Having just relocated from London to Cambridgeshire, I visited the ‘Ship of the Fens’ (a colloquial expression for Ely Cathedral). An imposing building which has brought pilgrims to the area since medieval times.
As a maker and creator of glass (but neither pilgrim nor religious), I was able to appreciate its magnificent design, architecture and indeed the skills and determination of its construction. Towering columns are majestically transformed with light patterns that emanate from its stained glass windows, casting colours evoking a giant moving canvas.
In designing a chandelier, I wanted to interpret this effect, and so set myself a brief to construct something reminiscent of the windows. Imitating the lead lines and inspired by the diamond forms and layers of colours that refract and disperse light into intoxicating patterns, I set about my task.
Also important was the buyer connecting with the piece through ownership and the satisfying process of self-assembly and maintenance. The individual pieces are hollow and completely sealed - thus preventing the inside getting dirty and enabling easy cleaning. They have been made two-tone in colour to emulate the encalmo technique, adding a second dimple imitates the hanging hole and helps hide the hooks while also aiding refraction.
The Fens, famous for arable farming, are flatlands with huge skies. Every sunset becomes an ever-changing palette of colour, pattern and light. Every dawn a vast array of new hews emerging out of the night’s darkness. Every weather front another opportunity for cloud formations to sing against and offset the muted tones of the landscape below. All aspects of this wild land that the light in the cathedral has been echoing for years and which I have endeavoured to showcase within my chandelier.
Materials: Handblown glass, wire powder-coated steel frame, LED bulbs