JOHN KENNETH CLARK

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ARCHITECTURAL GLASS ARTIST

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Domaine Mechtildshausen Windows


This is a lovely project set in a beautiful biological domain near Wiesbaden. The windows were made in two phases over a few years and gave me an opportunity to develop an approach to abstract work.

 

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Domaine Mechtildshausen Windows


Material - mouth blown Lamberts Glass
Technique - acid etching, silverstaining
Dimensions -

Project Text


In Wiesbaden, Herr Bourgett visited the exhibition and he asked if I would make some work for the new market hall in the Domaine which is located just outside Wiesbaden.
There was no specific design brief but that I should design something appropriate to the building and location.
From early on in the project I realised that something abstract would probably be most appropriate for this location. It should also have some link to the holistic and organic approach underlying the philosophy of the Domaine itself.
The designs are a result of experimentation in mono-print techniques that freed me from a drawn approach. I had been leaning towards a set of windows based on the concept of the fundamental elements found in many cultures. I began looking for images that reflected the qualities of fire, water, earth and air.
The images I selected to work from and to present are based on this concept but I it should be seen as only a starting point of the creative process and not a dogma.
I produced a set of designs for a specific building before the end of the year and they met with approval and surprise at the design approach. Nothing then happened for quite a long time and the next development was that the location of the market hall had been changed and another building was selected. I was asked to redesign for this new location, which I duly did. The fašade design is the result of these revisions.
When the project finally did come to life, I then had to decide how this project would be made.
I began in my usual method of drawing a large scale version of the design. Although I found the drawings I was making exciting and stimulating, I was not seeing the spontaneity and freshness that is indicated in the designs. The designs were created using a random principle over which my only real control was the colours selected. I wanted to find some of this directness in the handling of the glass. I experimented for around four weeks trying various methods of applying various acid resists until I saw the qualities that I wanted.
In each of the windows, the surface of the glass has been extensively and repeatedly etched. There is no application of paint or enamels. Three of the windows were then worked with silver-stain. The results can be seen. I have posted some of the stages of the making of these windows and they can be seen in the picture index.
It was very stimulating working finally on an abstract project and have since designed for some more commissions using partly what I have learned by creating this work. It will be interesting to see where this leads.