In the mid 1980’s a series of life changing events led to a rush of images from which I’ve never recovered. Some were based on fantasy. Some described everyday events in an exaggerated way. Others interpreted age-old fables as vehicles for expression of universal experience.
In realizing these graphic images on glass I've never separated from my background as a printmaker. The high contrast, limited color and emphasis on shape were all in place as large complicated relief prints on long scroll-like paper panels.
In 2001, for reasons now forgotten, a friend suggested I try using glass for my images. That idea resonated so deeply that within weeks I was exploring the possibilities of sandblasting on glass and within months was finding out about sand-cast glass with Paul Marioni at Pilchuck. Since then I’ve also worked at Corning and Penland. At the Washington Glass School I learned about dry plaster casting and fusing. I continue to rely on their valuable advice and their facilities, especially for large projects.
Sand blasting into panels fused with color became the best way for me to achieve the detail and precision I wanted for my narrative interpretations of stories, songs, poems and fables that fascinated me for the many years. Sharon Wolf of Alesia Glass beautifully sand carved most of my work.
Now in retirement from years of teaching printmaking at the Maryland Institute College of Art the development of images is an ongoing process knit into the daily routines involved in maintaining house and garden in a leafy Baltimore neighborhood. The writings of Edward Lear engrossed for awhile and inspired a whole group of new panels.
Lately the narrative element has not been specifically related to an old story or fable. Instead, glass animal figures carry on with human-like activities and behaviors which might inspire stories on the part of each viewer. The figures are free to roam in an open compositions suggesting the beach, riding a bus, playing in band or racing on bicycles. In my dreams they cover walls as they go about their work and play.
A need to create an environment for the glass creatures kept asserting itself. It was satisfied by drawing with thread. Which is to say that I make background panels that are loosely sewn with threads of multiple colors. I'm using line again, as I did in etchings, to not only give the figures an atmosphere but to connect them to each other. The thread work is light and airy with a fragility very different from glass but lending a visual and tactical richness to thee pieces that delight me.