By Pat Ross
A year ago our manager Mickie approached me and asked if I would be up for the challenge of making a sword and stand – in glass. I come from a background of working with glass and I thought this project would be interesting as it would require me to take new risks with the glass, improve my technical skills and the commission would also require me to push the boundaries with the glass along the way.
I learnt new skills using the glass-cutting saw and the final piece would not have been as successful without this piece of equipment. Experimenting with various coloured glass and hand-cutting techniques was also therapeutic.
The most difficult challenge was making the stand that the sword is displayed in, which represents a volcano. I had to produce several ceramic moulds and there was a lot of trial and error along the way in order to achieve a successful outcome.
In total I made three swords with stands before I was ready to tackle the final piece which you can see on display in the ‘Flower Meadow’ project. I am pleased with this piece as the technical challenge of getting the square angle on the sword and the correct proportions between the sword and stand. I also like the way the fused, coloured glass looks in this piece.
I still find the medium of glass exciting, challenging and ultimately beneficial to my mental health. I have now started my next project which is a lamp using both fused glass and ceramic. Hopefully you will see this on display in the Craft Department soon.