Stage of Enchantment
Size: 5 1/2” high, 5 1/2” wide and 4” deep
Completed: February 2010
Owner: private collection
A collaboration with Harry and Wendy Besett of Vermont Glass Workshop (http://vtglass.com).
I met Wendy & Harry at the annual League of NH Craftsmen fair on Mount Sunapee. Last August, I asked if they were interested in doing a collaboration.
The collaboration was more challenging than I expected. The original idea was to simply use one of my bamboo spherical boxes as container for one of their glass spheres. The biggest challenge was creating a stand that would support the substantial weight of the glass but still allow for the light and shadow effects caused by the pierced bamboo sphere.
One of the ideas was a gimbal that would allow the sphere to be tilted, at the same time I was thinking of Victorian era iron work girders and beams – this stand is the result. To create the “beam work” effect I sandwiched bamboo sticks between two layers of ash veneer (sparsely) this allows you to look right through the beams when viewed looking straight at the ends of the sticks.
The glass sphere is one of Wendy’s “Stillness Spheres” it has the 3 silhouettes embedded on one side and a single silhouette opposing on the other. When you view it the glass acts as a magnifier enlarging the silhouette on the farther side – this creates a 3 against 1 larger/smaller effect that is quite provocative. It can be seen as one big person embracing three small ones or as three big people intimidating one small one.
It was tough to balance the regular formal appearance of the bamboo with the human natural feel of the glass. I think that led me to think of the elegant engineering of the industrial age.