Amethyst Rhapsody Vase
In “Rhapsody” I have been working with multiple complex limited overlays.
“Rhapsody” is a collection of small sculptures and vessels that often evoke the colours of the sea. These works draw on my memories of snorkelling in the Caribbean when I was growing up. They are reminiscent of the colours of coral reefs, with light and shade ebbing and flowing back and forward with the movement of the waves.
The “Rhapsody” vessels don’t really need a lot of special lighting. Their intense colours shine out in any location, but back-lighting does not enhance their tones.
Over a period of time my team and I will have prepared a stock of very thin coloured glass shards or wafers in a wide palette. We do this by preheating solid colour rod and then melting it so it can be blown paper thin and broken up into random sizes and shapes. It takes some time to prepare a good stock of these but it is worthwhile, because I have them to hand when I am developing new ideas. The shards are similar to the coloured lighting gels used in theatre, except they are made of glass
Using the shards
In my Rhapsody series, I lay the shards on a steel table known as a marver, and roll the first gather of molten over them. The heat of the glass is sufficient to fuse the shards to the glass. I then reheat the bubble and melt the colour in. Sometimes I will add more shards and sometimes I will encase the shards in another layer of clear glass and then add more shards. This is how I can build up tonal variations and the result is painterly.
Once I am happy with the colour structure, I then cover the bubble with a heavy layer of clear glass and at that stage begin to create the shape. So there is a huge amount of colour preparation in the Rhapsody pieces.
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