Gaffer Glass for Cenote

I’ve just received my order of Gaffer Glass billets, they are a lovely Copper Blue. When it comes to color I am terrible. I used to work in a stained glass studio, and I loved doing the designs, playing with lines, layering, creating texture and negative space with the lead, but when it came to the colour I was not to be trusted.

The way I work I’m very materials based, I think about a material like bronze or glass, and there are so many possibilities for different colours and painterly effects that I find it overwhelming and try to stay as basic as possible. For this piece I was initially going to go with grey, I was thinking about caves and their darkness. I was thinking about shadowy murky water, and what lurks just beneath the surface of our own consciousness. It might be good to mention here that I have a totally irrational fear of fresh water, last week I watched a programme called Wild Swimming presented by Alice Roberts, the idea of it looked lovely, it seemed so peaceful and I thought I might like to try it. But then, she went caving. It gave me goosebumps all over, and flashbacks of The Descent, perhaps it is because of my fear of caves, and fresh water that I am driven to create pieces about them.

The idea for the piece is that shapes coming up from the depths would only reveal the very tip, and disappear into the darkness. However, when I got the bronzes back I had to rethink the colour. Grey on brown, hrmm.

Grand Cenote Dive

One thing I have learned about selling my work in galleries is that it has to make an impact in some way, whether it is size, colour, detail, texture. I has to have something about it. Color is very important particularly when it comes to glass, people love bright shiny colorful pieces of glass, and it has to be an appropriate size for them to have in their home as well, British homes are notoriously small. So I took inspiration from the cenotes, and decided on a deep blue glass that will still give the same effect of the shapes rising from the deep, but it is almost a pleasant piece now, the blue is inviting and reminiscent of tropical beaches and I almost want to jump in and see what is in that watery underworld.

The next step is to get the piece cast, I’m just waiting on the rest of my moulds to dry out before I can put them in the kiln. So I will have pictures to show you later of loading and firing the kiln.

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