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Guess who’s back!
Yes I know BIG surprise to see me back here on word press after all it has been a whole TWO YEARS since my last post. Don’t worry however because I’ve been keeping myself plenty busy over the last two years to write an extra lengthy entry to help fill the passage of time. So lets get started!
My second year at Sunderland University studying BA (Hons) Glass and Ceramics ended in style with the Dry Run Exhibition hosted by the Shipley Art Gallery Gateshead.
From May the 21st till May the 27th 2016. I had the honour of exhibiting my art work ‘Clarity’ alongside my fellow class members at the Shipley Art Gallery. Whilst the duration of our exhibition might have only been for a short amount of time the knowledge I learnt and the pride I felt will forever stay with me.
My piece ‘Clarity’ is one of the few glass artworks I would come to create during my time at Sunderland University. Suspended within a stainless steel frame the delicate pate de verre sheets of glass embody the peace and tranquillity of church windows. My first true love within the field of glass art. The piece plays upon my fears and expectations of glass, I fear its fragility yet expect the elegance and calmness the medium has always presented me with. Since exhibiting at the Shipley, ‘Clarity’ has become part of a private collection displayed in the sun so it is never without light.
Find out more about the Shipley Art Gallery: https://shipleyartgallery.org.uk/
Following my second year at Sunderland University I entered my third and last year on my BA (Hons) Glass and Ceramics Course, this climaxed with my ‘Glass & Ceramics 2017 Degree Show’ hosted by the National Glass Centre in Sunderland.
Starting from June 9th and concluding on June the 15th 2017 I once again was honoured to showcase my ceramic artwork ‘No Names Just Numbers’ alongside my class members within the Riverside Suite.
‘No Names Just Numbers’ is inspired by the controversial subject of animal testing, focusing on the animals themselves and the impact it has on the test subjects both physically and mentally. The finished piece shows the “cycle” of testing within the industry, the seven piece collection of press moulded ceramics rabbits are all at different degrees of decay expect for the centre piece which is flawless representing the passing of the products the rabbits had suffered to create.
Each figured is glazed using a earthenware lichen glaze before being fired a third time within a raku environment. The glaze itself whist not a raku recipe reached beautifully within the heated smoky environment which raku creates. Each figure gave different results despite all being subject to the same glaze.
Since its showing at the National Glass Centre, ‘No Names Just Numbers’ has gone on to showcase at New Designers 2017, Business Design Park London, Part One 28th June – 01 July 2017.
Upon its return to the North East the seven piece collection was reduced to six after the centre rabbit, (the embodiment of perfection) was sold to a private collector.
To find out more about the National Glass Centre: http://www.nationalglasscentre.com/
Where am I now?
After completely my Ba (Hons) Degree in Glass and Ceramics I was originally planning on taking a year out of my studies in order to find my next big source of inspiration however after much deliberation decided to continue on with my education and start my Masters Degree in Glass and Ceramics.
Currently this is the monumental task I have set myself, study hard and work harder in order to prove to myself that I am able to process more in the field in which I love. Further more I wish to learn more about the mysterious of the glass and ceramics and find out more about the materials which I have surrounded myself in over the last five years from my first steps at Newcastle Collage to my leaps at Sunderland University.
Hope to see you all soon..
Inspired by my story? Want to try it for yourself?
Vanessa Cutler is a contemporary glass artist focused on pushing the parameters of glass, to be more pacific she is driven towards pushing water-jet cutting technology. Water-jet cut glass is a reasonably new art form, over the last couple of years water-jet cutting technology has evolved dramatically thanks to artists such as Vanessa Cutler, whose work pushes the technologies limits in order for it to improve.
During my time at Sunderland University I have been made aware on many an occasion that we as students are very privileged in terms of materials and equipment. In fact at present we stand the only University in the country to have a water-jet cutter available to students as well as visiting artists. When I first saw the machine myself I was blown away really, It’s impressive and by that I mean it’s big and intimating. It’s size coupled with the technology and endless complex programs used to power the machine leaves me at times very confused but none the less impressed at the skill and knowledge that goes into working such technology.
Personally I find Cutlers work inspiring in terms of her material usage and the about of personal research which goes into each piece of artwork. To an untrained eye her work could be seen as simple and easy to make however in truth the reality is much different. Within her work Cutler incorporates complex geometric patterns and forms and exhibits them in a very ‘natural’ manner. From this I point towards her use, or lack of use of colour. She prefers to let the material show its own beauty letting the cut lines created portray its own meaning.
I will admit that the way Vanessa Cutler has worked towards mastering this art of water-jet cutting has left me inspired and also jealous in a sense. To have such a drive to go and not only explore a field but to then commit and master that art is in my own opinion highly commendable, her work is a testament showing that if you keep pushing forward you can achieve many things.
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