Making the new glass installation with Lawrence West

Last week I went into the hotshop to start experimenting with glass forms, and begin to design the new installation "The last refuge". It consists of a series of glass "pebbles" or stones, which represent the present state of fragility that many of us seem to be experiencing.

Here's a link to a film that I made about the process, on Vimeo: 

https://vimeo.com/219235578

working from some simple pen and ink drawings......

working from some simple pen and ink drawings......

I drew some quick sketchy chalk marks on the floor of the hotshop.....

Lawrence then blows the glass........

Lawrence then blows the glass........

with a tiny bit of help from me ( honestly, my contribution is very moderate at this stage!!)

with a tiny bit of help from me ( honestly, my contribution is very moderate at this stage!!)

after a fair bit of prototyping, Lawrence then brought me in to shape the hot glass. These cork pads kept bursting into flames as I shaped, since I didn't move them in quick enough circles over the face of the glass, but Lawrence is endlessly patient with my efforts....

after a fair bit of prototyping, Lawrence then brought me in to shape the hot glass. These cork pads kept bursting into flames as I shaped, since I didn't move them in quick enough circles over the face of the glass, but Lawrence is endlessly patient with my efforts....

and eventually we end up with some really pleasing forms....

and eventually we end up with some really pleasing forms....

then it's into the lehr, for the long annealing process.....

then it's into the lehr, for the long annealing process.....

amazingly, they all emerge without a single crack this time, and now there's a chance to review the forms, and the endless job of cold working. I quite enjoy cold working, because although it takes ages, it gives a chance to hide behind the ear defenders and just concentrate solely on a single task. For those who know me, you will realise just how relaxing that might be.......more from the hotshop in the next few weeks, as I am back there next Tuesday, refining forms.....and making a whole new kinetic piece.......

amazingly, they all emerge without a single crack this time, and now there's a chance to review the forms, and the endless job of cold working. I quite enjoy cold working, because although it takes ages, it gives a chance to hide behind the ear defenders and just concentrate solely on a single task. For those who know me, you will realise just how relaxing that might be.......more from the hotshop in the next few weeks, as I am back there next Tuesday, refining forms.....and making a whole new kinetic piece.......

Workshop with Laura Boswell in Japanese woodblock printing

I was so keen to gain some experience in woodblock printing after seeing Laura's work at Art in Action in Oxford, during the summer of 2016 that I travelled to Winslow (no joke from Cornwall).

After driving for 7 hours, I rested ready for my hectic day ahead. Arriving at the studio, Laura led me through her lovely garden to the peaceful wooden studio under the trees.

Inside, everything was tidy and welcoming. Brushes hung from the ceiling, woodblocks were carefully stacked, and a tempting row of new prints hung up on the drying racks.

 

 Laura was a wonderful and generous host, offering me mind boggling insight into the ancient Japanese art of woodblock. Laura's prints look so effortlessly beautiful, but I found out just how much work, focus and sheer hard graft is invested into each of these elegant prints. Laura taught me to cut the woodblocks from birch ply, and use watercolour pigment and rice paste to blend gorgeous translucent layers of colour, to be printed onto damp washi paper.

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