The Big Debut

As mentioned in my previous post, I spent months developing the concept behind my new body of work. Once I decided on glass as my new medium, I had a long road ahead of me to figure out what the pieces would actually look like. One thing that I knew for certain, I did not want to make something that has existed before. I did not want to make a variation of someone else’s work…I wanted this work to me uniquely my own.  I researched all types of glass, and the glass jewelry that is already out there, and all of those ideas and concepts were OUT!  So I started to make lists of words that I wanted my new line to be—how would I like the new work to feel? What kind of emotion would I like this new work to evoke? What were the characteristics of the material I’d like to highlight? I also made a list of all the words that I felt described my husband’s work, and those ideas were out as well. So, what I was left with was a long list of abstract thoughts that I would obsess about. I immersed myself in youtube and internet searches, and made a file in my computer of any image that I found  even remotely inspiring.

My next step was taking  some pieces of cast-off glass from my husbands studio and actually playing with the material. Glass is not all that different than acrylic in looks, but very different in feel and workability. My acrylic work has always focused on bold colors and shapes that defined my general style, but in the new body of work, I am aiming  to start something fresh…something more subtle and nuanced. I have never really explored texture before, so that seemed like obvious new territory for me. I decided I would like more subtle colors—dichroic glass seemed like a perfect solution. My husband helped me laminate some optical glass to the dichroic sheets before I left for my class in Corning so that I had several pieces ready to go with an ‘engravable’ surface. (For those that are unfamiliar with dichroic glass, it is a glass sheet that is chemically treated so that  is has an opalescent quality…the pieces literally change color depending on the angle or what is backing it). For my shapes, I wanted something organic and rounded, and for the surfaces, I wanted to give the pieces an obvious human touch (without the pieces being amateurish or sloppy—in this day and age of computer generated everything, I feel that an obvious human touch is of utmost importance).  Given that I am by no means an engraving expert after one week of classes, this was a tall order!

This first series of pieces were very much inspired by my new material–I am exhilarated by the fluidity, and translucence of glass, and the play of light and depth that can be achieved.  I’ve decided to construct the sterling elements and then carve back into the glass so the metal becomes an integral part of the design, my goal is for my materials to have a symbiotic existence.

Anyway, here are some of the finished pieces from this first series. I feel rejuvenated, and can’t wait to explore and create more! I can’t wait for my engraving machine to be delivered!

Before I leave,  I’d like to say a quick prayer to the show gods: Please, dear shows gods, find this work worthy of getting into some shows. I am throwing this all out to the universe once again. Please, don’t leave me hanging. Amen.

Carved/Engraved Glass and Sterling Silver Jewelry