Well I seem to have lost a whole set of posts and I can’t work out why. All the new posts seemed to have disappeared. Is there some vast blog monster creeping around eating up stray lists of words? Were the words I had written so bad that they had to be erased? It is all very strange. Perhaps if I go away and the look back quickly they might have returned! Be prepared, there is something strange going on.
As we move from rain to more rain and even more rain, I start to think of ways to make the world a bit brighter. I have decided that yellow, orange and gentle reds are the colour of the moment to try and pretend that the world is slightly warmer and brighter than it really is. This is the magic of glass. It is such a simple idea. Plain glass lets the light in and brings the light into our homes and workspaces but a little bit of colour can add a warmth and glow to that light. This can lift our mood, make us more positive and make us nicer to be around. Is it all that simple? Yes it can be. We all now know that we can recover quicker in hospital if we can see out a window and can see trees, fields and animals. So as you walk across the room and you pass through a warm glow of light coming in a stained glass window it can lighten our mood and lift our spirits. It does not need to be a great deal of colour but a small additional pool of light can make so much difference to us all.
Somehow we see stained glass in a set a rigid set of defined areas such as ‘contemporary’, ‘ecclesiastical’ and ‘domestic’ with these really meaning; modern and abstract, old and church like and anything in a house. It is as if art movements came and went and stained glass lived in its little zone far away with glass, lead and sliced fingers. Well today I am exhibiting my new Pop art lamp! It is a panel of fused glass placed over a simple commercially bought lamp base. It also contains a heart shape, cut with a water jet cutter, as to obtain a whole heart shape hand cut is very difficult. It is this heart shape that leads me to call this Pop art. The heart shape is an iconic shape or symbol that has become more than its original design. We use the heart shape as a short cut to link names, to be become a fan to show love. It is at the same time silly and flippant but also important as it suggests romance and a deeper feeling of love and caring. All these ideas, thoughts, feelings and concepts come together and make something beautiful, fun and that looks great, and will be even better when it is on my wall!
The kiln is working, having been mended with a great deal of effort, interesting language and time. So now thoughts of bowls can start again, after a delay of a good few weeks. There is also the opportunity to start firing the glass painting that has been done and has been waiting for a mended kiln. When the new kiln came into the studio we thought it would be a great studio heater. Sadly it is so well insulated that it keeps all the heat inside not sharing it around. Now this is very fuel efficient but not a great solution to cold dank mornings like today. I always remember at college that the kiln area in ceramics, pottery, was always warm and dry with a cosy cave like feeling. Anyway no such luck at stained glass studio, all efficient and well insulated.
This also means that the lamp shown below can now have a new fused glass lid instead of the material cover that was on the original lamp. A new photo will follow once the lid is ‘cooked’ or fused in the kiln.
More disaster than I can cope with! I got very inspired yesterday and wrote the blog and it has all disappeared. So back to the story…….. I was getting all prepared to start with some bowls and then I find that the kiln is not working. Well it is not really the kiln it is the door. The kiln is so large and heavy that it needs a separate motor to open the door. The kiln is fine but the door does not open. Then we find that the kiln maker has retired and a new company is dealing with the kilns and are not yet ready to make repairs. So I am all ready and waiting for something to happen and it may take some time.
Meanwhile I went to see that David Hockney exhibition and good very inspired by the colours. It was a very vibrant exhibition with dramatic colour shape and form. This might change what I want to do with the bowls so the delay might be a good idea and I might eventually have some totally new ideas. That is what art should do, inspire and stimulate new thoughts and ideas and new ways of seeing and thinking.
In the cold dark days of February it is time to fire up the kiln and make glass bowls ready for the warm summer weather, salads and fruit. Yesterday I ordered some new moulds to make bowls and it is really exciting planning new designs and thinking of colours. There is something about the delicacy of a glass bowl that makes what you put in it so much more special. And the great thing about these bowls is that they are still beautiful when empty. I went for new moulds that would mean we could stack the bowls, always a practical thought, how will they be stored. I have gone with small bowls to start with as I will be selling them online,so I needed something that would be simple to send. Well the adventure starts here, a new project is always exciting I can’t wait for my moulds to arrive.
I have a new lamp that has four panels of fused glass made from tiny drops of small glass. The glass has then been heated to cause fusing and produces this amazing textural surface. New colours are created as the glass either fuses with the same colour or different coloured glass. The best part it hat it has been done so well that the glass still retains that unique translucency of glass and seems to glow with the light. Each panel is slightly different going from dark blue to a lighter blue, mixing to become a blue green then finishing with a lighter green going to yellow and this area is dotted with tiny bits of red and blue glass. To me it is a beach reaching to the dark blue sea with that magic shining colour of only the best days at the seaside. There are four panels around the four sides of the lamp each telling their own slightly different story of the beach. With the light coming from within the panels and balancing on a small mirror base the lamp is a glowing area of colour. This one of 3 different designs that have each been hand made to create these tactile lamps that each tell their own story of colour.
When I think of stained glass I think of the colour that it brings into my house. In the morning my hall is full of colour as the light comes through the stained glass panel in the front door. Sometimes it is like jewels of light and at other times there are long rays of colour reaching out into other parts of the house. From the outside you can bring warmth to your house as you walk up to the door. In the winter with a light in the hall the house glows with warmth. It is such a subtle thing the way colour affects us. The glass does not have to be bright and dramatic too bring that warm, confident and expensive feeling to a house. It can also be a great way to bring a single colour into an area. A blue or green glass can be great in a wet room as a wall divide or an external window. Red could be great for a small intimate internal room suggesting warmth heat and comfort. Now make your own decisions when you look at the glass.