"Stained glass is often viewed narrowly as a religious or decorative art form, or merely relegated to the realm of craft. I challenge these notions by using glass as a means to create work that communicates on multiple levels, encompassing formal conceptual and narrative elements.I want to create an "ah-hah" moment, to surprise the viewers and pull them closer the materials and subject matter.
I love the visual and tactile qualities of glass and lead - the illusive and the solid respectively. The materials reflect the elements I am attracted to in the environment. Light and color constantly change, while the structures remain solid and still. I use different textures of glass to create the illusion of movement and depth. With additional painting on the glass surface, I capture the finer details; literal, textural and suggestive. The lead line “drawing” simplifies to reveal the dynamic shapes and angles.
My most recent work explores gesture and abstraction in the figure. I’m interested in the body’s action and expression, as well as the negative space surrounding the human form. A few years ago, I experienced knee and back injuries, leaving me unable to walk for several months. As I slowly regained my physical ability, I began to explore my own figure, observing my body objectively through a series of life drawing studies.
This work marks a departure from the traditional process I’ve employed with stained glass over the past 30 years. Working from my life drawings on paper, I manipulate the figures by reducing and enlarging their size, multiplying them, and flipping their orientation, creating an interactive group. A visual dialog begins to take place. I then hand carve the figures on blown flashed glass with a diamond grinding bit, polish the surface, and add vitreous paints and stains. Finally, the piece is fired in the kiln.
Rendered in glass, the body becomes abstracted and somewhat intangible, speaking to the emotional struggle I experienced while physically disabled. Simultaneously, the figures engage in a kind of visual choreography, creating intricate spatial and gestural patterns."