Drawn to biomorphic structures found in plant growth, life cycles and decay, such as the delicately aging silhouettes of tulip petals, it is these twisted yet beautiful organic shapes, that she aims to capture in her glass.
With a background in printmaking and textiles, involving hand dying and screen-printing fine silks, Oberdieck understands the relationship between colour and light, a relationship that is perfect to further explore with glass. As the artist puts it;
“The luminosity of colours found in the sky, as day turns to dusk, with the pivotal light from the sun or moon glowing through layers of folded clouds, is captivating.”
Oberdieck’s surfaces are achieved by using the classic Swedish technique of Graal; pre-made glass ‘cups’ are externally cut with motifs and patterns. These ‘cups of colour’ are then re-heated and re-blown, as the form evolves and enlarges, these incised marks blend, soften and distort, creating ethereal watery effects.
Fascination with the vast array of plant life and flowers, as reflected in Oberdieck’s earlier botanical textile prints, has come full circle with her most recent sculptural glass series ‘Fantasy Plants’, her reimagining and vision of organic life of the future.
Michèle Oberdieck has been working with blown glass since her MA at the Royal College of Art in 2016. This shift of material was the result of a significant commission involving the development of a new technique of fusing printed fabrics between sheets of glass. A moment that sparked curiosity in this new medium, paving the way for a new creative direction. Previously Oberdieck studied textile design at Glasgow School of Art and ran a successful printed textile practice for several years based at the Oxo Tower, London.
She has exhibited and sold work in Italy, France, Japan, Lebanon, USA, South Korea, Canada, as well as in the UK. Her work was selected for the European Prize for Applied Art Exhibition 2022 in Belgium, as well as the Ireland Glass Biennale 2019, being one of just 50 international artists on show. For the last three years she been invited to exhibit at Venice Glass Week. In March 2023, she was chosen as just one of only 14 artists by the Crafts Council to exhibit at Collect Open, held at the prestigious Somerset House. Most recently, Oberdieck was awarded the QEST (Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust) grant in 2023, allowing continued training in blown and sculpted glass.