Series Inspiration and Process
My yakisugi series is a musing on MUH - the “mathematical universe hypothesis” - a speculative theory in physics that states that everything in the physical universe exists as mathematical structure. This is reflected in each of the pieces, conveying the idea through related symbols, shapes, and structures - some playfully apparent, while others, more intuitive.
I have been involved in the arts all my life. Originally trained in the theatre, I have spent most of my years in the performing arts but have always enjoyed creating things by hand, finding a singular satisfaction in their lasting beauty. I was first drawn to explore the craft of traditional stained glass by its dramatic allure, but was later inspired by other's artwork made from wood.
My pieces take their cue from the traditional Japanese method of wood burning - yakisugi - a blackening of the wood that reveals clean, distinct lines and an inherent textural beauty. Initially, I was attracted to the effect created by the interaction of wood and fire and the resultant charred form, but it soon became apparent to me that glass was a natural companion to the charred wood since it, too, was a product of an element (sand) transformed by fire to become something more. Having worked with colored stained glass before, I wanted to use it in a different way, highlighting the textures and colors for their inherent beauty without the dimension of light coming through. My incorporation of the glass structures embedded into the wood became a take on sculptural relief that resulted from my desire to bring another untraditional approach to something traditional. In addition, the colors in the glass, along with the brightly colored modern paint techniques used on the wood, are intended to bring a contrast and pop to the dusky qualities of the charred background.
My experimentation led me to develop my current techniques for creating my pieces. Here's a sample of my process.