I have been attracted to glass from the moment I saw the molten material as a young girl. To me, it is an art form from beginning to end.
The material itself is a mystery. Molten sand, at the temperature of lava, formed with ones breath, hand, and gravity into a crystal delicate form. Glass as a material can transmit or reflect light; can be solid and strong or thin and fragile; it can last out live us for hundreds of years or break in an instant.
Working with the material is beautiful and a joy for me. I love the way it glows and changes colors from the metals added to create colors, to the light it shines from the heat and temperatures. Working with glass is being apart of it, being one with it. Also rarely we work solo, it usually takes a team to create a piece, so we are all working together. Coming from playing Volleyball at William and Mary, I really enjoy all of us working together, getting into the flow of producing an art piece. To understand glass takes a long time, you have to love the material to pursue the knowledge to understand it. All of my team, loves working with glass, so every day is a joy to be able to follow our passion. I feel this joy and energy transforms into the pieces we are working on. Glass holds energy and I believe shares this light. A single glass piece can transform a room.
I enjoy working with the way light goes through the glass, casting colored lights and shadows. A lot of the work I create is about the process. In my blown pieces, I like the viewer to be able to see the movement and how I worked with glass. I enjoy the organic material and like to use the material in a way that it is moving.
In my weavings, I like people to see the process, how it is put together, a part of a whole. Each wire, each piece of glass are entwined together to create a whole piece. The weavings are very personal to me and are what I would consider my signature look. My mother was a weaver before I was born and sold her loom to make room for me. However, we still raised silk warms and I quite often visited the loom and became familiar with the weaving process. During my travels, I have seen how every culture has a fabric, a weaving, that relates to their journey.
All of these moments were key elements in my creation of this process and continuing to develop the pieces into different series and bodies of work. I love the combination of glass and metal, both the stainless and copper. The way the glass looks hanging from the ceiling casting light in the environment or how it drapes on the wall, creating colored shadows beneath.
– Carlyn Ray