To welcome a new series of solo shows at the RBSA, ART BLOG caught up with the artists involved. George Jackson works in both glass and ceramics.
His exhibition Process and Product, which explores forms resulting from the pursuit of creative equilibrium, opens on February 11…
I flit between different materials and building techniques. It is a restless approach which can result in work being left and unresolved for some time. What I find interesting is the ‘mind shift’ required. I move from throwing on the wheel to slabbing, coiling, and moulding techniques in quite rapid succession.
Each technique has its demands and leaves unmistakable evidence within the form that each work takes.
In the forthcoming exhibition, on show will be: large coiled pieces; an assortment of stoneware casseroles developed using glaze made from local quarry dust; a number of raku fired chawans and lidded forms; and a few modelled pieces that have been fired and smoked.
The only glass appearing in the show will be as fused additions to pinch pots and a mould formed piece.
The technique determines much of the outcome. The forms resulting from coiling seeming to be at odds with those resulting from slab construction. Coiling can result in soft, rounded, organic forms whereas slabbing can be brutal and hard-edged.
I began working in glass to escape the physicality of clay work, engaging in leaded and stained glass initially, then moving to fused and blown glass, and finally settling upon ‘Pate de Verre’ using recycled glass. Like Raku, it offers the right balance between control and serendipity – the sort of alchemy that keeps me engaged.
I have always been involved with art and craftwork; I taught art for 25 years in secondary education. Although I began as a painter and did exhibit in a few RBSA open exhibitions as far back as the early 1970s, my main creative medium has been clay.
Now I search for ideas where both clay and glass can work together in harmony.
Influences are many and varied. There appears to be hints of the Orient in much of my work although much of this is not intentional, but seems to creep in as the clay is worked.
The loose, abstracted and heavily textured pots of the late Ewen Henderson played a part in influencing some of my open glass forms. I quietly, and, I guess, subconsciously absorb elements of things that I like, and gradually these influences permeate into the forms that I make.
I work from The Ruskin Glass Centre, Stourbridge – home to many artists working a variety of media, but mainly glass, and emanating from all parts of the country and abroad.
Process and Product runs until 6 April in our ground floor exhibition space. Many of the works in our exhibitions are for sale.