As seems often to be the way with slightly longer courses, while in Germany we were required to think about and produce a ‘final piece’… something with meaning, preferably mixed-media, using the techniques we learnt during the course. Since I needed to make something for this blog and (in all honesty) wanted to spend more time focussing on learning the new techniques than on making one special piece, I decided to go with a giant Rubezahl head.
Originally, this head was to have figures at its base, and a wooden arm. The idea was to show Rubezahl almost toying with the small figures working and living beneath him. However, as the weeks progressed I decided that, as Rubezahl was not really a Bavarian giant in any case (and we were in Bavaria), and as the scenes beneath the head were not pulling together as I’d have liked, I would need to have a rethink. At the time I was also struggling to control soft glass tubing, not an easy thing to master. It seemed to me that the god of glass was every bit as capricious as Rubezahl, with glassworkers subject to his every whim. One minute the glass is running like honey, behaving itself in the flame and blowing beautifully. The next, it spits and cracks, blows into one-sided, pregnant bubbles or boils in the flame. Like Rubezahl, the god of glass appears generous and open-hearted, but fickle and easily angered.
So, I made the head of a God of Glass. He is wooden, with glass eyes, nose and mouth. He has glassworkers heads for hair. The vessels that I made on the course (but not shown here!) were arranged around him to contain offerings – of thanks for a really great course and of wishes to be able to continue and grow afterwards. I hope he was pleased.