I design and make kiln formed and cast glass pieces for both internal and external display.
Concepts are developed over time through photographs, drawings and test pieces before the final design is ready to be fired.
Experimenting with colour is magical and due to the diversity of handmade glass, no two pieces are ever the same, plus changing reflections add a dimension that cannot be duplicated in any other material.
It is thought that using soda, ash and silica to make glass probably originated 3500BC in Egypt or Mesopotamia. The glass obtained was crude, mainly used to decorate pottery, but by 1500BC a leap had been made to using a core forming method, the forerunner to our glass blowing systems of today. Some objects were made by pouring molten glass into flat moulds and when fired the pieces were slumped into shape and decorated. This is now known as kiln forming. The Greeks and Phoenicians refined both techniques, but the Romans took glass manufacturing to a different level and production became more sophisticated.
Over time, glass blowing continued to be developed throughout Europe, but Kiln–formed glass which had laid dormant for hundreds of years was revived during the Industrial revolution. Artists worldwide started experimenting with new methods and during the 1950’s the successful studio glass movement began in the U.S.
Today I have a large colour pallet to draw from, and I source my glass from America, New Zealand and Europe. The evolution in computerised kilns with good insulation, plus new types of glass like Dichroic (an offshoot of the Space Programme in America), has enabled artists to experiment with colour, temperature and technique, pushing the boundaries, and leading to the wonderful pieces we see in galleries and exhibitions today.
A Roman Glass Bowl
Selection of Glass Colours
© Geraldine McLoughlin, 2017