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Author Topic: AOTM April 2011 - Dawn Turner  (Read 6265 times)
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I hold with those who favor fire.
Posts: 869

I'm working on a dream...

« on: April 02, 2011, 05:05:56 AM »

Dawn Turner

For many years, I don’t think I realised how long I have been in love with glass.  At school, I used to collect glass objects from miniature coloured bottles to giant essential oil containers! As I grew up, got my first home, I cleared out and got rid of many things… as you do, then wish you hadn’t!  Always eager to try new evening classes, I signed up and did a year of stained glass.  I loved it, but I didn’t carry it on owing to lack of space, and not wanting glass around the house when I had a baby in tow.   

I had my first encounter with kiln glass when re-did my AS level Art in 2005 – which I chose to do because I’d needed to do something creative again.  However, I had been struggling for years to produce the kind of artwork I wanted to – although my drawing is okay, I couldn’t paint what I saw in my head.  I began experimenting with different forms of printing including linocut.  I was intrigued by the texture of the printing block, so I cast a copy in plaster, and slumped glass into it. 

This is probably one of the pieces I am most proud of, as it marked such a turning point in my life.  Finally, I had been able to create something that had no definite form, could be viewed purely has pattern, and yet still represented recognisable shapes such as trees, rivers, veins.  The work also meant a lot to me in other ways.  Like many art students, we’d been given ‘Journey’ as a project theme.  We started with a physical journey around the town where the college is – which was the town my Dad was born and raised in.  The project started on my son’s birthday, who’d been born with a heart defect.  The walk was on the fourth anniversary of my father’s death (also heart related).  It turns out the college building was my dad’s first school!  It was a very difficult time emotionally, but somehow the whole project came together and all these things linked in and I was able to produce something that I loved and that other people thought was beautiful.

The following year, I went on to do my Art & Design Foundation Diploma (My A level teacher had just started up a new NOCN evening class - introduction to glass fusing, and I couldn’t wait to try glass again.  She was very much of the “try it and see what happens” type though, and whilst teaching me a few basics, she encouraged me to find information and develop ideas for myself.  However, I found this really is the best way to learn, as it helps you to get to know your kiln, the glass you work with and so on.  I experiment a lot, and if something doesn’t work, I will usually try, try again.  I also researched liked a woman possessed, both in books and on the internet.  There is an amazing amount of information out there, if you look for it, from Bullseye Glass tip-sheets, to websites and forums.  In fact, that is how I came across Frit Happens!

As some of you will know, I went on to university and finished last summer – although I worked mainly with ceramics whilst there, I look for techniques that can be translated across both materials.

Aside from a whole raft of lamp-workers, too many to mention, I greatly admire James Lethbridge’s work for his ability to make beautiful glass objects from deadly virus forms.  I covet some of Peter Layton’s work in Nottingham City castle, glass pebbles that don’t look like glass.  In fact, there are so many amazing glass workers, I do find it difficult to pinpoint my favourites; likewise with ceramic artists, although a lot of my favourites work with texture, pattern and abstract forms.  I love it all!

I’m fascinated my scientific imagery.  I love how an image could be from an electron microscope, or from a satellite in outer space.  I love texture and I see patterns and shapes in everything I look at.

Personally, I don’t see a signature style, but other people have said to me when they see my work that “it’s very you, Dawn”.  I guess they’re referring to that scientific inspired imagery that creeps into much of my work.

I’ve always wanted to have a go at glass blowing.  And I would love to develop my lampworking skills (or lack of them).  Some very kind people on this forum have helped me begin my learning, but I do need to spend a whole lot more time on it (or just get my son to do it for me, who’s far better at the torch than I am!). 

I would also like to do more sand-casting, having had a go twice, I now have to knowledge to hopefully translate more of my ideas in to pieces.

I’ve been working recently with ceramic decals, and I would like to do more work, but using my own designs rather than off the shelf ones, and experiment with layers.   I think the decal work gives me a chance to show the fun side of myself – the textured, scientific based imagery brings out the serious artist in me!

I’d like to develop the textured work more, using it in combination with colour.  I also want to develop larger scale pieces like the school art work that I did for my degree show – I would love to have something of this scale, in glass, in a public space such as a hospital!

I’m exhibiting in May at Arkwright Mill in Cromford, near Matlock in May as part of the Contemporary Craft Exhibition, and have been selected to show at Sculpture in the Sanctuary in Southwell in the summer.

We are opening the studios (Shed 2) as part of the Derbyshire Open Arts weekend at the end of May and you are all welcome!
« Last Edit: April 02, 2011, 11:46:19 AM by sparrow » Logged

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