It is easy to imagine hot glass flowing like lava, oozing over objects and materials in its path. Casually enveloping, layer upon layer, sliding over, and slumping into the cervices and contours underneath its mass.
Well at least this is how many of us imagine it to be, reality, however, presents us with another vision. One that leaves the untrained artist with the undesirable result, of cracked glass, shattering off their ceramic forms, falling, sharp-edged, dangerously around your object, nothing like they wanted or envisaged it to be.
This is where The Right Honourable Super Hans, steps in. Defying logic and numerous previous attempts. Super Hans stands proudly in its glistening coat of glass. Glass has a very different COE (Co-Efficient of Expansion) to a ceramic body. So much so, that sometimes it’s totally incompatible, even with its own kind. Glass stands alone in the material world, especially when heated, so separate that science has given glass its own category, the Amorphic Solid.
These properties of glass and its potential are what interest me. This particular CoE aspect of glass is enhanced and clearly demonstrated when hot glass is applied to materials (small amounts of copper or gold being the rare exceptions). As the glass cools and contracts, naturally transforming itself back into a solid from a liquid. If the rate of this cooling varies too much between the materials (and there’s only a very small margin of tolerance) the glass contracts over the object (and the ceramic body) with such force that it breaks the object or itself apart, falling off the object and no longer representing the imagined ‘natural flow’ of glass.
Glass is everywhere, throughout cultures and throughout history, and happily I find myself continually studying it. Currently my focus has turned back to stained glass and leadlight, returning me to where I began nearly 20 years ago.
The Eastend of London where I found my passion for glass. Night classes soon evolved into short courses and before long I had gained an Honours Degree majoring in Glass. Working with glass is like diving into a clear deep pool full of ancient history and contemporary thoughts. A few years later, I graduated with a Masters Degree from the prestigious Royal College of Art in London. This has led to me being Artist in Residence in many countries, ongoing studies, lecturing, mentoring, and running educational glass studios in London and Melbourne.
A lot of my work centres around the evolution of materials and their associated technologies. I am often exploring experimental processes in my work which are expanded and finalised into a unique series. These usually combine a variety of glassmaking processes and techniques, both old and avant-garde.