A Stage-worthy Drama of Glassblowing
December 29, 2023
The founder of Blowfish Glass in the United Kingdom, Bethany Wood sees herself as a performer. She believes glass to be a performance of art; both disciplines create the same energy. There is rhythm and adrenaline in glass making, within a routine that is planned very carefully.
The latest iteration within Molten Landscapes for East West Fine Art captures the way Bethany reanimates the composition of landscapes. She employs new expressionistic techniques to provide interior spaces with a showcase of sensual texture and enchanting color blends.
Leeza Arkhangelskaya, owner of East West Fine Art has recently had an insightful discussion with Bethany Wood on her fresh approach to glassmaking.
LA: What first drew you to glass making?
BW: My artistic journey began with darkroom photography; the layers of different textures and double exposure photography always interested me.
You can see this inspiration in my glass work. I have taken love of texture and layers to create 3D compositions of specific landscapes in glass, elevating an abstract and expressionistic vibe.
What drew me to glass is the extensive colour range and combinations you can play with and how easy it is to express yourself with this enthralling molten material. The sense of danger and adrenaline rush you experience also got me hooked.
LA: What motivated you to start your glass guild?
BW: The mutual goal is to represent and extend contemporary glasswork because it’s my passion and my creative circle’s passion. We often demonstrate together, and we sell in the same spaces – but I took a leap of faith and, powered by my passion for the material, I wanted to represent the story of glassmaking and advocated for its legacy.
LA: What message do you wish to convey through your Art?
BW: I want people to be able to find themselves or a memory within my work. I create abstract artwork so people can see their vision or reminiscence of landscape, with each person who comes across my work gazing upon the ebb and flow of form, and the meander of colour reactivates nostalgic memories for the viewer.
LA: How physically challenging is the glassmaking process?
BW: Massively! It’s Emotionally draining and physically demanding; glassblowing is a work of theatre. Your team creates a dance on stage, in front of an audience sometimes – And Just like any great tragedy, people can get hurt, people can cry, and blood, sweat and tears go into this work! The size of the work carries more risk and emotional investment in it coming out of the Lehr in one piece.
LA: What is innovative in your glassmaking?
BW: I make a lot of decisions very quickly when manipulating the molten form. The colours are pre-planned, but the order can change, and the level of colour application can change within a quick amount of time, too. I go into a making session with a general idea of how I want the directional composition to look, but I take it bubble by bubble and think with my hands.
My technique has developed over time, and the smashing, bursting, stretching and popping bubbles of glass colour onto the surface of my forms has been refined.
Bethany Wood’s glass vessels can be seen at both East West Fine Art locations: Mercato at 9115 Strada Place, #5155, and downtown at 472 5th Ave. S. info@EastWestFineArt.com EastWestFineArt.com