Transformation / by Sasha Ward

 Offcuts standing sideways in my studio window, each 1 metre tall

Offcuts standing sideways in my studio window, each 1 metre tall

I had a commission to make two fanlight windows for a friend's house in Poland. She said offcuts would do, so I put two leftovers sideways in my studio window and waited for inspiration. I had made the glass in 2000 for an exhibition, the pink one broke and I remade it in yellow but was never satisfied with the results. You can see in the pages below from my 2000 sketchbooks that there was a lot going on here - how could I add something while also making sense of a poor composition ?

Meanwhile another friend, the artist Wendy Smith who I met when we were students together, came to stay. She had a lot to say about the process of transformation, you can read about it on her blog. Her ideas spoke to me about the danger of overworking versus making a fresh start. I have often tried to make new pieces on top of old samples and all I got was a struggle made visible.

 The new panels in my studio, finished last week.

The new panels in my studio, finished last week.

This time, I sandblasted across the glass backgrounds with star/flower shapes, as if embroidering figures across a patterned and pleated fabric ground. The yellow ground got pink details, the pink ground got yellow and a fantastic rich amber made from a mix of enamels. You can see the depth of the old lines under the surface of the glass in the details below.