Turquoise Ocean Bowl
The ceaseless mutability of light on the landscape, the sky and on water inspires me. Horizons fascinate me. I love the vanishing point where the land or the sea merges with the sky. Glass is the ideal medium to express this idea of continual change since its properties are inherently mutable, not only in its molten state but also in the way the play of light creates endless nuances in the finished piece.
Sunsets never cease to enthral me and are a rich source of inspiration. I am always happy when I am near the sea or a river or lake and I can stare at the sea for ages.
Colour preparation is very important to any artist. However, it is vital in glassblowing. I spend quite a lot of time preparing glass elements to use in my work. This turquoise ocean bowl has the sort of tones and textures that a painter can achieve with watercolour washes. I achieve this by rolling the clear molten glass in successive layers of fine glass shards.
I make the shards first by picking up a small lump of rod colour on a blowing iron. Then I heat it up and blow it up into a big balloon. I then break the shards or flakes up in to small pieces. The shards are rather like the lighting gels used in theatre lighting. So if I want four colours, I will have to blow out four shards and this all takes time. In practice, my assistants usually prepare the shards in the winter months so I can have a good palette and a good stock to use.
In this bowl, I lay out the coloured shards on the marver, or steel table and build up several tonal layers to get the effect I am looking for.
When I made this bowl I had the idea that it would be a big bowl for capturing light, to sit on a windowsill or even the floor.The idea was that the sun would shine through and would project a coloured shadow. And that is what it does!