Skills and Techniques
The creative process for each of my hand made pieces of glass art begins with me sitting at my workbench in my workshop in Rutland. Armed with a cup of coffee to help get the creative juices flowing, I develop a range of ideas, images, sketches, drawing my inspiration from shapes and forms found in the natural world, or interpret and develop ideas already discussed with the client. Once the design has been finalised, I create a stencil that will act as a guide for the high-pressured sandblasting process I use to permanently engrave the image into the glass slab.
The main tool of my trade is a large high spec sandblaster machine powered by a huge old warhorse of an industrial air compressor which has served me well for many years! This enclosed sandblasting unit helps to prevent tiny particles of sand and glass getting into the air ensuring a safe environment for me to work in.
Sharp 3D images are then etched deep into the layers of the 20mm thick glass panel using multi-stage blasting and shading techniques honed through many years of experience and practise. Although it is called sandblasting, the abrasive medium I use is actually aluminium oxide as it is more effective than sand and is especially good for glass work as it gives a far superior finish. The aluminium oxide also comes in different ‘grit’ sizes which are used in conjunction with the strength of the pressure used during the sandblasting process and the varying length of time concentrated on each area, to carve either deeper or shallower impressions into the glass in order to reproduce a highly detailed representation of my original artwork ‘blueprint’. This high-powered abrasive process creates a custom glass etching of my designs onto the clean surface of a glass panel leaving a stunning frosted impression of the chosen design, ensuring a beautifully textured and high-quality finish. The panel is then mounted on a complimentary material, such as slate or oak, depending on the end use or customer preferences.
The nature of the sandblasting process ensures each piece is totally unique. The high-quality raw materials I have chosen to use only enhance the natural beauty of each piece; this, together with my training as an artist and craftsman, ensure its longevity.
A solid wooden base is topped with a thick panel of sandblasted etched glass featuring naturalistic designs, each piece offering unique examples of art on glass. Illuminating the design from the base really highlights the intricate detail of each piece and gives an almost 3D effect to the image.
I prefer to work with the unique characteristics of the wood and let these natural features of this medium enhance the finished piece. By hand selecting pieces with interesting grain patterns I can make a feature of any knots, burrs and pips within the wood adding interest and texture to the bases I hand craft using this beautiful timber.
Transparent textures are enhanced by refraction, the bending of light as it passes through the glass and out into the air. With this in mind, I have designed the lamp to illuminate up from the base and through the glass panel to reflect off the engraved image which highlights the intricate details and texture. The light strength is stronger at the base of the glass panel allowing interesting details such as twisted roots and the textures found on tree bark to be more prominent.
True to my aesthetic design roots, these lamps are both beautiful and functional. By crafting each lamp by hand, I can ensure they are of the highest quality and unique in design.
They say a house is the biggest purchase anyone makes in their life, so even more reason to adorn it with unique, high quality investment pieces that will last a lifetime.
I’m also happy to discuss individual requirements and create a bespoke lamp to suit different styles and budgets.