Creating glass sculptures that address daily interactions
My studio is filled with evocative figure-less garments. Antiquated Notions, Artemis’ Apron, Chastity Belt Hot-Pants, Embrace; Straight-Jacket Bellbottoms, Pele; Goddess of Our Time, and Girdle Thong. The last piece inspired by the graphics on a trucker’s mud flaps. Breasts and vaginas represent nurturing and birth—creating. I celebrate historical and mythical women; Eve, Elizabeth, the Mary’s, and other influential women, whose narratives have often been written by men. I analyze female role models and transform them into super heroines.
As well, I strive to create art that addresses the everyday interactions of the female experience. As an avid people watcher, I invent stories based upon personal observations, and incorporate them into my work. I am especially interested in how Women intersect with the world around them and negotiate their personal power. I weave metaphor into tangible objects by addressing social constructs, human emotion, and precarious relationships. This creative process is a path to self-discovery while I access my intuitive and authentic voice.
When I begin a new piece I have an idea, a play on words, or image in mind, but allow the piece to evolve into its own unique form. Unexpected results in the casting process may also lead to a surprising solution. I often utilize recycled or antique materials, such as sewing supplies, broken pieces of jewelry, clocks, or locks, and transform them into a new narrative. In doing so, each piece pays homage to a previous incarnation.
Using my hands and dental tools, I mold wax into a figure and attach sprues, which allow an avenue for the wax to leave the mold and the metal or glass to enter— the lost wax method. The wax is steamed out after the casting mold is built, which leaves a negative space for the molten bronze, aluminum, or glass to enter. Often I cast part of a sculpture in metal and then build a corresponding clay component, which needs it’s own casting mold. When the clay is removed it creates a negative space for the glass. The mold is placed into the kiln upside down with the glass loaded above. The kiln is heated up to 1525° to allow the glass to melt into the mold and then slowly returned (annealed) to room temperature, taking up to a week. Metal and glass pieces must be carefully broken out of the casting mold and cleaned with cold work—cutting, sanding, buffing, and grinding. The piece may appear to be completed but this is often only the starting point for other elements to be woven in.
I admire the detailed artisan craftsmanship of the Renaissance that is still common in indigenous art around the world. By incorporating and fabricating such intricate details into my work I pay homage to their dedicated detailed work. This process is meditative and allows me time to know my sculpture well.
My Evocative Figureless Garments are meant to be explored, allowing the viewer to create their own narrative.