A bit about glass!
A Bit About Glass, At Last!
I’m here again at my writing table, realising that recently I listened to a great presentation about how to talk about your work. Artistic work she was talking about, but I’m sure it applies to much work. For some reason it’s taken me days to connect it with task of the week…writing stories for my new blog!
My blog is on my website. My website is all about stained glass windows, fused glass pieces, glass objects for sale and courses I teach in glass making techniques. So far, this blog has been an investigation of myself in bits of why-I-am-who-I-am, and very little about why I do what I do. An omission seeing that most people who come to my website do so because they have an interest in glass or working with glass. Although people are pretty interesting, it’s not all about ME.
So I’d better put up a blog that at least has the word ‘glass’ in it.
The story behind my work is hard to sort out. I feel I should have some underlying heartfelt reason to make art in glass, but it takes a lot of unpicking to get down to why I do what I do in this way.
One of the chief motivators is that Im happy when I’m making.That’s not enough though. That suggests that I could be making the Eiffel Tower out of matchsticks, and I’d be happy. Not so. In fact downright nasty (sorry, all you Eiffel tower builders), or a tea cosy to look like Michael D. Higgings ….actually that would be fun but not for the same reasons.
So, not just making.
Colour. Colour is important. I put colours together just because they look exciting, or uplifting, or just plain fabulous, or, even better, funny. How could you not smile when you put chewing gum pink with egg yoke yellow, or cranberry with black and white stripes?
Some colours, all by themselves, make me happy. There’s a piece of glass in my studio that I can pull out to show my students and always get a great reaction. I’ve had it for ages because it’s too wonderful to cut up.
So, if this is my palette, do I need another motivator?
Glass isn’t like paint. I will have made choices, ages ago, of colours I like or need for a project, so I will have sheets of colour already there to use. You can make your own by fusing different sheets of glass together, but it’s not often needed.
I do need to be making something particular, not just putting colours together, so, if I’m not making a commission, where I have to take other people’s desires in mind, I do need to design something that I like.
I make for all sorts of places, reasons, shapes and openings, all calling for different thinking. The commemorative piece I made for Ballyhaunis Community school, the doorway that had to echo the Middle Eastern ethos around it, the cafe door that incorporated old and recycled pieces, all these call for a different approach.
But there are themes that I can’t resist. Some of me wants to amuse, actually, lots of me. I want joy and delight in there. Then I like the idea of escaping, maybe relevant to the times we are in, or me just wanting to be on the move.
The image I’ve attached above is about escaping. After I made it I realised it shows the connection between what I’m writing/thinking and what I’m making. The connection and the ideas are constantly changing, and are often a surprise, but here is a relevant one for right now!
It’s called ‘There must be some way outta here’.
A song title from ‘All Along The Watch Tower’.