks the things that unite us. Things we share. So following design I then draw up templates or work from drawings.

 

Then I cut the glass. This is the part that is all consuming and meditative because – for me at least – it involves complete and intense concentration. A mistake can devastate because the glass I work with is so precious.

 

Following cutting, I then meticulously wash each piece and load the kiln. I design each firing schedule according to the glass I am using. I love this part of the process. It is highly analytical and can determine results with one or two degrees difference when working with molten glass at over 800 degrees. This is where I put my makers mark into each piece too. It is really important to make sure you heat the glass at the appropriate temperature too. Too fast is no good, but neither is too slow. This applies both for going up and coming down. This process of firing takes about twenty four hours from beginning to end. The glass must be allowed to cool at its natural rate. Rushing this can cause thermal shock. And then tears over a ruined piece of art you have already devoted so much of yourself to. Opening the kiln to success though is a feeling like no other. Its kind of like one hundred Christmases in one second. If it has all gone as you hoped, it is a wonderful moment.

 

Following fusing, I then slump things to create a three dimensional object. This involves lower and slower temperatures, both going up and coming down. It takes about twenty four hours too. Again, the moment I open the kiln to success, is a moment of pure joy.

 

In between all these processes, the glass needs to be meticulously washed. Any impurities on the glass can lead to a failed piece.

 

I have a studio and separate kilnhouse where all this happens. I work from process and instinct as well as being guided by a deep interest in geometry and what it has given us. I also spend a lot of time considering the relationships and connections between glass as a material and geometry as a science that has also given us astronomy, architecture and the ability to understand our planet in particular ways.