Hi everybody. it’s been a while since my last post, but I have finally finished the profoundly dull assignment for Uni, so I can get back to some proper full-on creative expression. However, maybe because of the boring assignment, or I’m just not in the groove, I’ve been having great difficulty coming up with an idea for the next brief “Artist/Designer Maker”. After last terms constrained “Design for Industry” brief, which turned out very well for me, this new brief allows a lot more freedom. Freedom to express myself is the problem. I have too many unfeasible ideas which has cause this state of flux, which is not a comment on the condition of my Borax (a bit of a silver soldering in-joke, sorry).
My first idea came from an old brief that Sue McGillvray mentioned when I was first shown around the Glass Department, at an open day. That theme was “Message in a Bottle”. My idea is to use my favourite bottle-related song “The Bottle” by Gil Scott-Heron and transfer that song around the outside of the bottle, etched on the surface. Then construct a Phonograph, the type used to play wax cylinders before discs were invented, to play the song. A kinetic sculpture!
The problems are that glass will be very difficult to etch sound onto and I don’t know how to build a phonograph!
My next idea was to use the “9 Cubes” and develop the flexible composition idea of having many similar forms and blocks of glass that can be arranged accordingly. I can across a couple of amazing Czech glass artists who use kiln formed and cut glass, Frantisek Vizner and Stanislav Lebinsky.
Vizner’s pieces are based on functional vessels, but they defy expectations and they are beautifully cut and finished, and Libensky creates forms and cuts into them to create interior shapes and spaces. Sidney R Hutter’s geometric vessels contain “…nothing but the liquidity of light” and are cut from laminated plate glass.
I also looked at Op Art from the likes of Bridget Riley and Victor Vaserely, but I have always been interested in including photography to glass and I am an admirer of the work of Deborah Sandersley. She makes photo-montages and prints them onto glass, and it is as if the 2D medium of photography acquires 3D properties.
A while back I took some black and white photos of my home town of Croydon (pre-riots) and I thought I might try and use them to create a 3D sculptural block of cut glass, where the images react to the light and the refractive properties of glass. So I printed the photos on overhead projector film through my printer and came up with this!
The top picture is a transparent maquette from made from transparent film prints and acetate, and the bottom is a just paper impression. the print quality on the transparent maquette is a bit light and insipid, but I’m hoping that when it is printed on the glass it will have more definition. I will add some enamel paint for some spots of colour and the outer cast will have sand-blasted details. and heat polished to give a smooth glossy finish. This is still a work in progress and I may even change my mind and do something completely different.
My plan is to make seven different sculptures based on these photos. As you all know, all the great cities are built on seven hills (Rome, Athens, Lisbon, Barcelona and Edinburgh to name a few of sixty or so) and Croydon has seven hills! During the regeneration of Croydon in the 50s and 60s, seven car parks were built and the are known locally as Croydon’s seven hills. You can even go on a historical walk to these edifices of the automobile!
Quality! See you soon.