Its June in the quarry, and the period of my Welsh Arts Council research grant is coming to an end. I have been burning the kiln at both ends to finish some cast glass pieces and consolidate my research, and put all the oral history tapes, sketches and photographs in some kind of order. Sarah Harman is working on a wonderful suite of songs using some of the threads and stories we have uncovered.
I am still unearthing (sometimes literally!) the secrets of this place, and am awash with ideas and sculptural possibilities. It is a kind of cultural archaeology, and I love that. This research is a real gathering, and is giving me the opportunity to explore lots of ideas and try things out.
I have also been to the studio of Darren Yeadon, a stone sculptor who lives in Goodwick. Darren has been pondering the possibility of putting some glass into his work,and has just completed a stone sculpture of a fragment window, so in some ways our work has been following similar paths. When I got in touch with him to ask if he could cut some slate for me, he was glad to oblige and we have agreed to do a skills exchange, and who knows, maybe we will even collaborate on making work some day.
I also heard this week that the Welsh Arts Council have awarded me a training bursary to cover my travel expenses to Northlands Glass Centre and to pay for me to attend the Glass Biennale in Stourbridge and a masterclass at the International Festival of Glass in the Midlands with pâte de verre master Antoine Leperlier. I am very grateful for all this support – it is going to be a very exciting and busy summer!