Today I am going to introduce you to one of my very good friends, who I like to call Wilson. Clare Wilson is a UK lady who came over to do the associateship at the Jam the same time as me. She has seen me at my worst and she has seen me at my best (sometimes the two combine, thank you gate 8 party...), she has also documented these times and there are quite a few dodgy photos of me in her stash. We worked so hard for those two years and there were times where I'm sure we wanted to throttle each other but we managed to come out the other side, better friends than ever. I've stayed with her family, she has sent me care packages in Scotland when I was on my residency (new t-shirts and snacks!! Bliss for dirty, tired glass blowers), we went to Pilchuck at the same time and were roomies ( i was an absolute filth wizzard, she actually made my bed for me one day!! Her side of the room was a picture of perfection, mine looked like a hobo had been living there for weeks complete with half eaten toast in the bed and piles of clothes ala suitcase explosion)
(in the magic cup challenge she watched me make a cup with a chicken leg as my only tool and she had a cyinder block) then travelled together in New York. Actually the more I think about it, Wilson took care of me quite alot! She has one of the biggest hearts out there. Clare now resides back in the Uk and is missed by her Aussie glass family, so here you go, meet Clare Wilson,
Gals of Glazz
Tune in for 10
- Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Clare Wilson, I am originally from Portsmouth, England, I studied Glass at the Edinburgh College of Art from 2004 - 2007 and this is where I am currently based. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the JamFactory associate training program from 2008 - 2009. I love working with glass and I draw a lot of my inspiration from just working with the material, learning new processes and techniques is what will drive me to make new work. I also work part time in a kid’s café… I’m not sure why.
- What do you make?
I have a few ranges of production glass including vases, bowls and paperweights; they all include some form of cane or murrine. I suppose the fact that these techniques are frequently cropping up in my production glass is what has lead me to work on a larger and more involved body work. The series I am working on is quite simply named ‘Cane Studies’, it allows me to explore and experiment working with cane and murrine, combining the two techniques and creating layers within the glass to achieve an extensive depth of pattern.
- Why do you make?
I love working with glass, I actually get really cranky when I’m not working with glass, which is something I have realised over the last few months. It is my creative output and although I would deem myself relatively good at quite a few things, I feel that my best skill is glass blowing, I am not by any means saying that I am the best just that it is the skill I am most satisfied with. I enjoy working with other materials but I find that the glass really challenges me, all the processes and techniques that you have to perfect just to blow a good bubble! I guess that’s why I make… I have found a material that pushes me in every way and I love it.
- What’s you colour palette?
Monotone. White, Grey and Black. I used to work with a lot of colour and I got really fed up with it so I pulled right back to the basics and simplified, I work with cane so it is also a technical consideration, with white being a very stiff colour it makes the best cane. I’m pleased with the results so far I have produced some beautiful, simple and subtle pieces.
5. What’s your proudest achievement?
Attending the Jamfactory, that was huge and has shaped the way I think about and make glass, I think being a finalist in the Ranamok Glass Prize was a pretty proud moment and just being able to continuously push forward in my practice and stay on track every day.
- Hot or Cold?
Hot, Hot, Hot.
- What’s your dream project?
At this point in time it would be designing and making a super sharp looking home wares range, I really want to start making jars and food storage, things for the kitchen as well as a range of lighting all using cane. A massive outdoor glass installation that incorporates cane and light is also a bit of a dream project but I think that one is for later.
8. What’s your influences?
I always struggle with this question when I’m asked it. Very rarely do I see something and say ‘I’m going to make that in glass’. I would say I am influenced by the techniques I learn and by processes I see in action, I like to learn and absorb as much as I can and then bring all this knowledge into my work. I like to look at my surroundings, mundane as they may sometimes be and take a pattern from a pavement or a spider web or brickwork as inspiration.
- What’s coming up for you? Or what are you looking forward to?
I have three shows coming up in the UK over the Christmas period. A selling show at the Park Gallery in Fife, Scotland, the Contemporary Glass Society showcase at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland and finally a show I am super excited about called ‘Selected’ at the Dovecot Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland. Its application season right now, so I am plotting and planning for 2016, I am also hoping to apply to study for my MFA next year.
- If you could only eat 3 foods for the rest of your life what would they be?
Sushi, eggs and pineapple.
Thank you Wilson!! xxxx
(And thank you for making my bed that time....)