Amanda J Simmons came to glass after a previous career in engineering and medicine and has worked with the material for the past 12 years after graduating from Central St Martin’s School of Art & Design in London. Her biomedical past profession has also been highly influential in both her aesthetic and making process.
Past exhibits include Collect (Crafts Council), Contemporary Applied Arts, London Glassblowing, Bullseye Gallery, Portland and SOFA Chicago. All her work is now made in Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland where Simmons moved to in 2005. In 2010 she won the Crafts Councils and UK Trade & Investment Gold Award for innovation. As a result of this she has been selected to research and teach in the USA and Europe.
Amanda J Simmons exploits the heat of the kiln combined with gravity to manipulate and form her complex glass pieces. It is however her use of opaque glass powders in the initial stages, that create her unique surface textures and tonal palette. Firing melts the powders, softening and hardening the surface, revealing the layered and mixed colours used. Final cold working processes such as grinding, cutting and engraving, reveal more of the hidden structure but also add further intricate decoration.
In her words;
‘We have collected objects ever since we have had somewhere to put things. I’m interested in our emotional responses to contemporary objects and the connection we build with inanimate items. The starting point to all my work is that connection, either with an emotion, colour, written word or music and from there I will investigate how others have looked at the same notion, making a visual representation of my research and reactions, often leading to more questions’