All my designs start with an idea but then things go another way. You have to be quite flexible when you work with glass. There is no computer needed – you just have to keep your eyes open. I call myself a form finder – I’m not trying to develop nice shapes, I work on a process. We do some glass blowing tests, sometimes things go wrong, and sometimes they go right – sometimes you get an idea for free!
AV: The shade is blown into a wooden mould – a glass optic mould. We use different size moulds so that they are always different. Then to create the patterns we use silver nitrate, and shellac to seal the silver. It’s been done this way for 500 years.
I have several ways of making the base – sometimes we blow it during the stem making, and sometimes they are made separately and glued together.
AB: Why do you use LED?
AV: Using LED is a big advantage in glass; they don’t create much heat so you can build it into the light. It’s been great for my experiments and form finding, as I’ve built new shapes that are closer and thinner, that just weren’t possible before.