Julie Light is part of the 'Just Glass' collective and from the end of January-8th March 2014, 48 glass artists will be exhibiting their talents, Julie being one of them. read on to find out details of the exhibition and to find out about Julie's new website, her Glass Casting work and to discover her favourite tools and inspiration....
When did you first start making your glass art, and who or what inspired you to begin?
I first started casting glass in 2009 having been inspired to find out about glass casting after an exhibition of Nico Widerberg's work at Kings Place in London. He creates great monolithic torsos from cast glass, wood and stone and the glass captured my imagination.
Wrapped Form 1
Do you have a studio space you work from, tell us about it?
I have a studio space in an old warehouse in North West London. Glass casting involves a range of different processes, all of which take a bit of space so I'm grateful to have somewhere where I can spread out a bit.
Julie at work
What mediums or techniques do you work with?
I very much focus on glass casting rather than other forms of warm glass, so I get involved in everything from model and mould-making, to steaming out wax for lost wax casting, to developing kiln firing programmes and then on to grinding, polishing and finishing the pieces. It's rather dusty and wet at times but there's so much variety it's impossible to get bored.
Are there any new mediums or techniques that interest you?
I have recently started to introduce copper into my work. Whilst it's well established that copper and glass can be cast together (most metals won't work with glass), for me it's exciting to look at the possibilities that incorporating copper presents in my own work.
Snow Wheel 2 (Dark)
What is the main inspiration for your designs?
Inspiration seems to strike from all sorts of places, but a couple of enduring themes for me are science and medicine. I have a series of work based on how elements of the human body might look in glass and vastly magnified. Particularly, I've ended up researching how cells appear in electron microscope images and playing around with ideas stemming from that.
What has been your favourite piece that you've made?
Another piece with a scientific theme was inspired by three dimensional magnetic fields and it's currently a bit of a favourite of mine. I'm even more attached to it than I was, because when I tried to make a second one, it went completely wrong and ended up on the scrap heap....
What keeps you going whilst working?
Definitely lots of caffeine, and listening to BBC 6 Music on the radio always helps. And it gets very cold in my studio in the winter, so a good heater is essential at this time of year.
Tell us about where you sell your work and any upcoming exhibitions
So far I've been selling my work through a combination of word of mouth and through exhibiting in exhibitions. I also have two great websites that carry my work Sable & Ox and Made by the Hands of Britain
Recently, I have been organising an exhibition featuring the work of 48 glass artists from the 'Just Glass' collective to which I belong. The show will be running from 24 January - 8 March 2014 at the lovely Pitzhanger Manor Gallery in Ealing, London. It's going to be one of the biggest glass events of the year and is promising to be fantastic. I am really delighted to be exhibiting with so many talented glass makers. See more at the Just Glass website.
Do you have a favourite tool?
I don't know where I'd be without a whole lot of my tools. Especially for grinding and polishing I find that the right tool makes all the difference to the job. In particular I have become very fond of the little silicon bullet polishers from Eternal Tools - because they come in different grades but are tiny and shaped, I can get a really good finish in all the hard to reach places that I couldn't reach previously.
What's next for Julie Light Glass?
In 2013 I spent a lot of time organizing exhibitions and open studio events, so in 2014 I am really looking forward to getting my head down and making lots of new work. And look out also for a relaunch of my website: Julie Light Glass
It's been an absolute pleasure to chat with Julie about her working day and her art. We wish you all the best of success Julie for the up and coming exhibition.
Would you like to be interviewed and have your work featured? Then we'd love to show it off for you, email us here.