Technique:Casting, Kiln work


Discipline:Decorative, Jewellery, Sculptural

Product:Commission, Design/ Functional/ interiors, Sculptural, Sculpture

Gail Turbutt

Having gained a BAhons in 3D design in Glass at Wolverhampton University, I embarked on a number of ventures, all looking to advance my mould making skills and glass casting using Machine processes in Wolverhampton and Oxfordshire, until I joined forces with Amanda Brisbane at her glass studio in Ludlow in 2003. In this partnership my love of problem solving was used to the full. With the process of sandcasting glass being pushed to its very limits, and Amanda Brisbane Glass Ltd duly becoming a worldwide name. The years of working with glass across the globe; improving my abilities with moulds – creating textures and formers for mark making – ultimately allowed me to continue on to develope my own style of glass sculpture, employing these skills in a slightly different way, using the same mark making skills but with clay as the host canvas, and sheet glass instead of molten glass. Ultimately I am now exploring nature and the natural world through my glass sculptures.

Inspired by nature, and the natural world, I create kiln-fired one-off art glass sculptures. Which are designed to be texture-based organically-shaped free-standing panels or sculptures. I chose clay as my host canvas during the initial phase due to it’s tactility, allowing me to fluidly build the texture out or carve it in to generate pattern and perspective in the design. Each sculpture is a complete one-off due to the very nature of the making process; the glass melts differently every time and as the design is created initially in clay, natural variations occur during my layering up of textures… ensuring each piece will never be exactly the same, and this texture and relief allows me to harness the interaction of light on and in the glass, creating continuous changes and movement within the piece as time and light levels change over the course of the day. The main challenge I enjoy is to make the image work in the thinnest layer of glass I can – harnessing the varied inherent qualities that glass has to offer as a medium. I enjoy the fact that every stage of the process moves me visually one step closer to the final transparent piece, changing from grey clay to white plaster to transparent glass, as well as seeing the designed surface transform from positive to negative to positive again. I enjoy every phase: Seeing the sculptures slowly move from my imagination to reality, yet not knowing until that final reveal if it will reflect the inspiration that brought it into being.

Stormy seas , Gail Turbutt

Short-snouted Seahorse , G Turbutt