Friday, September 17, 2010

Glass Artist Katherine Lys

Katherine Lys is a glass artist originally from Calgary, Canada, where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in glass. She is currently living and working in Perth. Lys has been the recipient of several awards and exhibits regionally and nationally. Her focus is blown glass, but she also works with glass fusing and slumping, as well as woodcarving and life drawing.
Katherine's work centers around juxtaposition - how one colour lays against another, or how two materials highlight each other's qualities.  However, she is more interested in the subtle discrepencies rather than stark contrast - asking what makes us the same, rather than what makes us different? 
Katherine is currently working with Anne Clifton who's exhibition we have on display until the 18th of September. If you flick back to the earlier post on 'how to make a furnace' you will see both Anne and Katherine working their magic with glass.

Friday, September 10, 2010

“New Chevron: Bead Objects of Desire” A collectable contemporary look at an ancient tradition of glassmaking by Anne Clifton

“New Chevron: Bead Objects of Desire” A collectable contemporary look at an ancient tradition of glassmaking. On show at Breathing Colours Gallery from Tuesday 7th until Sat 18th September.

Making glass beads has become a very popular hobby throughout Australia. With numerous classes and workshops on making your own glass beads, it is no surprise we see so many of them throughout shops, galleries and market stalls. With such a flooded market however, the term glass bead can conjure up some unfortunate images.

Anne Clifton has this same passion for making beads but unlike many of the others, she is a glassmaker by profession. These are glass beads unlike any you’ve seen before. With such amazing colours, patterns and exquisite workmanship, these are beautiful objects in their own right without any need to be attached to a necklace. Each piece is very carefully finished to the highest standard with every edge smoothed and every side polished. They feel like little treasures when you hold them in your hand.

“I do have a fascination with beads: seashells with holes in them, limestone with holes in it, driftwood with holes in it, tools, cans, really anything with a hole in it is a bead to me.
I think this stems from an overly abundant childhood full of frustrations. Wanting to create but not having the technology to do ANYTHING. So basically things with holes became my doorway to art”

Anne was born in the South West Tall Timbers country of Western Australia. At the age of four, her family moved to the US as her parents thought it “the best place for educating girls.” Here Anne spent the long summer holidays traipsing around the continent. History, Geography, and Sociology were constant topics and every roadside marker had its relevance to The Education. As a result Anne’s constant source of interest and amusement was more knowledge. Upon their return to Australia, Anne’s thirsty mind naturally turned to the arts, here she was able to play at processes, techniques of expression and heavy machinery.

Many years later finally hot glass has stopped this dilettante –ism. That, and a partner who knows more about something than she does. The result is Glass Manifesto, the studio and gallery Anne established in 2003 with her partner Peter Bowles. Check out their website for more examples of Anne and Peter’s work.

New jewellery By Mollusc Designs

We have just displayed exciting new jewellery by Mollusc Design! this is a small sample of the extensive collection of rings, bangles and earrings we have in the gallery.

'Mollusc Design' is union, concept, and vision of 2 artists/designers based in Sydney, Australia: Scott Symington and Voola Taka-Symington.

Our work merges qualified study (Cert. Dip. Bachelor Fine-art, Graphic Design, Jewellery making) with different cultural influences, travel, life experiences, and a shared lifetime passion to connect through use of the eye/hand/soul.

Beauty can be found everywhere, and this is where we seek it, painstakingly sourcing inspiration and materials, striving to create unique designs,with the inventive use of resin, precious and semi precious stones and metals, recycled and found objects.

All pieces are high quality, handmade originals. Limited reproduction is possible only where materials allow. Custom ordering is a welcomed challenge.

'Mollusc Design' is about creating, exploring, experimenting, erring, learning and growing.

'Mollusc Design is the love of art and life in all its forms and glory.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Making a Furnace Bead by Anne Clifton

Anne gives us an insight into the making process for her upcoming exhibition "New Chevron: Bead Objects of Desire" on display at Breathing Colours from next Tuesday 7th until Sat 18th September.

I call them Latticino's because that's how we make the cane (but without the bubble)

Firstly start with the colour choice. Then you have to decide whether the bead is going to have an overlay colour centre (gives depth) or just an opaque centre. I have decided on tea with a white stringer pattern for simplicity.

Pre-made encased stringers save time

Many colours to choose from

I cut the stringers and preheat them in an optic mold and I cut the colour and preheat it in a small kiln

this is a small torch just tickling the canes to keep them warmish - too hot and I get scuff from the optic mold

you have to remember which colour is which because they all look the same when pre-heated!

I preheat my blowing iron and Katherine picks up the colour and gets it nice and hot for me but we have to share the glory hole - it's even trickier when there are three of us!

the colour being picked up and shaped for heating

sharing...note my lowly position within the glory hole

The warm colour is 'dropped over the top' for me to put on my iron

I 'thumb' a bubble just to start me off and gather clear glass

Blowing the bubble by trapping the air in the pipe with my thumb

gathering from 1130C (look still got the hairs on my arm)

After the gather I block, shape and drop the glass into the mold



gone - stringers picked up and pressing them into the bubble on the marver

Heat, marver, blow, heat, marver, blow

Gather, block

too quick for the camera obviously

It's all action

Katherine makes a cookie (post) and I get the heat back into it. Katherine's cookie is a pulling tool

and then we pull and twist. The even-ness of the twist is determined by my end, Katherine just needs to keep up. (In the opposite direction!)

and pull and twist then cut legnths when cool (Anneal seperately, then cut grind and polish)


and people still ask me 'but what can you do with it?"