1967, Worcester, UK
A reoccurring theme throughout the years within his work has been the synthesis of glass with metal, which under the creative influence of the artist, often results in corrosion, patination and texture. With his Apertura series, blown vessels created from recycled Bang & Olufsen Television glass are coated by ‘spark impregnation’. Lewis intensely grinds iron and other metals, creating a multitude of small, hot, airborne metal particles that instantly bond and finally cover, the surface of his glass. Forever evolving works, the consistent detail for each is a window of pure transparent coloured glass, a framed aperture to the internal space, encased and surrounded by this metallic shell.
In a parallel and completely different body of work, are Lewis' Moonrock sculptures, which combine glass with dichroic filters and employ his own unique technique which began in 1994. Whilst working as a glass blowing assistant in Oregon, an introduction to ‘dichroic thin film interference filters’ as a form of surface decoration on blown glass, saw Lewis see vast potential. This amazing and very technical material, similar to iridescent butterfly wings, produces colour formed by selective reflection as opposed to absorption. The refractive transformation of light through convex and concave lenses and a diffused projection which this film creates, results in artworks that appear to glow from within, emanating a myriad of colours. A constant in Lewis’ glassmaking palette, this series and technique has featured in many notable sculptural & architectural works and derivations.
These two opposing praxis of the artist’s artistic inquiry, often merge into a single expression. Lewis’ work has evolved into a distinctive vision, a fusion of beauty and uniqueness. Every piece of Lewis' art has a twist, in that each of his designs can be traced back to a single sketch. In many instances scribbled several years before just waiting for that last ingredient of inspiration for it to become a reality and brought to life in his multidisciplinary hot glass and metalwork studio in Essex.
In the artist’s own words;
“In my work I try to create pieces which are hard to identify materially and have an unknown. I enjoy making things whether a glass vessel or a glass furnace, I appreciate things crafted by hand. My history is of engineering and consequently, I love to push the boundaries of what is expected of materials”
Lewis was awarded the Glass Society Prize in the British Glass Biennale 2019. His Transceiver received an Honourable Mention in Trace - Showcasing Sustainable Glass Art, in the Glass Art Society’s Virtual 2021 Conference. His dichroic glass has been used in a number of prestigious architectural commissions, including in the Space Pyramidion at the Child Museum of Cairo and the Bliegiessen Sculpture by Thomas Heatherwick at the Wellcome Collection. His work is in the permanent collection of the Glasmuseum Lette, Germany. He teaches glassblowing and regularly demonstrates at design events.
Exhibitions and further information;
Distant Electric Vision | A Solo Exhibition by Jon Lewis
Distant Electric Vision Catalogue
Jon Lewis - Distant Electric Vision | An essay by Emma Park
Artworks by the artist