I am a self-taught artist inspired by the incredible beauty of nature
I work to capture not just the shape, pattern and lines of the subject, but also their character and personality. Perhaps because of my biological background, I also attempt to place the subject into a realistic and natural context, while still providing my own artistic interpretation. I collect materials wherever I go, and I am always taking photographs.
Each piece needs to be the desired shape and scale, and of course, putting down a new piece can change the relationships between the ones already in place. As a consequence, I work to get each piece right (often cutting, re-cutting and changing each piece), while also managing its relationship to the next piece and the one before, and all the time considering how it is working as a whole. This makes the work very slow going, but it is definitely mentally engaging!
Everything is designed and created by (my) hand. I hand cut each and every fragment of glass to the desired size and shape with glass nippers or cutters (I don’t use grinders or any power tools). I also occassionally use a flame torch or fuse (melt) layers of glass to create specific elements, such as eyes, noses and whiskers, to add interest and texture.
I usually have a clear idea of how I want the artwork to look, and I will work with multiple reference photos to try and capture the characteristic traits and emotions of the subject or scene that I am designing. I always start with number of basic sketches, and then build from there.
With the clarity of hindsight, I can now see that my style has (unintentionally) evolved to become much more realistic, as I work to capture the finer details of my subjects. In turn, this has raised the complexity of my work beyond just cutting a piece to fit in an artwork.
My recent pieces are now created exclusively from glass. Although glass is a rigid and often unforgiving medium to work with, I love the reflective nature of glass, which changes depending upon the lighting and the angle of viewing. This reflectivity brings an added dimension to the artworks, allowing them to continuously change, and helps bring the scenes and subjects to life.
I rarely follow the ‘rules’. Looking back, I realise that my style has evolved through constant experimenting and a trial-and-error process. Even now, I will use the ‘wrong’ techniques and materials to produce unique and innovative elements. Indeed, I am constantly experimenting and learning from each and every artwork that I do… and I hope that never stops.