The weird situation of no Spring Fling Open Studios this year has taken the makers to the internet. Many of the artists this year are doing something online, from demonstrations, studio tours, classes and online galleries. I've decided to document the processes of creating a large kilnformed glass vessel, from inspiration to finished piece (hopefully; I'm not silly enough to do this live but there are still no guarantees that the piece will make it!).
Tomorrow I will show the making of the flat 'blank', the starting point of a 3D form. I use glass powders that are coloured from Bullseye Glass based in Portland, Oregon and have done since first making glass around 2002. There is no manufacturer in the UK of glass that is compatible with iself across a large range of colours when fired together. Bullseye supports the artists that use the glass and this is also where I teach mainly when travelling to their 5 destinations across America.
The blank is fired a few times and then goes into the kiln on a heat resistant board with an aperture cut out of it. The vessel forms due to gravity at arounf 650 degrees centigrade. I then finish the piece using coldworking equipment such as a diamond flatbed grinder and sandblaster.
I will show the finished piece on the last day of what would've been the Spring Fling weekend.
I'm focusing on work inspired by my travels in Australia the last few years, much of my research was around the Banksia plant, a native Australian species found in most areas of the country. I am quite obsessed with this plant and it's amazing survival strategies. The first few works are a bit broader in concept as I'm not used to some of these colour combinations and marks and have simply called them Southern Hemispheres whilst I get embedded in this warm, rich land.
During my travels I have visited Kings Park Botanical gardens in Perth, the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria at Cranbourne Gardens outside of Melbourne, Melbourne Botanical Gardens, Sydney Botanical Gardens and the National Botanical Garden in Canberra. All have been amazing because of the diversity and abundant planting showcasing many of the regions of Australia (the next plan is to do the top half of the country!). I was in Melbourne in 2019 as the fires started and as I travelled home and then onto America they continued to ravage the country and cause so much devastation. I hope when I am able to return I can find out more on the regeneration of the land and wildlife.
Please join me as I show a glimpse into the world of a glass artist based in a shed in Corsock.