Glass has been a life-long passion for me. While attending summer studies in Early Music at Dartington College in England, I found myself drawn to the glassblowing studios which I passed several times a day on the way to music lessons and events. The allure of glassblowing led me to studies in Italy, Hungary and the United States. Although most of my working life has been spent as a musician and academic, since the time of my graduate years in England, I have blown glass. Since returning to Canada, blowing glass has been a major focus.
Over the past several years I have concentrated mainly on wearable glass art and produce much of my work in combination with precious metals and gemstones. Most recently, my work has been exhibited at the Marianne van Silhout Gallery, the Dancing Moon Gallery, the Piggery Gallery and at the Upper Canada Academy of Performing Arts in Kingston. Within the past few years my work has been sold at the Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Queen’s University, the Lansdowne Market, Ottawa, the Triangle Gallery, Toronto and currently at the Ottawa and Kingston Public Markets. I have received grants from Queen’s University (for H2O Project Blown Glass Sound Sculptures), the British Columbia Arts Council, The Saskatchewan Arts Board, the Davies Foundation, and the Murrell Trust. Recent commissions for large-scale work include a set of orchestral size chimes, a fountain, a series of spheres based on images of the Milky Way Solar System and a large sculptural blown glass and iron work. In the past year commissions for jewellery included a necklace of blown glass with 18k Gold fittings, several pieces that incorporate 24k Gold, Bronze and Silver as well as work that incorporates a mixture of blown glass and gemstones. I am a member of the Ontario Craft Council (OCC) and the Ottawa Valley Craft Council (OVCC). At this time I am working on a series of wrought iron railings that incorporate Blown Glass for an extraordinary home in Kingston, Ontario.
I think of my work as performance art using the interplay of transient and dynamic light in much the same way as a musical composition structures time, sound and symbol, layering gesture and repetition until a unified whole is produced. My early work was concerned with two very different styles of composition, one that was imitative, for the purpose of the restoration of historical pieces originally made by others and a contrasting style, the other, work influenced by the work and writings of composers such as John Cage, work that aimed to be aleatoric or improvisational in nature, sometimes with the aim of drawing attention to something other than itself. I have gone through several stages, from basing my work entirely on mathematical formulae, especially relating to proportion, to a way of working that looks back at my old work, but through a series of profiles, something akin to how we view the background profile images of the little ballerinas that turn around in some mirrored jewellery boxes. At the moment I am playing with the idea of repetition and looping, inspired by the music of Terry Riley. I am constructing pieces by small repetitions, each one changing only a little, layering of gesture upon gesture, one upon the other upon the other, looping back to the original gesture and through series of subtle changes in each repetition, in an effort to create glass works that present as polyphony and for which the process is a visible part of the composition.
Each and every piece of my blown glass jewellery is unique, a singular, one of a kind piece of wearable art.