Thursday, February 12, 2009
Recently I've been fascinated with the combination of pure silver and molten glass. One day that lead to wondering "what if I made a pure white bead and wrapped pure silver wire around it". I'm probably not the first lampworker to try this but I had never seen it done.
I loved the golden hue the glass took on from the silver.
As I made more of these beads qualities of classic beauty which, to me, are simple, clean, understated, occupied my mind and feelings. I began to remember art representing the Greek Goddesses; particularly the Winged Nike of Samothrace, my all-time favorite piece of art. But nike is Greek for victory and that wasn't the quality that this collection of beads was conveying. I finally settled on Aphrodite the goddess of beauty and love as the name for the completed piece. (See Necklace and Earring Sets — NE-115).
From wire I went to silver foil as the combination with pure white glass. Again, the soft golden hue—but different. As I experimented (played) with this combination I became fascinated with the variations; variations that resulted from the relative mix of propane and oxygen in my torch flame, from how hot or cool I worked the glass, from how often I cooled the bead and reintroduced it to the flame. Even humidity seemed to make a difference as I made these beads on different days.
From "what if I made a pure white bead and wrapped pure silver wire around it" has come three necklace and earring sets. All made with just the same two materials—but quite different. (Also see NE-116 and NE-117).
Once again I have realized, Molten glass has its own organic nature and working with it successfully requires that that nature be honored. If I let it, the glass will guide me in a co-creative process. With some creative expression in mind and sufficient technical skill, I can push the limits. However, for the magic of creation to happen, I must remember that the limits are set by the glass itself.