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Inner Beauty | A solo exhibition by Samantha Donaldson | 22 August - 3 October 2022

19th August 2022

Inner Beauty | A solo exhibition by Samantha Donaldson | 22 August  - 3 October 2022

Vessel Gallery presents

Inner Beauty | A solo exhibition by Samantha Donaldson

22 August - 3 October 2022

Samantha Donaldson is a contemporary glass artist specialising in hot and cold glass techniques. Having graduated from De Montfort University in 2009 with a First Class BA Honours Degree in Design Crafts, continuing her time at De Montford as an artist in residency, Donaldson went on to study her Masters at the Royal College of Art in 2012.

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 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.

Donaldson won the The Design Trust award at MADE London in 2013 and was the Silver winner of the Craft & Design Magazine selected makers award in 2012. She was the recipient of The Pilkington Bursary award whilst at the RCA in 2011 and received The Albert Christopherson Collection award, De Montfort University, in 2009.

In her own words;

“An ongoing personal fascination is the ever changing perceptions between the viewer and a curiously unfamiliar object - of desire - placed before them, a moment of discovery often experienced with natural specimens.

Rock collections fascinate me. Whilst studying minerals like agate, which form under intense pressure and heat, I became intrigued by the way that such multi-layered and multi-coloured order forms out of such chaos. By direct association, I am also interested in ‘Lapidaries’, the skilled professional craftsmen who cut precious stones to obtain the best optical effect for each one. I realised I could explore a comparative thrill to that of slicing through rocks, by using cutting and polishing techniques to transform blown glass forms, revealing an inner world, a frozen moment in time, creating stunning optical effects refracting light and movement.

Inspired specifically by ‘Stratigraphy’, the study of geological layering and formations, where one layer is separated from the next by a clear interval or change in texture, colour, or mineralogy, I make direct reference to this by overlapping transparent layers of glass, blurring the lines between nature and fantasy. Created with a truly celebratory use of colour, these organic and futuristic, yet elegantly curious sculptures, make depth seem limitless”

As with all large scale and heavy blown glass sculpture, it is imperative to have the right people to work with. Donaldson met James Devereux during their shared time at the RCA. Since then, Devereux has established his own studio with Katherine Huskie, Devereux and Huskie Glassworks, which is based in Wiltshire. Both are not only exceptionally skilled glass makers but also artists in their own right. With over 20 years experience behind them, they created Devereux and Huskie Glassworks with the purpose to provide fine artists, fellow glass artists and designers with a professional workshop yet set in surroundings where they can feel at home, allowing their creative ideas to flow. From these idyllic settings some of the finest contemporary British studio art glass is currently made.

Donaldson on working with Devereux;

“James and I share fond memories of intense workshop experimentation over the years. Not only is James a technical genius when it comes to this material, he delves in to my bizarre mind, helping me achieve my curious creative aims!!”

Inner Beauty is on until 3 October 2022 with all artworks available to view in person in the gallery or on online

View all exhibition Artworks

Join the conversation on Instagram
Vessel Gallery @vessellondon | Samantha Donaldson @samantha_donaldson_glass | James Devereux @mr_devereux | Katherine Huskie @kathusk

Samantha Donaldson with James Devereux

Samathan Donaldson in the Devereux Huskie Glassworks studio

Samantha Donaldson being assisted by James Devereux

As above

Samantha Donaldson finshing some Ice Vugs

Samantha Donaldson polishing a Vug artwork