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How it Ends, How it Begins

Updated: Apr 19, 2018

People often ask what inspires my original pieces. I could pretend to be professional and describe the entire painstaking creative process for you, from pencil sketch to meticulous measurements to the exact vision coming to fruition after months of perfecting that vision.

But seriously folks, lets be real.

I pick up some glass and I let it happen. Sort of.

Many experienced authors advise new writers to know the ending of their story, even so much as the last sentence, before writing it at all. Impossible! And, well, maybe that's why I should stick to glass-making and not writing. One of the most beautiful parts of creating a piece is allowing it to take shape on its own, to start with one incredibly simple idea, watch it grow, and watch where it finishes.

Rainbow Glass
Scrap Glass Color Selection

This rainbow stained glass / fused glass piece is a perfect example of that incredibly organic process.

On a sunny, breezy Winter afternoon armed with a sheet of white paper, a handful of scrap glass, and a camera I arranged a few pieces of glass to stand upright as if building a house of cards. Just like a volatile card house, the glass structure toppled and was rebuilt several times.

The tiny temporary sculpture finally remained standing long enough in the brilliant sunlight to capture a few shots of it and its refracted image (above). The colors' intensity, the impermanence of the structure, and the effect of the sun and wind revved my mind into high gear.

Laura Koss in Garden State Glasswork
Me, Choosing Colors

I likened the experience to the organic evolution of the creative thought process and became so inspired to create a visual depiction of it, that I collected my supplies, ran into my workshop, and got to work. That's me up there!

I cut glass into strips, arranged them in a window, and photographed the collection in changing light. I imagined how the varied colors, lengths, widths, and textures were like ideas running through my mind, each so different yet connected.

I decided to create a piece not wholly confined within a frame, that is static yet appears dynamic, that is vibrant and multifaceted. In other words, I wanted to create a piece much like our own organic creative thought process, like those colored strips of thoughts running through my mind.

But I couldn't stop there.

While those strips are finite, with a clear beginning and end, I still needed something that, like our thoughts, are free, unfinished, still developing, organic, full of potential... So, I fused some strips into free flowing "drips" that escape the confines of its frame.

Even when a piece is finished, ever-changing light gives it an entirely new life all day, everyday. It's never the same piece twice. Because we are creative people, our thoughts will continually be given new life by new experiences, all day, everyday.

Do you want to know the end, to know the last sentence?

I'll just wait and see what happens.

-Words and Photos by Laura Koss

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