Autumn 2017: CGS Conference 14-15 October M-Shed Bristol

CONNECTIONS: Glancing backwards, seeing the present, focusing on the future

Anticipation for the conference had been building and it did not disappoint! What a wonderful weekend full to the brim with glass, glass and more glass – huge thanks to the organisers and everyone who attended to make it such an exciting two days.

M Shed

Bristol’s M- Shed was our venue and up on the second floor we had a view across to the Cathedral and down onto the activities below. Peter Layton opened the event with memories of the early days of studio glass – a theme to be continued. Peter is a linchpin of the contemporary studio glass movement and he is much respected internationally as well as in the UK, a good mentor for many. Following on from Peter was Colin Reid whose much loved outstanding work is the envy of all and anyone who visited the International Festival of Glass Biennale would have seen him win the people’s prize for his stunning sculpture. When he needs space to think he takes himself off on his sailing yacht for a few days of solitary reflection and ironically he missed the second day having to leave early to make the yacht safe from the incoming Ophelia. It is wonderful to have role models like Peter and Colin but we turned to Patricia Van Den Akker for hints on how to become one yourself, how to make the most of the your skills and be a good businessperson – a course is on offer to CGS members in 2018. Also the envy of many present is the skilful precision of Jade Tapson’s screen printed discs and in her talk she generously shared her technique. Seen at the Biennale I thought they were an adaptation of cane work similar to the technique used by Scott Benefield but I was completely wrong! Already after just one morning common themes were emerging about sharing vs secrecy, legacies and new techniques for the future.

David Reekie – the importance of foam in packaging your work

I attended the seminars after lunch: watching David Reekie show us how to pack our work was very therapeutic and quite a performance – lots of thick foam, 4mm ply, heavy cardboard boxes and duct tape are the ingredients – plus the odd platter by Max Jacquard and a sculpture or two of David’s to make it real.

Meanwhile Jacque Pavlosky shared the experiences of our Askett Studio Group to great effect resulting in a number of enquiries to join – it doesn’t quite work like that but it’s flattering. Susan Purser Hope gave us some great insights from her experiences of working with communities – schools, dementia groups, all sorts of situations. Nothing seemed too much trouble for Susan and I think it would be a lot of fun to be on one of her projects.

The Great Glass Drop got underway a little quicker than even the organisers expected as the boxes containing charity shop tumblers were enthusiastically chucked from the 2nd floor to the entrance hall below.The chuckers tried their best but in the end only a couple broke and there was more excitement surrounding the opening than for the drop.

Sunday dawned a sunny day, Bristol was not really awake as we started with Martin Donlin’s exhilarating talk about his stained glass, which, to me, has something of Patrick Heron and Marc Chagall in it, and it is just wonderful. His work is on a huge scale and he has grown his skills with the available technologies, ruefully admitting to missing working in lead. Tales of working with hydrofluoric acid at college made us cringe and fear for his longevity but without that careless youth the bravura of his design may well have been lost. We liked that he stays true to the materials of stained glass seeking out makers of antique glass to achieve the desired effects.

Contrasting Martin’s excellence in design and technique Andy McConnell shared his expertise of glass, talking particularly about scent bottles – providing masses of illustrations of glass from 50BC to the present day. His irreverent views and encyclopaedic knowledge of his subject was informative and amusing and if you wonder why there do not seem to be many scent bottles about it is because he probably has bought most of them! This brought us neatly onto the topic of collecting and the mysterious world of the Collector. What motivates them to buy the glass, what do they look for, where do they put it all, is there a secondary market? It is wonderful to have enthusiastic collectors like Alan J. Poole, Mark Holford, Mike Barnes and Andy McConnell but it was noted that the UK is very different from the US where glass makers are held in high regard and collecting is a big thing. This does mean the few collectors in the UK have rich pickings from the high quality work produced in the UK but the makers can struggle to find buyers, although it was noted UK glassmakers are not good at marketing themselves…

The last talk of the morning was by Philip Baldwin and Monica Guggisberg – I’d often wondered how they came up with their novel work, what motivated them and how they had managed to still be producing after all these years. A technical hitch at the start of their presentation gave more than a hint to their collaborative problem solving and their images a sense of their free spirit – they are not a couple who are contained or constrained by any boundaries. Life is for living in the present, for having fun and for respecting the hardship of others alongside your own good fortune. We’d have loved to see some images of their work but now we must go and look them up… and we are no nearer to knowing how they make it.

We continued the day at fast pace, not forgetting to spend time talking to the suppliers and buying from them – frames, glass, printing on glass, 3d printing with glass, new colours from bullseye and updates on spectrum and bullseye supply. Northlands the glass centre beyond Inverness was also there telling us about their opportunities.

Time to Share was a random group of CGS members, including me, who talked about their own work or someone else’s that was special to them. It was interesting to hear people’s stories and I enjoyed Sue Tinkler linking a little piece of glass that had inspired her to begin with her present work tutored by the maker of that first inspiration. We heard how themes of colour and textile design merge and appear in glass form, how new work comes out of adversity and how people step out of their comfort zone to try a new technique and to talk about it. My own contribution was my talisman, the little GAS2002 signet ring in glass cane work that I was awarded for making the winning fishing float in the Scariest to Fish category at the GAS conference installation in Amsterdam. GAS will be in Europe in Murano 2018 – hurrah!

Two more panel sessions in which we were able to ask suppliers and experts all kinds of questions filled us with lots more ideas, gave us solutions but also left us feeling a little depressed about the decline in wages for teaching . Tutors who had been teaching for many years are now earning less than when they started –  new approaches to transferring skills is clearly needed. Key themes from the second day were the important & growing role of suppliers in education now arts and crafts are diminishing in schools and colleges; pushing the limits of what glass can do and pushing at boundaries to achieve more by working out of your comfort zone such as working on a huge scale.

What is the next big thing in glass? Difficult to tell but certainly accessible projects for hobbyists, schools & communities are beginning to grow interest in the medium. Greater inclusion and diversity in the industry is needed – class appears less of an issue, more so ethnicity – something to think about as we were bar one an exclusively white western audience, although online exhibitions are more inclusive so maybe accessibility is the issue.

Overall it was a great two days – everyone was happy to talk, share their experiences, and wanted to learn more and we came back buzzing.
Now to the studio to document it all and get the ideas into the note books before time dilutes them.

And finally let us not forget the history of the Wharf where the M-Shed is located

Summer 2017 – Exhibitions!

It’s that time of year when Artists and Crafts People all over the UK have a mass show and tell. In Buckinghamshire we have Bucks Open Studios running from the 10 to 25 June and this year I am showing and demonstrating my work with nine members of the Askett Studio Artists Group. 10-6 Weds – Sun (closed Mon & Tues) Askett House, HP27 9LT.  Find us on the website bucksopenstudios.org.uk .

We are a group of mostly glass artists who come together in different collectives to exhibit our work, invite experts to teach us Master classes or just to meet up at the studio to get on with our work, share ideas and enjoy ourselves in the process. I’m exhibiting at three more events this year. The first is the Waddesdon Manor Feast Weekend 17 – 18 June. Askett Studio artists have each made glass roundels displayed on ironwork stands for outdoor sculptures and a selection will be on show near the amphitheatre.

I’ll be keeping my Facebook page ‘janevincentglass’ up to date with photos from all the events so if you can’t attend in person do have a look, or follow my Twitter @abbeyrisestudio

Our next exhibition is ‘In a New Light’ at the International Festival of Glass in Stourbridge 25 – 28 August 10am – 5pm ifg.org.uk. This will be the premier of our new collection inspired by Waddesdon Manor, the National Trust/Rothschild Foundation  Chateau in Buckinghamshire. I will be exhibiting three leaded stained glass panels and a small installation piece.

Two leaded panels in clear textured glass form a diptych ‘Below Stairs I and II’. They are designed from the shapes and patterns of two of the seven servants’ staircases in the Manor House. Used only for house parties there were very few permanent household staff employed at Waddesdon Manor, with most employees maintaining the grounds. Kitchen and household staff came with the guests from their London homes and the servants’ staircases enabled them to carry out their duties without interrupting guests.

The third stained glass panel ‘Below Stairs: The Meal’ celebrates the staff and their roles during the visit of the Shah of Persia on 10 July 1896. It is a collaborative project with Marilia Carvalho who shared in the final execution of the panel, in particular applying her expert skills in leading the panel, which is 90cm square.  Designed to fit into the hatch opening in the dresser that covers an entire wall in the kitchen (now the Restaurant) the panel contains archive images of kitchen staff, Manor rooms and grounds as well as facsimiles from the Visitors’ Book on the day. You may be reading this because you have used the QR code printed and fired onto a glass tile in the panel to provide the link to this website. All the images on the panel are a clue to something at Waddesdon Manor and can be used to explore the Manor House, its grounds and its history.

As you can imagine there was a lot of work involved in making the three leaded panels and in the course of my research at the Rothschild Archives Windmill Hill I discovered all the staff record cards for the 19th and early 20th century. Many of the original staff were born in the mid 19th century and had jobs which no longer exist today. The cards recorded wages, pensions, date of leaving (or death) and reasons for departure. There were periods when the staff were ‘let go’ and others who went to Australia or left to join the forces in war. In my installation piece ‘Memories of Waddeson’ I present a selection of glass record cards in a bureau drawer.

Selected information from staff records is reproduced & hand painted on each glass card, on the reverse is a short narrative description of the work of that individual or additional information about them. One record is for an honorarium – a means to pay a wage to the Headmaster of a group of boys who all fled Germany in 1939 and were given refuge in Waddesdon village by the Rothschild family. Memorialising these people in this way provides a permanent record that will last beyond the time when the paper cards have crumbled to dust.

If you are attending the Biennale opening night on the 24th August you can catch first sight of our exhibition as you walk towards the entrance.  Our Private View is on Friday 25 August at 5 – 6.30pm (we open at 10am the same day) . Whilst in Stourbridge we have also been invited to give a Presentation on 26 August 2pm to talk about our working together as artists and I’m pleased to be chairing this as a panel discussion. The artists exhibiting at the IFG are Jane Vincent, Marilia Carvalho, Jacque Pavlosky, Wendy Newhofer, Jackie Banfill, Claudia Phipps, Adele Gowrie, Anne-Marie Lowe, Vital Peeters, Purnima Patel, Jessica Ecott, Julie Light, Kate Galley, Linda Morley, Miranda Diamond, Janie Davies.

You can find out more about ‘In a New Light’ and the artists exhibiting by looking at the web site  askettglassstudio.com
My final exhibition is with CGS also at the International Festival of Glass. It is the 20th Anniversary Year for CGS and we are contributing to a postcard size exhibition ‘Celebrations’ My little piece celebrates the c940 members of CGS by using all their initials to illustrate oak leaves drawn on both sides of a medallion plaque.

‘The Infinite Mix’ – 25 November 2016 London

The Hayward Gallery in London has a temporary exhibition space at 180 The Strand, the rear of which overlooks the South Bank downstream of Waterloo Bridge and towards the renovations at the Hayward.   In the dark the London Eye and the OXO Tower stand out in red fluorescent with an up down castellated skyline of white lights between. These smudgy photos taken through dirty windows with my mobile are a view of the Southbank  you don’t often get to see.

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You can read about theinfinitemix.com for yourself – each audio visual work was presented in a large space entered via a dark passage, so dark it became disorientating at times, surprisingly no-one used their phone to light the way. Like the party game of statues you stepped over the real or invisible obstacles of humans or nothingness in deep darkness only to be suddenly illuminated by a rush of colour of white light from the image on screen – especially in THANX 4 NOTHING Ugo Rondinone (2015).

img_5835No heating on a chilly night in vast slightly lit space between the art works made for dynamic installations of reflections in the glass walls and against the brightly lit world outside. The person in green and white was in the midst of a group of five, the silhouette figures are queuing for the fun Bom Bom’s Dream Jeremy Deller and Cecilia Bengolea (2016). Ironically at the same time Picadilly Circus and Soho had been plunged into darkness by a power failure.

Each of the audio visual works challenged you differently, none in a completely innovative way which was a bit disappointing, However, for me the narrative content of Everything and More (2015) Rachel Rose was most memorable. David Wolf, US astronaut, narrates his experience of being in space and the disorientation of returning to earth. He talks of floating inside his space suit whilst letting go of everything but a single tether on a spacewalk, of his wrist watch feeling as heavy as a bowling ball on return to earth’s gravity and of the separate smells experienced after the odourlessness of the filtered air in the spacecraft. The accompanying music sounded like it was about to crash into the crescendo of Dark Side of the Moon which was a bit distracting but the visual patterns and the music complemented the spoken word well.

I ran out of time to see everything but the hologram of the ghostly apparition of the Maria Callas styled opera singer burst into the aria just as I reached the optimal position to view OPERA (QM.15) (2016) Domiique Gozalez-Foerster and was a suitable denouement.

It is with thanks to David Frohlich that together with others linked by our association with the University of Surrey’s Digital World Research Centre surrey.ac.uk/dwrc that we met to visit the exhibition and then chat at the impromptu venue of Itsu on The Strand. Apart from sharing our thoughts of the exhibition we also explored with Ethel Davies’ her fantastic 3D photographs – see 3dphotolibrary.com (you’ll need some 3D specs) and plenty of ideas for collaborations ensued.

The Infinite Mix. A Hayward Gallery off-site exhibition presented in collaboration with The Vinyl Factory at The Store 180 The Strand, London finishes 4 December 2016

 

Day out to Glaziers Art Fair 26 October 2016

Glaziers Art Fair 2016

An opportunity to visit the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass venue in Southwark to see a multitude of glass makers and artists showing their work was too good an opportunity to miss and it did not disappoint. Perhaps the only frustration was for the exhibitors as so few tickets had sold – perhaps £10 admission, no advance catalogue or online catalogue was a deterrent for many. However, the lack of visitors turned the event into a kind of symposium as artists found they had time to explore each other’s work, chat and reflect on their own work and talk about what else they do.

Handed a catalogue on arrival I discovered there were around 60 exhibitors in 4 areas of the building organised in no particular order and this blog follows my random wanderings and chats.

Lynnette Wrigley, whose stained glass sourcebook has been used by many of us showed a variety of fused work.Based in Hammersmith, her quill feathers and delicate frit work painting of a blue tit were her standout pieces. We had an interesting chat about the perils of publishing and surviving as women glassmakers in the 70’s and 80’s – food for thought.

The Lemons’ geometric colourful woodcut prints and glossy blue glazed ceramics were refreshing. Father and daughter Thomas and Rachel from Rainham and Brighton were lovely to chat with – colours, glazes and West Ham – you never know where a conversation may take you.

Rachel Elliott’s stand was covered with her water jet cut animals and delicate jewellery made with spectrum glass printed with animals and motifs. Based in Glasgow she has a great variety of work and courses on screen printing on glass – just what I’m looking for!

Moving on past the photographer, the seamstress and some more glass I reach ‘This is Alice’ – a small exhibition of conceptual pieces, different body parts squeezed  inside the base of bottles – fingers, ear, lips. Wistful and sad rather than celebratory Alice Wheatley’s work leaves many unanswered questions and opened the door into the inner artist. Sandwiched between the glass practitioner makers’ stands on either side it was difficult to take in.  Reflections of entrapment continued upstairs with a wonderful display of needlework and needlepoint made by prison inmates trained by Fine Cell Work, the quality and intensity of the work was incredible.

After these challenges of conceptual and therapeutic work I moved back into familiar territory and had a chat with Sarah Brown. She has a refreshing and different approach to glass with her architectural and illustrative work showing people in everyday life.  Her glass sketches of Borough Market were very effective and we shared thoughts about being inspired by Japan. Her study trip to that country recorded in images is bound in a lovely book.

Japanese artist Nobuyasu Yoshida‘s work was also different – cast pate de verre the pieces stretched dripped glass between two sides of the small work, as well as producing vessels with a felt like appearance that were smooth to touch. The Naked Craft Project stood out from the traditional and challenged boundaries – I really liked it.

The familiar work of Siddy Langley displayed by the window outclassed its neighbours and looked wonderful with many colourful and large pieces. I caught up with Siddy’s news, skylights are being installed in her gallery in Devon, more progress but always being delayed by the fun that can be had in the glass blowing studio.  After that it was back to exploring new unknown (to me) artists. Carolyn Barlow told me she was writing a poem about her response to one piece of work which was unexpected – her work had a depth that drew you in but she seemed to move onto the next before it was completely finished so it was a bit breathless and rustic. Nathalie Hildegarde Liege who is based in the West Midlands had some lovely representations of vegetables in stained glass, and Brett Manley had some dishes with 400 year old prints of the River Thames – showing Glaziers Hall.

Conversation with Jonathan Spiller about making a career in stained glass later in life, the huge number of women compared to men who have taken it up, and Chagall was enjoyable.  Jonathan is also an IT person and has produced some wonderful digital art work which is abstracted into bold stained glass that should be produced on a grand scale in church size buildings – it is not surprising that he was Highly Commended in the Steven’s Prize for his Titanic Window design.  Derek Hunt, who I remember from the BSMGP 30cm2 show in which I also exhibited, has a large portfolio of work – I talked to him about technology for replaying memories in windows and my mobile phone stained glass panel.  Maybe memorial windows could be more interactive? I’m not sure he was sold on the idea. Derek is based not far from Leicester where I’d been at University so we compared notes. Stopping to purchase Jonathan Cooke’s little ‘how to’ book on stained glass painting and to learn that he supplied Walpole stain I moved on to take a second look at Jamal Rafay’s striking painted work. The compelling eyes of the pre-Raphaelite style figures in his work draw you to look closer, he also has some humour in his little characters.  Finally, also showing was a section of the amazing stained glass windows ‘Roots of Knowledge’ made by Holdman Studios and the University of Utah, a testament to the enthusiasm and dedication of Tom Holdman and the university community it was incredibly detailed and very impressive.

Here are some links (cut and paste into your browser):

Workshops:

Glass Blowing

Adam Aaronson in Surrey  www.adamaaronson.com

Siddy Langley in Devon  www.siddy.com

Stained Glass

Jamal Rafay  in Oldbury Birmingham www.stainedglassic.com

Derek Hunt in Leicestshire www.derek-hunt.com

Lynette Wrigley in North London  www.lynettewrigley.com

Nathalie Hildegarde Liege in Shrewsbury www.couleurlive.com

Jonathan Cooke in West Yorks www.jonathancookeglasspainter.com

Illustration and Glass

Sarah Brown in Gloucs area www.s.brown.co.uk

Printing on glass

Rachel Elliott in Glasgow www.rachel-elliott.com

Other references:

Holdman Studios www.holdmanstudios.com and see also: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/oct/26/gigantic-stained-glass-window-roots-history-knowledge-tom-holdman?CMP=share_btn_fb

Fine Cell Work – www.finecellwork.co.uk

Jonathan Spiller https://making.glass

Brett Manley www.brettmanley.co.uk

Carolyn Barlow www.carolynbarlow.com

Nobuyasu Yoshida Naked Craft Project http://glassand.web.fc2.com

FYI Print your own book e.g. Blurb.co.uk

Bucks Open Studios 2016

www.bucksopenstudios.org.uk

janevincentglass@abbeyrisestudio.co.uk

www.facebook.com/janevincentglass

@abbeyrisestudio

11-4 daily 18 to 26 June

The Chapel Little Marlow Cemetery Fern Lane SL7 3SD  @glassthechapel

This is our 7th year at The Chapel in Fern Lane and this week – 10 days before opening we are busy with the last minute finishing, polishing and planning for our show.  This year we are each producing a new piece of work to the theme of the River Thames which flows through Little Marlow.  I am making a series of postcards which show the River Thames and Bourne End. Bourne End is sometimes confused with a town of the same name near Kings Langley and there is a half hearted attempt to avoid this confusion by naming our village Bourne End on Thames.  The photos are reproduced in sepia on white, cream or blue opaque glass on one side and a postcard description on the reverse. It was fun taking the photos and thinking about what might be of interest to our visitors. I can do postcards to commission using personal photos.

Over the past year I’ve been working with a group of artists – The Askett Studio Group on proposals for exhibitions. We have made rondels for a garden installation and Marilia and I made a large panel for Waddesdon Manor.  More on that when we know for sure that the exhibition at Waddeson will be happening – currently planned for 2018.  Our other submission has just been delayed until 2017 – that was at Kew Gardens.  I’m very excited about the idea of showing my work with others at Kew as I spent the first 7 years of my life living in Kew and visited so many times I still know it like it is my own garden.

I’ve also been developing and honing my mould making skills and kiln form sculptures and with the Askett Group I attended a course with Max Jacquard and made a very pleasing vessel which is now awaiting cold work – a few hours with the dremmel and polisher is need to complete it.

This is likely to be our last year at the The Chapel as we are going in different directions with our work and looking to exhibit in new ways that our little venue (still without a loo) cannot accommodate or maybe we will  be there but in a different guise…Flint and Glass

 

 

Jane Vincent Glass Abbey Rise Studio

Twitter @abbeyrisestudio

Facebook www.facebook.com/janevincentglass

Email  janevincentglass@abbeyrisestudio.co.uk

I’ve been a glass artist, designer and maker,  for over 25 years. I trained in traditional leaded stained glass methods, sculptural kiln cast work, and fused and slumped pieces. I work with stained glass, using different types and textures of coloured glass well as kiln formed and moulded glass. I hand paint, or print on the glass and also incorporate found objects, ceramic and agates into my traditionally leaded panels.

Member of the Contemporary Glass Society www.cgs.org.uk/member/228

Exhibiting this year 2016

Bucks Open Studios 18-26 June The Chapel Little Marlow Cemetery Bucks 11 – 4  http://bucksopenstudios.org.uk/  @glassthechapel

Flint and Glass

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@abbeyrisestudio