Orange Fern - Framed

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These fused glass pieces from Connemara Blue were created by means of a process pioneered by renowned Canadian glass artist, Bob Leatherbarrow.

Leatherbarrow, who lives and works on Salt Spring Island, Vancouver, British Columbia, developed the ‘Crackle’ process after many years of experimentation. His work quickly achieved world renown and now features in many prominent private and gallery collections.

I was very lucky to attend one of Bob’s masterclasses recently, and have subsequently evolved my own range using his technique. The pieces in this ‘Crackle!’ range are intended to demonstrate the variety of results achievable using Leatherbarrow’s unusual approach to glass making.

‘Crackle!’ is characterised by the intricate web of ‘veins’ that weave across the surface of the glass, separating ‘islands’ of solid colour. The veins can be of complementary or contrasting colours – or even transparent. Contrasting and transparent vein colours stand out boldly and serve to emphasise the size and shape of the islands. Complementary vein colours underline the vividness of the islands’ hue. 

There can be many layers of colour within a ‘Crackle!’ piece. These are revealed to different degrees over its surface. Often, an underlying colour can be revealed only in a certain light or when viewed from a particular angle. The predominant colour can be bright, brash and blousy – or can be subtle and subdued. In both cases it is worth looking closely into the glass for these otherwise hidden depths of hue.

 You will see that ‘Crackle!’ pieces are finished in a number of ways. The texture of the surface affects the ‘feel’ of the piece. Some are smooth and shiny, others are smooth and matt. Some appear rough and seemingly unfinished. Each style has an attraction of its own.