The hours between the end of COLLECT and the trip back to Portland for our biennial conference, BECon, seemed a good time to link the two with a visit to conference presenter Heike Brachlow at London’s Royal College of Art.
The RCA sits just opposite Hyde Park, not far from the little mews house that we’d rented for our time in London. So it was a short walk and a good way to stretch out after days of standing at the fair.
Heike is working on her PhD at the Royal, researching color, and specifically color for thicker cast works. She’ll lecture at BECon on Colour, Glass & Light.
Seeing Heike’s process and learning of the challenges in making heavy cast works that roll smoothly (and safely!) gave us insights into the pieces – and an even greater appreciation of their beauty and complexity.
The forms are deceptively simple. The mold (negative) is a hollow, flat-bottomed cylinder made up of a face coat and a plaster/silica/grog outer coat that has been formed around the positive, a lathe-turned plaster cylinder.
Separating the two was a two-person job: one that Dan was happy to let Heike take the lead on…
But that’s just the mold-making. The true beauty of Heike’s forms are in the magnificent pairing of shape and color. We spent the last few minutes of our time at her small working corner in the research section of the RCA, discussing what’s worked, what hasn’t and marveling at the tenacity of one young woman exploring the intricacies of colored glass and moldmaking – two topics among many that we’ll hear more about at BECon 2009 in Portland next month.
Don’t miss it. There’s still time to register. Heike alone is worth the trip.
Glass that rolls – scary. Glass that rolls and is pointed – suicidal.