My studio was set up in 1999 after 9 years of teaching hot glass at Sunderland University; my main objective was to solely concentrate on my own work as far as possible.
I wish to make beautiful glass. Not ‘chocolate-box’ beauty per-se but the beauty you find in a work whose qualities draw you in and once your there, keep you there.
Such work speaks quietly of the harmony between maker or makers and the medium. It is often the result of a path that involves many failed attempts but results in a piece all the stronger for that, where nothing needs neither added nor taken away.
I find glass to be a material that does not respond well to being dominated by the artist. For me the concept of the work is just the starting point for a conversation between the artists idea and the material. The artist flags up the idea, the medium responds and the discussion begins. However the material must not dominate proceedings either and hot glass, as most who work in it know, can be very persuasive in having its own way. This is where technical skill plays its part.
I have discovered in my efforts to instil these qualities into my work that my ideas have moved far from the traditional glassmaking I was taught at Art College. I have been required to develop new techniques and resurrect and adapt some old ones to move on from the inevitable constraints on form that glassblowing produces.
Technically and creatively I no longer feel shackled by blowing the glass. However, whether it be the tight control of form and colour required in my sculptural ‘perfume bottles’, or the physical strength required to manipulate my large irregular wave forms, I feel at this moment I am being pushed close to the limits of my technique.
The path this search for beautiful glass has led me on, although frustrating at times has also been very exciting too. I do not know exactly where in the future it will lead my work but I believe as long as what I produce is idea led and follows the motivation outlined above, my work will be going in the right creative direction and I look forward to what new works lie ahead.