Margaret Alston

I was always fascinated by glass. I began experimenting with glass pastes as a student in 1980, having tried other glass techniques I wanted to combine the decorative potential of glass with the modelling properties of clay, it led to extensive technical research and refining of the process which has been ongoing. Able to control the technique I progressed from flat to 3D tests; small crucible forms whose essential beauty and simplicity became the inspiration to work with vessels.

I enjoy the deliberate and controlled making process, although painstaking and sometimes problematic, it is a lengthy process, a sustained involvement with each piece. Just as compellingly I love the expressive nature of the material itself; its weight, strength and fragility, its ambiguities, the unique way it refracts light and the way it can evoke the quality of other materials such as semi-precious stones, fossils and even sand. I avoid specific cultural or historical references, I like the idea of universal symbols, including the vessel form itself, which can communicate across place and time.

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