In this series, the artists working at Creative Gateways give us a behind-the-scenes insight into their current works in progress, inspiration and creative challenges. Today, Terry’s sharing how he’s playing with using an established technique for bowl making in a different context: the light sconce.
It was one of my professors at UCLA who cracked my world open in terms of seeing – we’d shoot photography in black and white, leaving a black border to show that the finished print was exactly what we’d shot: no cropping.
She turned me onto values; the difference between light and dark. And of course in glass there’s an extra dimension to that: the magic comes when you shine light through it. So light sconces are a wonderful thing to create, because you know where the light’s going to come and how the glass will be lit up.
I love the tie dye bowls we make from pouring glass, and recently I found myself wondering “How about turning these into sconces?”
The challenge was to design a way to use the melting glass technique we use for the bowls into a sconce. I’m a real experimenter; I like to push the envelope! So I threw in a few twists.
First, I melted the glass through through a stainless steel screen. The glass turned to liquid and dripped in gobs and blobs, before it pooled and spread out.
The outcome was these wild, organic, psychedelic patterns. I’ve been trying to control them, but a lot of it is just happenstance – it’s about how the glass organically flows. But the technique worked, and I just finished the sconce last week: you can see it in the image above.
I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. My next challenge is how to develop this even further. I might stick with it, or experiment with using glass powder, a technique I really love, and see how that would work in a light sconce. This is part of what I like best about glass: the mix of creative and technical challenges. We never know what’s going to come out when we open the kiln…
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