R&J Hogg (Conservation builders) were able to complete the first stage of the building preparation in September. They have done a beautiful job in creating a more solid, as well as aesthetically pleasing, window reveal around the opening – using as many original materials as they could find on site and taking into account the existing features of the old chapel.
In October I paid a visit to the Bullseye Glass factory in Portland, Oregon where all the raw glass I use to make my own work is made. Founded by 3 glass artists they were the first to make the kind of glass that is so well suited to the way I work – fusing layers of glass together in a kiln. They still have the best range of colours to be found anywhere. I had always wanted to see exactly how the process worked and was not at all disappointed!
There was a compelling reason to make the visit at this time – I needed to discuss A Wing And A Prayer with technicians who not only make the glass itself but work with artists and architects to fabricate large scale glass art projects. I had been consulting with them via email for months of course but in the end you need to sit down with a real person to work it all out!
The glass artwork I am making for A Wing And A Prayer will be thicker than anything I have made before in order to withstand potential wind pressure and it will also be an irregular shape. This can increase the risk of thermal shock when the piece is cooling down in the kiln so it is crucial to create an optimim environment for controlling the temperature precisely.
The visit was brilliant and extremely useful but it became clear that I need to make one more fairly large test piece before I can actually start assembling the glass for the real thing. There is no doubt that it can be done – it is simply a case of getting the firing conditions right and this can take some trial and error! So it’s all good and the “test” piece may even become a stand alone work in its own right but this essential step adds time and costings to the project. I reckon it will have added a month to the time line.
So watch this space for installation date!
Work has begun with Worlingworth Primary School, designing a project for the years 5 and 6 children which will include a visit to the site, making art, telling stories – inspired by the history and the wildlife. We are also hoping to raise further funds to collaborate on making a window for the school.
After months of work and a nailbiting wait we were delighted to be awarded Arts Council England funding back in August! This enables us to start developing all the other aspects of the project that we have envisioned – drawing workshops for all, schools workshops, festival walks, bringing together people who feel isolated and much more. The award will also enable us to pay a few people for at least some of the time, expertise and dedication that has been given to the creating of this project with absolutely no strings attached!
The feature in Suffolk Magazine is now scheduled for February 2020.