Kiln Fired Glass

The inspiration for my eclectic glass designs derive from different periods of development and interests. The "Klimt Coral" series of millefiori bowls was an exploration of an ancient Venetian technique. The millefiori canes are made in Venice as they have been for 2000 years. Cut into cross sections and arranged in patterns for fusing at high temperature, the resulting disc is subsequently slumped through a mould to yield a delicate piece, of intricate beauty, with the surprise of a distinctly different pattern on the underside.

Originally inspired by the great Impressionist's water lily paintings, the Billabong series began after a visit to Kakadu National Park. The profusion of water plants glistening in the bright light seemed ideally suited to representation with irridized glass. The metallic coating reflects light in many hues, giving great depth to the piece. Paradoxically, all of this disappears when the glass is held up to the light, much as detail is lost when one dives below the surface of the water.

Glass is a supercooled liquid rather than a solid and seems particularly appropriate for the depiction of both water and fire. The "Magma Australis" series was inspired by a visit to an erupting volcano. The magma oozes to the surface and immediately begins to cool, aquiring a silvery, reflective skin before burning black and hard. This dynamic phase is captured in the large red bowls with their floating, multicoloured skins on black fragments and shards. Despite its ancient origins, parts of Australia are still subject to seismic activity and old volcanic remnants abound.

The preceding series were the start of a great adventure which continues today. The patterns achievable with the Millefiori were too predictable and the enamel colours too unstable for repeated firing. This encouraged me to experiment with making my own multi-coloured, patterned canes and from this process an extensive visual vocabulary evolved. The early simple Magma and Billabong series live on as recurring motifs, but the designs became more complex. Layering and multiple firings allowed the illusion of perspective and depth which grew through the Capricornia Series.