Thursday, 5 February 2009

Translating Paintings

Every once in a while an artist comes into the studio to ask me to translate a sketch, a painting, or sometimes an idea into glass. Abbi sent her husband to me a few months ago to enquire if I could cast a fan coral image into glass. We went over the possibilities and an drawing was made to consider. The drawing was translated into carved out fibre board, and the glass frit poured into it and fused at about 850 for three hours. It came out pretty well.
The next project was to have two of her paintings translated into glass of the same dimensions (ca. 360 x 720mm each). The paintings were brought to me as references:

Abbi's paintings
So I began working on them, choosing glass that would be similar. Each morning when she came to work, she stopped by to see the progress (if any) and comment on what was available to see.
I decided that since these would be standing in a base on a plinth, that they should be 9mm thick, requiring dams to restrict their flow. I also decided to to fuse the main colours flat and then add frit to give some variegation in colour to the whole in a second firing. After seeing the flat fusing Abbi decided that more frit was required and of a variety of colours, especially on the stems.
The result of this collaboration can be seen below:

You can also see that sometimes we get a little snow, even though we are the same latitude as Moscow. Good old Gulf Stream - don't fail us now!
I don't know Abbi well although she has been working in the building for about five years now. She is confined to a wheel chair by some wasting disease. It is much more difficult to understand her speech now than earlier and she no longer can propel her chair by herself. In spite of these difficulties, she is preparing for an exhibition in mid March.
This has been a good collaboration for me. In spite of her difficulties, Abbi has continued to work at her art. It is an encouragement for me - one; to stop moaning about difficulties and two; to continue with optimism.

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