Friday, 14 March 2014

My Lampwork Manifesto

I've not published anything on the blog for a while, I've been using the immediacy of Facebook to relay any news, so I thought it a good time to re-think and re-state some thoughts. I'm thinking more about my 'art' side of things of late, and as I'm in more radical mood today I've re-written my 'artists statement and intention,' which has turned more into a manifesto, and explains 'why lampworking' as an artists medium. I don't expect everyone will 'get it' or understand some of it, but I think and hope it might strike a chord (no pun intended) with a few lampworkers who might read this.

Lampworking is rock ‘n' roll. Not that corporate-MTV-boyband rock ‘n' roll, but the sawdust and spilt beer on the floor, stale smoke BO filled dirty dark basement, ear-bleeding howling broken amp rock ‘n' roll. Furnace glassblowers are the orchestral movement; choreographed and rehearsed, we appreciate them in awe as they come together with grace and practise to produce beauty. We do love the fused workers jazz creations as they layer colour on colour, tone on tone, but we can't work that way. Spontaneity and individuality are why we work alone to bring life our crazed obsessive visions that we can't explain. We have to show and shout and smash and burn, to create.

In garages and dark unloved rooms we make our noise, thrashing and practising at guitars or torches to learn how to express ourselves. Cuts and blisters for both, and we continue through bleeding fingers as the music takes shape. The language is the same; one talks of larger amps and mixers to make bigger noise, the other bigger kilns and oxycons to make bigger glass. For one it's a Stratocaster or Les Paul guitar, for the other a GGT or Herbert Arnold torch; a blank tape or a clear rod of glass. To get them we play our cheap battered instruments, busking in streets or flea markets, making what we have to to pay for the creations in the back of our minds. These are not middle-of-the-road melodies or Christmas tree trinkets, these are single minded visions, drawn out of the darkest depths of our mind. There is no expectation anyone will even understand us, so we carry on alone, hoping our peers and idols might give a nod and say 'cool'. That's the only bread we have to keep us going in the hope of finally getting a proper gig. A dive bar, a tired art boutique at the wrong end of town, our first real gig, and the hope that it will eventually lead to that football stadium or whitewashed gallery. Always the fear that we'll burn out and give up before we reach our dream, and, if we finally succeed, our inner vision has taken over and nothing is as important as the next cool rift or lattachino.
  And both are the only jobs where you HAVE to wear dark glasses indoors. Rock on!
(Lampwork Manifesto - Copyright Glenn Godden)

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