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Beautiful Butterflies & Magnificent Moths

I am most certainly not the first glass artist to immortalise the beauty of butterflies and magnificence of moths in glass; these are creatures that have captivated the imagination and fascination of artists from all disciplines for centuries. Deeply motivated by the risk of extinction many species face as a direct result of human activity, my Lepidoptera sculptures are intended as a celebration of their beauty and a physical embodiment of threatened fragility, culminating in an artistic, yet accurate likeness of living creatures. I make only one of each species or sub-species; accentuating the vulnerability of their existence in the medium of glass. I set myself a tidy task in the pursuit of creating larger than life scale sculptures; on average around 2 – 3 times larger than the living counterpart depending on the species. The logistical issues of weight, balance and faithful detailing demand a variety of creation techniques. The wings need to replicate wafer thin fragility and in many cases the photonic properties of butterfly wings. All Lepidoptera have different body and thorax sizes, shapes and textures; moth bodies are particularly ‘hairy’, so I model several body shapes in clay and make silicone moulds for waxes. Placing the […]
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Collecting the Dream

The thirteenth edition of the Craft Council’s, Collect 2017, 2nd – 6th Feb at the Saatchi Gallery, Chelsea, is without a doubt the premiere craft event in the UK. I was fortunate to enjoy a very private, private view of all the works there after we’d completed Vessel Gallery stand build. I was overwhelmed by sensory overload as I floated from one stand to the next. Joseph Walsh’s olive ash Enignum shelf is a remarkable feat of carpentry skill, composition and sculptural form. Steffen Dam’s Cabinet of Curiosities had me utterly mesmerised; a combination of blown and cast glass ‘fossils’ that encapsulate the artist’s superb skills and imagination. Hattori Makiko’s ‘Shirushi’, porcelain masterpiece is simply stunning and just has to be seen to be appreciated. Of course, my passion is glass and there is a magnificent array of the very finest on show, many of whom are represented by Vessel Gallery. Enemark & Thompson’s new Platina collection had even seasoned glass makers gazing in fascination at the magical internal structures. Backhaus & Brown and Egevaerk’s masterfully crafted glass and oak Viking ships are captivating show goers, whilst James Lethbridge’s glistening Midas jars bedazzle. My visit to London Glassblowing’s stand saw […]
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Trumpet Blowing (Nothing whatsoever to do with Donald!)

Show season has begun with verve and many of us are tearing about the country with overstuffed vehicles from one stand build to the next. I’ve just returned from Top Drawer at Olympia, unloaded my poor overworked little van and am ploughing through the follow up mail and calls – the bit all we self deprecating arty types hate with a passion! However, for the really tough job, up front and centre on the stand, I have a secret weapon: her name is Amanda; a devoted protagonist and promoter of my work. Quite frankly, I don’t know what I’d do without her. She can say and do what I simply cannot; wax lyrical. And this is a problematical Catch 22 that affects all artists and craftsmen representing themselves; how do you blow your own trumpet, without actually sounding as though you’re blowing your own trumpet? Of course we’re proud of our work, it wouldn’t be on the stand if we weren’t; it would be languishing in the studio ‘sin bin’. But there’s a huge difference between pride and hubris when it comes to self-promotion and too much or too little of either can be disastrous. The hard truth of it […]
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