An interview with award-winning glass artist Colin Rennie October 30, 2019 10:53
Good design and an appreciation of aesthetics are central to the custom awards that we create. Our design teams draw inspiration from numerous fields such as art, science and the stories behind the brands that we work with. In today’s blog, we speak with lecturer, artist and glassblower Colin Rennie who shares his passion for his work.
Colin, thank you for sitting down with us and taking the time to answer our questions. Tell us about yourself and your works.
I work predominantly with hot glass blowing and metalwork The work is a blend of digital design and visualisation processes with traditional craft practices and, for me, the making process is integral to the concept. Work has often sought to respond sculpturally to a range of scientific ideas, discoveries and theories. I have exhibited work internationally and was Shortlisted for the Toyama Glass Prize Japan 2018 and the Jerwood prize 2003. I have works in the collections of V&A, Ebletoft glass museum, NMS, Ernsting Stiftung and Hsin-Chu museum, Taiwan. I live and work in the northeast of England.
Your work and where you have exhibited is certainly impressive. What inspires your pieces?
Fascination and wonder in the deep fundamental questions that scientific practices investigate are a manifest theme in the work. The perspective gained from an artistic overview fosters the emergence of connections and relationships between subjects, between ideas, and fields of thought that specialisms and narrow scope often obscure. I seek to make responses to scientific thought in ways that explore the experience of our humanity, of our consciousness, beside the existence of these humbling phenomena and to challenge the viewer, to provoke deeper observation, understanding and questions
The idea of change, growth and connection runs deep within what you do. How does the relationship between technology and tradition feature in your art?
Having self taught in Rhinoceros and Grasshopper software and experienced as a waterjet operator and trained in glassblowing and coldworking techniques, the work results from a constant blending and amalgamation of a range of digital and physical skills. Often the works emerge from a cycle of digital design and manufacture, that is then reworked, softened and reformed in the hot glass studio to be then digitally scanned again, and framed by precision armature made in waterjet cut metal.
Do you have any favourite, preferred techniques/materials that you use?
Hot glass is dynamic, a fluid dance with the material, whereas digital processes are unconstrained by physical limitations but require a systematic methodology to operate them well. There is a kind of meta material between these two different approaches that I am most fascinated by.
Finally, what inspired you to take this career path?
I have always made things, as a child I was muddy, covered in paint and sawdust and felt most at ease whilst creating things, Its my love of making and crafting beauty from raw materials that made me choose to make things and teach others how to make a career.