This is the Story of Wells ... a large glass art roundel completed Spring 2023.
The idea for this glass display piece started a year ago, when I visited Wells Cathedral in Somerset, England - and instantly fell in love with the huge stone Gothic arches, swooping in all directions. I knew straight away it was a perfect choice for my Hard Edge glass art style.
I took many photos, and back in the Studio I reduced them to black and white, so I could focus on the angles, and the light - without the real colour getting in my way.
Glass design and cutting
Working from my favourite photos, I wanted to create a line art design that caught the Escher-like quality of the building - circles and curves running in different directions, yet holding together as a single piece.
Once the glass design worked in black lines only, I started to colour it ... I wanted warm, vivid, strong reds for the main arches, but I was prepared to experiment more with the background colours. So I worked with scraps of art glass, placing them on the design, mixing and matching them to make sure they added to the overall feel, while never dominating the main arch.
I made all the pattern pieces using my Cricut, which does make life easier - then I started cutting the glass. There's some very long thin curves in this design, and long, thin glass curves have a life of their own. The orange opaque piece was particularly narrow ... while the wispy glass doesn't always play fair 😟
But - I love cutting glass, so I enjoyed the challenge.
Eventually I was happy with the 96 pieces of glass that make up the work.
Fusing the glass
Each piece one was washed, dried and wiped with alcohol - then I was ready to build the design in the kiln. This is a painstaking process - like a giant glass jigsaw.
After adding a clear glass "cap", it was fused in the kiln ... fusing glass takes time, and it was a couple of days before I was able to lift the lid and see the result - wonderful!!!
Then I added noodles and stringers to enhance the key lines of the design ... while carefully avoiding the arches, which I wanted to leave alone, to stand out by themselves. The piece went back in the kiln for another couple of days.
Glass art display
For the final display, I had a custom metal stand made to hold it. I really like these glass roundels in stands ... it makes them much more versatile than a piece of art fixed to the wall. I have an interesting page on glass art display methods - worth a read if you'd like to know more.
As always, throughout the production of this piece I posted videos and photos on my Instagram account.
One Instagram follower said "That’s absolutely stunning, Linda! I was a chorister there in the 80s and spent a long time staring up at that view - a really special view for me. You’ve captured it so beautifully!"
Another said "Brilliant very clever, so evocative (as a Wells inhabitant) 👌👌"
Here's a couple of the work-in-progress videos, and the final video showing the whole process:
I'm delighted to say that the Wells glass roundel sold straight away, and is just arriving in its new home in the USA.
You can see the details and more photos of the Wells glass roundel here
- and my complete collection of Glass Art Roundels here.