The creative process for each of my hand made pieces of glass art begins with me sitting at my rather battered desk, perched under the window of my studio in Rutland. Armed with a cup of coffee to help get the creative juices flowing, I develop a range of sketches, drawing my inspiration from the natural world, or interpret and develop ideas already discussed with the client. Once the design has been finalised, I create a stencil that will act as a guide for the high pressured sandblasting process I use to permanently engrave the image into the glass panel.
The main tool of my trade is a large high spec sandblaster machine powered by a huge old warhorse of an industrial air compressor which has served me well for many years! This enclosed sandblasting unit helps to prevent tiny particles of sand and glass getting into the air ensuring a safe environment for me to work in.
Sharp 3D images are then etched deep into the layers of the 15mm thick glass panel using multi-stage blasting and shading techniques honed through many years of experience and practise. Although it is called sandblasting, the abrasive medium I use is actually aluminium oxide as it is more effective than sand and is especially good for glass work as it gives a far superior finish. The aluminium oxide also comes in different ‘grit’ sizes which are used in conjunction with the strength of the pressure used during the sandblasting process and the varying length of time concentrated on each area, to carve either deeper or shallower impressions into the glass in order to reproduce a highly detailed representation of my original artwork ‘blueprint’. This high powered abrasive process creates a custom glass etching of my designs onto the clean surface of a glass panel leaving a stunning frosted impression of the chosen design, ensuring a beautifully textured and high quality finish. The panel is then mounted on a complimentary material, such as slate or oak, depending on the end use or customer preferences.
I am often commissioned to create a personalised piece of bespoke glass art; these can range from large wall sculptures to small house plaques, both of which allow clients to demonstrate their individuality to their neighbours, friends and visitors. I’m more than happy to work with clients to create an image that represents either them or the story behind their choice of house or business name. Customers can choose one of the designs available on my website or I can work with you to create a totally bespoke design.
The nature of the sandblasting process ensures each piece is totally unique. The high quality raw materials I have chosen to use only enhance the natural beauty of each piece; this, together with my training as an artist and craftsman, ensure its longevity. They say a house is the biggest purchase anyone makes in their life, so even more reason to adorn it with unique, high quality investment pieces that will last a lifetime.