Laura Elizabeth Glass uses her skills in hot glass to capture the incandescent qualities of glass combined with precious metals, copper, silver and gold. Inspiration is drawn from capturing a moment in time in glass.
Laura will be showcasing on our stand at Decorex from 16th – 19th September. Design-Nation caught up with Laura about her practice, inspiration and future plans.
Design-Nation asked: Can you tell us about your practice and how your business began?
Laura Elizabeth Glass: After working in glass for other studios for many years I began to get commissions for my own work. When I felt I was ready to begin my own company, I began with decorative pieces and this organically evolved into creating lighting and interior accessories.
DN: Who has been your most influential teacher or mentor?
LE: A masterclass, in glass working with the Japanese glass maestro Shunji Omura expanded my idea of the possibilities in glass. His techniques and processes were fascinating. He was also deeply into meditation as a creative process to let the mind discover possibilities and ways of making. By having a teacher open your mind to the creative process in this positive way really impacted how I approached my work.
DN: What inspires you and your work?
LE: Born and raised on the island of Bermuda I am very connected to the elements. Water in some form or other has evolved as a dominant influence in my work. Recent collections are inspired by rainfall on oceans and capturing the mystical elements of the ocean. The island can be blindingly colourful and endless in terms of cultural influences and people. So I find that environment provides a constant flow of inspiration. I also love playing with the materials themselves to contrast the metals with the glass to create gorgeous effects.
DN: Can you tell us a bit about your design process?
LE: I begin with drawings for a project or piece and this is usually an abstract watercolour. I then do a more practical sketch. Then I create a sample to capture an idea. Sometimes the design process evolves when I am making glass so being connected to the materials is important and I let the materials speak for themselves.
DN: What is your workspace like?
LE: It’s a bright space filled with objects of inspiration, some furniture for meetings, packing and of course work in progress. Lamps, decorative pieces and samples. It’s a workspace, but also a showroom so I have a 15 piece chandelier and wall panel on display which gives clients a chance to see the work and how it could look in their space.
DN: Do you work hard on your PR or do you work with others on marketing?
LE: I work with a small boutique company for branding and marketing and they are especially helpful when I transitioned to creating my lighting collections. I work hard on my PR and I use instagram as a creative outlet for documenting my story, a sort of visual diary which for me communicates so much more than other mediums. Looking forward I want to create more interesting content in the way of film and photography.
DN: What are the main challenges in your practice?
LE: I think of my practice as a puzzle piece that constantly evolves. I tackle one challenge and another pops up so multitasking is key. A continual challenge is managing lots of different areas of my business while pushing forward with my vision for my practice.
DN: Where would you like your practice to be in 10 years?
LE: In 10 years I’d like to believe my practice will include other materials either combined with my glass or as their own entity.
DN: If you could collaborate with someone who would you like that to be?
LE: I’d love to collaborate with a metalworker or woodworker. Perhaps, the talented fellow Bermudian, Melanie Eddy an accomplished fine jeweller.
DN: If you weren’t a designer what would you be?
LE: I don’t have a backup, but if I had to say I’d work in interiors in some way.
DN: Why did you join Design Nation? What do you enjoy and find helpful from being a member?
LE: I joined to create connections with designers and to share the knowledge I’ve built up from working in the industry. Running your practice can be often be isolating and it’s a great to be a part of a community of designers and makers. It’s also a resource for communicating about events and to build a creative network which is beyond the world of glass.
DN: Have you got any exhibitions, commission or event coming up you are taking part in?
LE: I’m working on a commission for a bespoke chandelier and Decore with Design Nation.
Stand F17, Decorex 16th-19th September, 2018