Thursday, July 29, 2010

John Ditchfield's Gorgeous Glass

We have been visiting close friends who live in the countryside between Blackpool and Lancaster for many years now, without realising that they live very close to the glass blowing studio of the amazing John Ditchfield.  Last Sunday, we went to his Glasform studio and saw a demonstration that was quite magical in its skill and intensity.
Although textiles are my passion in life, I have always had a liking for glass of all kinds, whether it be amazing stained glass, or those small, slightly misshapen drinking glasses that you sometimes come across in charity shops, and realise that - against all the odds - they may well have survived for two hundred years and more. But there can be few things as exciting as watching a master glass artist at work - and John is nothing if not a master and an artist. There's something enticing about the way in which a magician of this kind makes the work look easy - when, in reality, it's both difficult and dangerous. Watching him, you forget the high temperatures and the volatility of the material  - until, of course, you see the sparks flying!
His pieces have been described as the antiques of the future, by David Dickinson, among others - and I've certainly seen them fetching high prices at auction. You'll have seen them yourself perhaps - paperweights, mushrooms, lilypads (complete with silver frogs) and other natural forms in amazing iridescent colours. But not everything here is in miniature. Outside the studio are a variety of large and striking glass sculptures including the strange flowers above.
But my favourites are definitely the vases. The shapes are simple and very beautiful, while the patterns and colours in the glass are endlessly complicated and enticing.


Erna said...

Ohh Catherine those flowers are gorgeous..

Scottish Nanna said...

Those glass flowers look amazing you must have had A great time going there lucky you.
Hugs Mary.