Looking Back – First Memorial Sculpture and My Love of Glass

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Memorial Sculpture
Memorial Sculpture

I happened upon one of the first memorial pieces I ever made the other day when I visited Pat, an old friend who came to my stone carving classes some years ago. She has painted all her life, and is a great artist, so I was honoured when she asked me to design and make a memorial sculpture for her.

She has no immediate family, and being so fearsomely practical she has every arrangement for her funeral already in place, including this sculpture which symbolises all the great times she has had chewing the fat with friends over cups of tea. It to be placed in the garden of Shute Farm Studios where she enjoyed spending so much time learning to carve.

In the glass studio
In the glass studio

I love glass. I worked with it during my degree at art school, but have had little chance of doing so since. I was lucky enough to spend the day in the hot shop with Sonja Klingler, Elysium’s glass blower last week. We were working on some new designs for urns to hold cremation ashes. I was very rusty, and I think more of a hindrance than a help, but I thoroughly enjoyed myself. We are still working on the results, but they’re looking rather fantastic, so watch this space, and thank you Sonja for a great day.

It’s rare for an art work to bring tears to my eyes, but John Rowlands Pritchard managed it the other day. His calligraphy on glass is so sensitive and expertly designed, and the text he chooses so beautiful I find it incredibly moving. Here’s a clip of a bowl turning so you can read the text. There will be more on the website soon.

Kate Semple

February 6th 2014