To continue the theme of stories and conversations, sometimes a new idea really does feel like a conversation with the glass itself.
I started with goblets and dragons. They made me want to develop a new idea along the same lines, mixing sculpture and blowing but with a plant theme. So I built a goblet, using the base as the plant bulb, adding leaves and a stem and then putting a flower with wide extra petals at the top, using the goblet to form part of the flower. I hated it! It hated it too – the stem cracked, the flower petals cracked. I looked and thought a bit and redid it with a different way of making the top flower, incorporating it into the goblet top.
I still hated it. It too wasn’t happy, again cracking on both stem and flower. Clearly, we weren’t getting very far, me and the glass.
So, I looked at what I liked – not much, as it turned out, but I did like the base with its wrap of blue and I did like the bulb and the root. Yes, they were the parts that remained uncracked and yes, it did feel as if I was being told what to work from. After some thought and a drawing session, a new plan evolved.
Coincidentally, I’ve been showing Jamie, my “apprentice”, a sleeving technique involving coating one piece of tubing with another to create a new look. The result works perfectly as a bulbous vase stem, giving rich colours and depth. I knew instantly that it was what I wanted, and so did the glass. I suspect you could have heard the collective sigh, if only you’d been there.
The tops for these bud vases just about formed themselves as ideas as soon as the vases themselves appeared. I wanted to use British flora and natural themes to complete the picture. It is very often, certainly for me, tempting to go for fantasy and exotic themes but this time, I wanted to stay local. I’m very happy that I did.