Making art as part of a collaborative community is an ever-changing, unpredictable, and always inspiring process. In this series, we celebrate studio mishaps and coincidences. Today, Marika shares an unexpected outcome of a bowl project, and reflects on the virtues of a studio that’s “creatively cluttered.”
Creativity in motion: powder and paint
Recently, AMusinGlass artist Marika thought she would create a bowl with a black and red color scheme. In her mind, a clean and striking design included a black rectangle, approximately ten by seventeen inches. Originally, she wanted to use red stringers, fine threads of colored glass, and one brush stroke of powder to create an abstract pattern. “At first, all was going well, until I went to use the ‘sweep’ of powder. I haven’t used powdered pigment much, and putting it onto the glass was very different than I anticipated – after all, it’s powder, not paint,” Marika shared.
Going with the flow or the fall
Using the powder made it more difficult than anticipated, so Marika quickly realized she had to let go of the initial idea altogether. To get a similar look, she sprinkled red frit powder randomly onto the glass.
“Then I looked around for a tool I could use to spread the powder out. There was nothing within reach, no tools to hand, but in the spur of the moment I spotted an envelope beside me. I didn’t think twice – I was in the flow, and just wanted to keep going. Without thinking I grabbed the envelope and started drawing lines through the powder using the corner and an edge.”
When it came out of the kiln, Marika was amazed at what had become of her spontaneous choices. Because of the weight difference from the powder, linear bubbles were trapped under the space where black showed through. The effect was unintended, but beautiful nonetheless. Some areas of the red powder showed vibrantly, and others were more subdued. The result: a show-stopping serving dish.
Experimenting and creative chaos
“As a young artist, I still spend a lot of time experimenting in the studio. I don’t really have a signature style just yet. In fact, I think a lot of the techniques I play with are me looking to find that ‘thing.’ A big part of that is letting go of control. Glass is so different from drawing or working two-dimensionally, which is where I’ve had most of my training and experience. So much of the time when I’m experimenting, I don’t know what’s going to happen. That element of unpredictability has been a real challenge for me, but it’s also the fun of it!”
Come see for yourself
The energy Marika talks about is tangible in the studio – as soon as you walk in you will feel the creativity and the connection our artists share. We love showing people around, answering questions, and starting conversations about our pieces. Visit us at the upcoming Transforming the Light: 1st Friday Exhibition to meet our resident artists and explore their spaces over wine and small bites. And don’t miss our other exciting events coming up in December!