Trying something new is like spinning the one armed bandit for craft makers. New is always a gamble, with all the allure of hitting the jackpot but the strong possibility you’ll leave with empty pockets.
A lot of my making time is spent in the search for uncharted territory. My designs are born from experimenting with new forms, but they sometimes turn out only to be new to me. Some of my earlier repeatable designs fell into that category. I’d been experimenting in the hotshop, playing with folding the glass back on itself, creating air pockets that formed concentric rings reminiscent of the rings of Saturn. The concept could be applied to many forms and I designed a range of bowls and plates, even an ash tray for The Square Restaurant in Bruton Street, London.
Images of these pieces formed part of my application to attend the renown Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, USA. The class was amazing, but one of the most memorable parts for me was watching the fabulous Benjamin Moore making one of his signature bowls, which was remarkably similar to my Saturn design. I was not the first. I cringed thinking about the images I had put into my application for the class, my exciting new pieces now looked like copies of the tutors work.
Making something truly new is rare, so much has been done before wether we know about it or not. Saturn is still a design I’m proud of, fun to make and holds lots of possibilities for adaption, some of which may not have been made already. It was fun to try one on my lathe this week which I think I will incorporate into my new lighting range. My new light is not conventional, so much so that I have patent pending on the design. This time I definitely am charting new territory, with IP protection in place!