There is a magic to light passing through brilliantly colored glass. Add textured surfaces or bubbles and you get more sparkle. Add a reflective surface and you get shimmer and iridescence. Move the glass when it is molten, and you capture the energy of that motion. It is the possibilities of glass as an art medium that stimulates my curiosity and creativity.
Kiln-fired glass is a very different process from blown glass.
I begin with large sheets of colored glass that have been specially formulated to withstand the heat of firing in a kiln. I create a design, hand cut the components and begin to build the piece. Once heated in the kiln, the glass is completely transformed. Altering time and temperature over a series of firings allows me to achieve different textures and effects. Over time, my artwork has become more intricate. The details matter to me and I can sit for hours carefully placing small pieces of glass with tweezers until everything is “just right”.
Often, the development of a new piece is a result of experimentation. Discovering a new texture, technique or combination of processes will often suggest the next piece. Resolving the challenges presented by these “adventures in glass” is part of the excitement.
One of my favorite techniques is to manipulate the glass while it is molten hot in the kiln. I have only a few seconds to move the glass. Once the glass is firm again, that moment in time when the glass was flowing is captured forever. The resulting pieces have great motion and depth that speaks to me of the invisible energy flowing all around us.
Themes from the natural world regularly appear. Elements of earth, water, fire, the forest and the desert all make their way into my artwork. Think of the shimmer of moonlight, the soft glow of morning, the brilliant hues of the desert sunset, the mystery of twilight. If I have communicated my love of those moments through my work, I have succeeded.