Using handmade glass I employ a variety of techniques such as acid etching, painting and staining. Employing these techniques, some of which have changed little since the 11th century, I create contemporary unique pieces, from large architectural works to small-scale lightboxes.
My artistic process is of course far broader than the technicalities of working on glass. The purpose of the Process section is to explain how I work and develop a commissioned piece.
Firstly the site is a vital component of any glass work. Stained glass must be both sympathetic to its surroundings and also enter into a dialogue with, and ultimately transform it. The quality of light varies greatly according to whether the piece will face North, South, East or West.
So my initial step will be to visit the site with the client and get a feel for the site’s orientation and how the work will establish a relationship with the space, the building and its potential viewers.
From the qualities of the site in conjunction with the client’s requirements and expectations I have a foundation for the work to begin. A sympathetic and informed client is of course a vital part of the work’s success, and a productive relationship will bring about the best outcome for all concerned. I believe that in commissioning me the client knows my work and, after the initial approval, they must trust me.
After these initial consultations there usually follows a period of research and gestation. As ideas begin to take shape I will typically begin a series of drawings. Art cannot be predicted or planned in advance, and unfolds and reveals itself even while it is being produced. For me the physical process and repetition of drawing brings about a deeper understanding of the concepts and themes, and engagement with the developing work.
When my drawing develops to a stage where I have a clear understanding of the direction the work needs to go I will make a presentation to the client. Upon approval I will then move towards producing the finished work.
There are a number of stages in the making of a stained glass panel. Though each is different it is my endeavour to bring life to each stage and further add strength to the piece. My ultimate goal is for the finished work to retain the vibrancy and life of the creative process and transcend the technical aspects of stained glass.
Eventually the final work is produced and all of the elements of the process culminate in a fully developed piece. Unlike many traditional glass-makers, this artist does not simply hand over the designs but takes the time to re-examine the colour, the composition, and the quality of each individual piece of glass at the various stages, and decides whether there is any further development required to ensure the integrity of the piece.