1987, United Kingdom
Throughout her studies, initially experimenting with other materials, Donaldson was continually drawn back into the glass workshops, resulting in a deep fascination with glass, the beginning of her artistic exploration and long term commitment to her chosen material.
Having initially developed a body of one-off sculptural free blown glass forms, realising the potential of using glass in an expressive and imaginative way, Donaldson continued to sculpt her glass to create mesmerising pieces, exploiting the hot blown glass to create layers of colours, which are then revealed through to extensive cutting and polishing.
Inspired by the internal structures of naturally occurring geodes, it was during these investigations that Donaldson created a series of work influenced by the exploration of the 'vug', which is the internal space within a geode. A continuous theme to her work, the aim being to draw the viewer into the internal movement of each unique piece.
In her own words:
“Rock collections fascinate me. I am particularly interested in ‘Lapidaries’, the professional craftsmen that became skilled at cutting precious stones to obtain the best optical effect. I am therefore exploring the parallels between this and my work, individual specimens capture the succession of events and hint at the transformation to its present state. Minerals like agate form under intense pressure and heat, I am intrigued by the way that such multi-layered and multi-coloured order forms out of such chaos. An associated interest of mine is ‘Stratigraphy’, the study of rock layers and layering. Deposition of one layer is separated from the next by a clear interval or change in texture, colour, or mineralogy. Layers may merge with one another so that boundaries between them are unclear. As I cut and polish the surface of my specimens, my excitement of enquiring cold work techniques liberate the curious lore of this precious material and bring my forms to life. I thrill to see the freshly exposed interior, reveal the captured fragments of the moment of its formation. I have always been particularly interested by the interactions between humans and objects, how one encounters an unfamiliar object of desire”
Artworks by the artist