Sculptural Fused Glass by Carol Rolfe
Sculptural glass interpretation of contrasting sea moods shown on opposite sides of work. Turbulence, and gently lapping waves in one piece
There has been a creative thread running through my life from a small child. Painting has always been there, clay modelling, woodcarving and a myriad of workshops to add depth, but it was going to Art college in Plymouth in my forties that gave me confidence and direction. I have since tutored classes, worked with special needs adults, both fun and mutually rewarding and finally I became an Artist maker.
I went seeking ceramic skills, but glass chose me and I was captivated by the creative technique of fusing glass in a kiln and with the infinite beauty and potential working with light. Early in my career I received massive encouragement and support from Dartington Glass nd I will always be grateful for that, but it is always your own endeavour that carries you forward.
I use glass as my canvas to create mostly one-off sculptural forms, but also, bowls, window panels, screens and tiles. My inspiration comes from everywhere, but working the glass itself and its characteristics are enticing. Using only clear glass I create colour with enamels which melt into the glass during firing, the heat causing it to soften and change shape with the help of a former. A total transformation takes place.
It takes a minimum of 2 to 3 weeks to complete the making process as careful grinding and hand polishing is often needed until I am satisfied. Some complex designs take considerably longer, my approach is very technical, but the challenge in the making for potentially stunning results is often rewarded. Some pieces shimmer and glow with trapped sunlight, others sparkle, and refracted light creates intense jewel like effects as colour pools in undulating areas. Each piece is unique and very individual. This fascinating and elusive material is at once mysterious, and is brought to life by light.Its magical qualities capture the imagination. Each piece is signed.
I have worked on many varied commissions, have a local council and a corporate company among my clients, and pieces have been presented to celebrities. Plymouth City Museum purchased a piece for their permanent collection when it was voted by the public no.1 favourite item in an exhibition.
I have recently moved to Torquay and currently have no studio, but it is in hand, and I am also trying to manage technology. Ideas are buzzing again, and I am keen to put them in action.
Sculptural Fused Glass