Today I have been further experimenting with glass engraving. I bought a basic Dremel hobby engraver a few years ago and made a couple of framed pieces which really intrigued me. I mounted the glass away from the white background in the hope to capture a shadow and heighten the elusive nature of a transparent image. It worked, a little too well maybe, as once again it’s a piece of work impossible to photograph! (see my attempts). Fast-forward a few years and my thoughts and daydreams are filled with visions of glass houses (as in greenhouses) and gardens. It is this I am pursuing today. Here are my musings:
I want to master the vibrating scratch made by the dremel. The drawings so far have been rough, but I am enjoying that- it is an exploration into craft and labour. Every move of the drawing process is physical and is present in the work. The smooth glass; with its romantic notion of clarity, is etched away, to present the viewer with another aspect to consider. The viewer no longer looks through the glass at the beyond but the glass itself is brought to the surface. In its way this is pure decoration, frivolous and unnecessary; but this is why it is interesting for me. This surface pattern can call in to question the view we are taking- are you looking through and beyond something? Is there something overlooked in the way we experience our boundaries?
Glasshouses are a play on boundaries, a functional space that optimise light entering inward but still to offer protection. The glass is not there for the view, the opposite perhaps to a conventional window that offers a view outwards and a certain level of protected escapism. Windows make our internal spaces feel bigger; they open up metaphorically and literally. The glasshouse as a functional space built of windows, alternatively also allows for escapism but by the entrapment of the delicate plants it houses. The material: the glass is the same boundary, but the viewer’s relationship to the window changes whether you are looking in or out. What I am hoping to explore is the shift in viewpoint to a tangible moment when you are no longer looking through but looking at. The surface and the drawing become the focus, if only momentarily.