Working with glass is constantly surprising and challenging. Opening the kiln is always a pleasure but I do not always get what I expected. I have been happy enough to concentrate on fusing and slumping glass into prepared moulds and have produced some really fabulous functional ‘homeware’ pieces.
Recently though I have begun to experiment again and attempted more sculptural pieces. The first involved slumping glass over a porcelain mould of a woman’s face. I made two panels, one in the colours of the Aboriginal flag and one in the Australian flag colours. “Sorry, I can’t hear you” is in some ways a political statement about (the lack of any true) reconciliation but also was a great way to feature the slumped faces. The two panels are mounted in a red wooden frame set at right angles to each other.
Encouraged by a friend I entered the piece in the Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize. This is a highly prestigious exhibition and only 41 pieces will be shown in 2011 from more than 540 entries! So, fair to say that I was not expecting to get in to the final forty on the first attempt. Even though the piece was not successful I will continue to explore glass sculpture. I have made moulds of shells and coral to experiment with pate de verre casting and have a few ideas around the theme of water and boats. My local Vinnies is a rich source of potential moulds and vessels.
My first boat experiment resulted in a rather solid and discoloured piece that resembled a thunder egg. Interesting but almost unusable. The Boron nitride I used to prime the steel mould melted into the glass and the frit collapsed. I probably overfired the piece so next time will try a tack fuse schedule and hope for better results.
I do keep technical notes and must get them all in one place, or rather on one page. My notebook is full of notes, ideas, suppliers, client numbers and lists of themes. I really should get a divided notebook and start again or sit at the Mac and type it all up. Maybe there is a book in there too!!