Ahead of exhibiting at the Glaziers Art Fair this week, we caught up with two young glass artists currently employed as glass technicians within our studio team for a chat. Lianne (25) and Imogen (23) have both joined Daedalian in the last 12 months after graduating university and work under the mentorship of Daedalian Glass Studios founder, Davia Walmsley.
Here is what they have to say:
Could we start by learning a little about you? What inspired you to choose glass as a medium for your art?
Imogen: My main interest is in glassblowing as I am captivated by the process of hot glass. I enjoy the spontaneity of the process as it allows me to embrace the fluidity of the material to produce organic forms. It is this flexibility that attracts me most.
Lianne: I was introduced to glass when I started my degree in 3D design. It was the material itself that I found interesting – the added element of light which intrigued me. Colour plays a big part in my work and the colour changes that happen when light is reflected or transmitted constantly amazes me. I find glass is a very challenging material to work with but the end product makes all the hard work worthwhile.
So how long have you been at Daedalian Glass Studios and can you briefly sum up a `typical day’s work` here?
Lianne: I have been here for exactly a year now. There is no typical day though, all our projects are so unique so it changes – for example this morning I was working on the computer doing design work but this afternoon I am doing some polishing and cold working. On other days I could be sandblasting, mould making, laminating, the list goes on… I have even been on-site which was interesting because we work on the glass here, sometimes for months on end, but rarely get to see the finished product `in situ`.
Imogen: Yeah, I have been working here for almost 3 months – joining after I graduated university. I work on numerous projects so like Lianne said there is no `typical day. So far though my work had been focussed largely around the cold working process. This is great because it is expanding my skill set and I am developing in an area I have not previously had as my main focus.
Ok, so now about your own work – could you tell me a little about your projects for Glaziers Art Fair and your inspiration behind them?
Imogen: I will be displaying the work I did in my final year at university. This collection of pieces was inspired by the metamorphosis of butterflies and moths and I captured the changing stages of their physical form in blown glass. I really enjoyed this project and I have exhibited pieces from the collection before at the New Designers Show 2016. It was also featured in the New Graduate Review 2016 and will be in an upcoming edition of Craft and Design magazine.
Lianne: Mine is about how you deal with emotions- all the things you experience day-to-day. I expressed it through glass using the theme of internal clarity and external obscurity symbolising the way we feel things but don’t always show them to others. I used to work with nature, taking inspiration mainly from water but this is more personal for me. During my final year of university and in the years prior to that I mostly explored fusing and whilst I still enjoy fusing, my ideas have developed towards cast glass.
Have you seen my questions? My next was whether your style has changed at all as you have developed as an artist?
Lianne: Haha, I have always liked casting but it is more about having the skills and access to materials – which I do at Daedalian. I used to create wall hangings, bowls, lighting… that kind of thing… recently I am focussing on more sculptural forms.
Imogen: Well, I haven’t had that much time to change – I’m a new artist, but I guess I started by making quite functional pieces but have moved towards more decorative forms now. This happened quite naturally, I didn’t decide to change my style but I found greater inspiration to create decorative glass—there is more freedom to imagine new forms and create unique pieces.
“I think it is really important for a studio to continually find and hire fresh young artists. Whilst we encourage and train them – they bring new ideas, new innovations, and a real enthusiasm that helps to ensure that, as a studio, we remain relevant.”
– Davia Walmsley
The Glaziers’ Art Fair will take place at Glaziers’ Hall on 25 and 26 October 2016, with over 50 exhibitors showcasing glass art; together with selected works in other media.