Saturday, 13 August 2016

Reflection...on metal and glass

Metalsmith Simeon Smythe and glassmaker Stephanie Else met at our launch party for Reflection and spent the afternoon comparing notes on working in their respective media.

Simeon studied three-dimensional design at Brighton Polytechnic, where he worked in wood, metal, ceramics and plastics before choosing metal as his main material in the final year. After graduating in 1986, he set up a workshop and started producing his own designs in metal.

"The inspiration for my work comes from nature, architecture and geometric forms," he explains. "I often get ideas by working directly with the metal using a combination of machine and hand tools."

The main metals Simeon uses are copper and brass and the finished pieces are either commercially plated or individually patinated using chemicals.

Stephanie is self-taught. Having "worked and played with glass for many years", she uses a variety of kiln-forming and glass-fusing techniques. She works with a combination of both transparent and opaque glass, adding metals, foils and lustres to produce both decorative and functional works of art, jewellery and gifts.

Like Simeon, Stephanie finds her inspiration in nature and the world around her, as well as in the glass itself. She says she "never tires" of experimenting and exploring new techniques.

"I enjoy the unpredictable nature of my work," she says. "Never knowing exactly what a finished piece will look like when it comes out of the kiln...and the fact that no two pieces can ever be the same!"

"Reflection" ends on Saturday 3rd September.

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