|I can’t remember when I first
started working with Rafael Angel d’Jesus
Navarro-Leiton. But it must have been about 1990. Joanne and I used to
have casting parties on Friday nights at the studio we would invite anyone
and everyone to come by and play while we used up the excess glass and made
new friends. Rafael appeared at one of these parties.
I told him about work I had seen done with
copper picked up on the surface of the molten glass and he asked for some.
A potter by profession he had grown up in Utah and was inspired by the cave
paintings of the Anasazi Freemont peoples of the area. It was a culture that
died out about 800 years ago. (I had heard a lecture by Dick Marquis years
earlier about "How to steal other peoples ideas" Dick said it was easier
if they had been dead for a long time. He used the Middle Kingdom Egyptians
as his source, so I figured 800 years was OK). As Rafael or Raf is Native
American, he felt he could claim them as his distant, very distant ancestors.
We use the traditional ceramic forms of the area and then embellished the
surface area with the copper imagery.
The copper is laid out along
with the surface colours to be picked up, on a heated steel plate. The molten
glass is then rolled over the ‘pick up’ then shaped and blown. If you look
closely at the copper images you will see striations or lines around each
copper piece. Each of these lines show where I have blown in to the glass
and the glass has been forced away from the copper. I think of them as being
similar to tree rings, to show how many times I have blown into the piece.
We have received a number of awards and accolades for this
work. In 1991 one of this series was presented to Her Majesty Queen Margrethe
II of Denmark, during her visit to Vancouver.