Fragile Knowledge, Exeter Library Rare Book Commission for Art Week Exeter

I have been working away on this cabinet of curiosity for Exeter Library, as part of  Art Week Exeter. Exeter Library has a a fantastic collection of early and rare books and they have a new scheme to get people to adopt a book from the collection to pay for the restoration of these ancient books.  Continue reading “Fragile Knowledge, Exeter Library Rare Book Commission for Art Week Exeter”

New Work for Edge Sculpture Trail

P1010567

Went to install my new panel in the woods at the P1010568annual sculpture trail at High Heathercombe Centre

EDGE is an outdoor sculpture trail on Dartmoor and is set in a woodland with a stream running through. The theme this year is Renewal.

I haven’t tried to hang a stained glass window in the woods before and I really like how it looks suspended in the trees. Stained glass is usually in such solid stone and brick built openings and its quite different looking at it just suspended in the air. face portrait woodland ed

The panel mixes fused glass and traditional stained glass painting and leading. Its in a very sturdyWoodland Education work shopy frame, so lets hope it survives the Dartmoor Weather! Heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecast this week, so fingers crossed.

I don’t usually add textwoodland ed detail to my own work, but I have written a little bit of text that goes around the edge. No idea where this new found poetic streak has come from!

The panel is called Woodland Education and the words say

Gazing up, at the lacework sky of leaves,

‘Is that all?’, she sighed.

‘Oh no’, hushed the trees in wolfish reply.

‘You Can Always Try Again’.

 

 

 

A sad day for Art Glass

This is not my normal kind of post. I have not just finished a big commission, though I have plenty of them to be getting on with. It’s also very early in the morning, so my family know there is something up today! Indeed there is. I have got up early to day to (slight plooking up at Mountain Ash 2anic) bulk buy essential materials of my trade! Why? Well…..

Spectrum Glass Company announced the sad news that after 40 years of art glass production they are set to close. I use a lot of Spectrum glass, that clever texture that makes the glass look like ripples on water- that is their glass. Glass with a perfect flat finish to print onto – that’s their glass. Affordable, reliable, easy to cut and constantly pushing forward the science of glass for enhanced compatibility and new effects in warm glass techniques; I have come to take their products for granted. For example I start a major public commission in September and I was planning to use their glass for its fabrication. The main reason for their demise seems to be a dramatic drop in sales since ‘the c
rash’ they say around 40%. Now Spectrum are not a small, artisan company they are one of a handful of international glass manufacturers who specialise in art glass and this is a major disruption in the force for us glass artists. Even glass artists who do not use their products will feel the effects as it is bound to have a knock on effect to the pricing of other companies glass (especially warm glass supplies), as glass becomes a rarer commodity – that’s just supply and demand.

But how can this be happening? My studio is not in decline! I am busy, too busy, I cannot keep up with demand for my work from galleries, I have a 3 month lead time with commissioTeasels at sunsetns.  At gallery openings and Private Views people always enquire if I am busy, I can always honestly say, ‘Yes, I am so busy I struggle to keep up with it. Stained glass is a declining industry and their are fewer people with my skills with working studios every year – I get busier all the time.’

But I guess Spectrum’s closure is the reality of my slightly flippant words, this is the first time I am faced with the flip side of this supply and demand situation, as our skills become scarce so do the materials we work with and the people who make them for us. RIP Spectrum Glass, I will miss you very much.

Images of work made entirely from Spectrum – a little homage to my favourite supplier. becoming autumn up closeP1010511 P1010496

 

Tropical fish stained glass windows

tropical fish stained glassI have just installed these 2 windows into a newly renovated home in Exeter. The building itself is an old vicarage, which is several hundred years old and has been added to over the years, most significantly in the 1960s and again by the new ownersP1010511. They have added a new atrium and extension, but this has left the bathroom on the ground and first floors with windows over looking the staircase, so one of the main design factors was obscuring the bathrooms for privacy.

P1010513The clients wanted lots of colour, lots of fish and lots of blue. The windows are one above another and visible both from the staircase and the bathrooms. The bottoP1010496m panel has coral and the fronds
of seaweed reach up and match up to those of the first floor window.

Each ofP1010494 the fish in the design has been formed in my kiln by melting crushed and small strips of glass. Once the glass has melted together into fish shapes I have
painted the details on and re-fired in the kiln to fix the P1010482paint in place. Once I made all the fish I incorporated them into a traditional, leaded stained glass windows, mixing modern techniques with traditional ones, which echoes the mixture of old and new architecture in the house.

red fish kiln formedThese have been a labour of love  and very time consuming; incorporating fused glass is technically more tricky than a standard leaded panel. But they have been well worth the effort, the clients are delighted with them and I think they have turned out really well.  I especially like the way they reflect off the white bathroom tiles and bounce coloured fish reflections around the rooms.

Exmouth Window

Exmouth landscape stained glassThis is a new piece, commissioned for a 1920’s front door for a period house inP1000545 Exmouth.

My client wantedacid etched shell the local landscape and beach huts as a theme and I enhanced this seaside theme more by acid etching and etching shells into some of the glass border.

Acid etching was the first surface technique I learned and it remains one of my favourite effects. The way that the texture – and therefore light transmission of the glass is altered is both subtle and effective and is very useful for adding close up detail without making the overall design too ‘busy’.  To add a contemporary twist I have fired the photograph of Exmouth Beach huts onto glass in my kiln and this modern process gives a contrast to the traditional leading and etching.
P1000547
P1000553 P1000571P1000561
P1000564