Harbourfront Centre jewellery studio resident Alisha Boyd’s latest work, an experimental essel series created through the fusing of enameled surfaces, is currently on display as part of the 2010 Winter Exhibitions. We recently sat down with Alisha and asked her, “What’s the Big Deal“?
Here’s what she had to say!
HFC- What was your inspiration for this series of work?
A- Before beginning my Craft Studio Residency at the Harbourfront Centre, I divided my work equally between producing jewellery and hollowware, or small-scale metal vessels. Enameling is a signature aspect of all my work; however, the kiln available at Harbourfront is too small for traditional hollowware purposes. So for the first half of my residency, I focused exclusively on my jewellery designs. The idea behind my vessel series was to rethink the processes I use and find solutions to create enameled vessel forms with the tools available to me.
The pieces within my Experimental Vessel Series were created through the fusing of enameled surfaces, so that the glass itself, when cooled, would hold the form of the vessel. With the exception of the wire vessels, this process involved each element of a piece being prepared and enameled separately, using a found object as a support, and then fusing it within the enameling kiln or the large glory hole in the glass studio, according to scale. The resulting pieces echo the shapes of the bowls and forms that supported them during the firing process.
HFC – How does this compare to your regular style/work?
A – The Experimental Vessel Series has a different visual presence than hollowware that I have produced in the past. By the nature of the processes I have employed, the vessels assume an airy and delicate appearance.
How I approached these pieces is also different from my traditional way of working. Jewellery, by nature of process and precious materials, is usually approached in a very precise manner, requiring each stage to be totally thought through before proceeding. In the past this has translated into my vessel work. With this current series I gave myself the freedom to play and explore without over-thinking the final product. I focused on lines, patterns and just possibilities. The current pieces on display exist like sketches of ideas to be further explored. Using this approach gave me an allowance to try things that I knew might have issues structurally but that my mind’s eye wanted to see in physical form. In turn the process of making them has given me the ideas I need to employ in the next step in order to lend them more physical strength.
Alisha’s work is on display until April 4th at Harbourfront Centre. For hours and additional details about other works/artists on exhibition, visit here