Amulet / An ornament or piece of jewellery thought to give protection against evil, danger or disease. Oxford Dictionary
I have been working with the manifestation of Amulets in glass since 2004. I hold strong spiritual and physical ties to my birth-land Aotearoa. I am excited by the serendipitous nature of hot glass, in this hot state I like to give the material as much freedom of expression as I can facilitate. I love carving glass dramatically and working with surface textures to refract and reflect light. In the end, I hope to create an object that holds power for those that wear it.
Materials & Methodology
The Amulets are made from crystal, this glass is normally used in the casting process, it has primarily been chosen because of it’s magical relationship with light, it is also coloured throughout and soft in nature allowing easier carving.
The crystal is pre-warmed in a kiln and then picked up on a blow pipe in the hot shop, the glass is blown and free formed into it’s rough shape.
Cooled down to room temperature the Amulet ‘blank’ is carved into a more defined form using a lathe, the glass may pass through two grades of diamond before being ready for the next process.
Now the Amulet is in it’s final form with a smooth surface the process moves to the smaller engraving lathe to work on the surface texture. Small diamond wheels are used to carve marks in the surface, this technique is inspired and developed from the traditional Venetian technique known as Battuto. I can choose from a number of wheels with different profiles in both stone and diamond all delivering very different effects upon the glass. It takes considerable time to work both the front and back of the Amulet, the surfaces will be checked over and over to see that no area has gone untouched.
Once satisfied with the result I hand rub the surface with fine emery to polish the high ground, the different surface textures and treatments become highlighted when seen under moving light.
To finish the work I plait a long chord from 100% waxed cotton, in my experience this thread is extremely strong and durable. I flame work my own toggle from boro-silicate glass and bind it into the chord.
Pendant, glass. 8cm diameter x 1.9cm $580
Pendant, glass. 8.5cm diameter x 0.8cm $480
Pendant, glass. 8.5cm diameter x 1cm $480
Pendant, glass. 7cm diameter x 2.8cm $650
Pendant, glass. 7cm diameter x 1.8cm $650
Pendant, glass. 8cm diameter x 1.8cm $580
Pendant, glass. 7.5cm diameter x 1.5cm $580
Pendant, glass. 7.5 x 6 x 3cm $650
Photograpy by Fred Kroh. © All images copyright the artist
Urchin in Aubergine Glass, waxed cotton cord $480
Urchin in Clear Glass, waxed cotton cord $480
Urchin in Steel Blue Glass, waxed cotton cord $480