Artist finds new expression in glass
From Monday to Friday, Violet Finvers uses her keen sense of design and colour to create striking presentations and annual reports for corporate clients. But in the evenings and on weekends, she applies her aesthetic eye to a different medium, glass.
It’s her chance to explore new facets of her creative energy, try new things, escape.
“When you’ve been doing graphic design for 25 years, it’s a job,” says Finvers, of Burnaby.
She started working with glass four years ago, taking a class at a private studio in Vancouver. Her first completed piece, a green bowl, was a finalist in an international competition for kiln-carved glass.
Finvers loves the manual labour involved, carefully cutting pieces of ceramic fibre to create the templates upon which she melts slabs of glass in a kiln at 1,600 F to form the organic shapes of nature, like fossils, amoebas, leaves that inspire her work. She loves the element of mystery.
“Each colour reacts slightly differently” to the heat of the kiln, says Finvers, who currently has an exhibition at the Deer Lake Gallery. “Opening up the kiln is very exciting, but it can also be disappointing.”
Especially when a piece ends up in shards.
“I cut myself all the time,” says Finvers. “There’s constantly blood involved.”
When the studio where she first cut her teeth on glass went out of business, she bought the 20-inch by 20-inch kiln, setting up a studio in her garage/workshop.
Most of her pieces are functional, as well as decorative. They’re bowls, boards, platters and plates. Each takes days of cutting the templates before they’re fired at least twice.
“The designer in me wants to make it functional,” says Finvers. “But I also want it to be very bold, graphic.”
• Finvers will be one of dozens of local artisans displaying and selling their creations at the 41st annual Deer Lake Craft Festival, which begins Thursday and runs through Sunday at the Shadbolt Centre.