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m o r n i n g
l i g h t w o r k s

    Yarrow spirit

    This morning's Lightwork is a plant inclusion of yarrow in fused glass.

    'Yarrow spirit' inverted.
    This is a particularly alchemical process, whereby freshly collected plants can be put between two sheets of glass. If all goes well in the firing process, the plant materia burns away cleanly, leaving an ethereal white ash in its original shape.

    'Yarrow spirit' set into a hardwood base. Fused glass is 15cm x 5.5 cm; in the base it stands 20cm high.

    If the plant spirit doesn't feel like having a ghostly spirit of itself forever held for the delight of others, though, there are two main things which can go wrong. Either the hot air can gets in too quickly, burning away the inclusion altogether ~ or just leaving the faintest of impressions ~ or it doesn't burn cleanly away, leaving an air bubble in which the trapped plant has carbonised, like this piece with orchid inclusions, on the 'waiting to be re-fired' pile:

    Finished pieces can then become transparencies for fine art, photo-graphic (=light drawing) pieces; as with my other work, all images are available as prints too.

    You can buy the original Yarrow Spirit piece here :)

    Golden rosy cross

    This Sunday morning's matins Lightwork is a large rosy cross (12 x 16cm) made from Murano glass and millefiori from Venice and covered with 24 carat gold leaf.

    Here's a close-up of a some gold from the base of the cross: this is a material I love working with, both for its alchemical power and its beauty.

    The rosy cross is set into a Yew burl: it fits snugly but is easy to remove if you want to.

    Yew trees have a rich tapestry of myth and lineage around do rosy crosses.

    I was going to summarise that here, but need to take a little more time over it. When I do, I'll link it in here :)

    Here's the rosy cross in negative, to give a sense of its soulful presence...

    You can buy it here :)

    Holy Mountain

    Holy Mountain

    For this morning's Lightwork, here's a porcelain mountain I made last Summer.

    The name porcelain dates from the 1530s, from Middle French porcelaine ~ which in turn comes from Italian porcellana (13c.): literally cowrie shell.

    The lustre and translucency of porcelain is beautifully shell-like; though I love the lucid translucency of glass, the diffuse, golden glow of illuminated porcelain has a subtler, more earthy grace.

    The raw material is completely opaque when it's being worked with ~ it's only firing that reveals how much light it transmits. When shaping the clay for Holy Mountain, working blind in this way, I reached a point where I thought it was going to have the translucency of a floorboard, gave up and left it overnight.

    When I came back the next morning, a long and lovely crack had appeared along the side...and I got excited again.

    On its side is a Kalachakra seed syllable, embodiment of beneficent energy. It’s also known as the ‘Tenfold Powerful One’, as it contains imagery of sun, moon and flame as well as seven individual syllables. All these elements have many layers of meaning and correspondence but, at its simplest, the auspicious symbol is renowned for dispelling negativity while radiating protection and attracting blessings of health, harmony, joy and abundance.

    The mountain is overlooked by Padmasambhava. Also known as ‘Guru Rinpoche’, this Tantric adept from India played a central rôle in bringing Buddhism to Tibet in the eighth century. His image is a potent symbol of awakened mind.

    Holy Mountain is 20cm high and 20cm wide.

    You can buy it here.

    running, flying

    Close up of surface detail of 'Running, Flying'.

    This first matins Lightwork is a porcelain piece I made last week for a commission...but which was thought to be a bit too strange ;)

    So I'm firing something less quirky instead & offering this up here at less than half price in case anyone else might enjoy a pair of whimsical running, flying dogs!

    It's 20cm x 18 cm x 7cm, freestanding, and works either with a light behind (as above) it or in a window.

    Lit from the front, it looks like this:

    You can buy it here :)

    matins: morning lightworks

    Lēoht Hyrst ~ copse of light.

    Taken in the Ribble Valley in Lancashire, a favourite haunt of Tolkein's.

    The beauty of the land here inspired many of his magical locations, and he drafted The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings while staying nearby.

    The word matins is derived from the Latin matutinus; "of or belonging to the morning".

    In this spirit, every morning (make that 'most mornings' just to take the pressure off;) I'll tell the story of a piece of artwork and make it available.

    That's all!

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    © shenpen chökyi 2013