It is tough, when one is so obviously a genius oneself, Dear Reader, to confront the fact that one’s better half is rapidly proving to the world that she is smarter than one by a considerable factor.
One has the pleasure, sometimes, of visiting Mrs Wellthisiswhatithink in her Richmond, Melbourne studio, to sit and watch her producing her glass: measuring, scoring, breaking, rearranging, merging, melting, creating.
Her eye for colour and what goes with what betrays her genes as the daughter of an oil painter and member of the Royal Academy on one side, of a talented pencil sketch and portrait artist on the other, with one brother who is a highly regarded watercolourist and another who is a talented amateur sculptor.
At dinner parties or with clients, at the drop of a hat she can wax lyrical about the various melting points of glass, the way it behaves under certain treatments, how it’s manufactured, and has also developed an encyclopaedic knowledge of other glass artists around the world, with whom she networks effortlessly and with great generosity of spirit.
So anyway, last night she presented her latest work – a multi-coloured 40cm x 40 cm lattice fruit bowl – you can see it in the picture above – to her newest client, who was duly gobsmacked with its beauty. The clever thing about this item is how it combines solving a real life problem with beauty. The holes in the lattice let air circulate under the fruit, keeping it fresh for longer. The nexus where practicality meets art has long been a source of inspiration for artists, (Clarice Clift, anyone? Alessi?), and we see it again here.
I see this reaction again and again – how people admire the glass from different angles, marvelling not only its artistry but also it’s crafted mechanical aspects, how it simply “works”, and how it is nothing like they have ever seen before, which, of course, it always is, as every single item that comes out of the kiln is unique.
How it both refracts and reflects the light, turning our world into something new as it is rotated, leaned, lifted, peered around and through.
Artists do not receive, in my opinion, anything like the recognition they deserve, as they meander through our lives wide-eyed in wonder at the world about them , lifting gloom, inspiring, causing us to pause and reflect on the nature of life, of the things we see around us, and on each other.
I am very proud of my wife. So I thought, after nearly 600 blog posts, it was long overdue that I said so.
That is all.
If you would like to experience more of her work, you are more than welcome to head to her Etsy shop at http://www.etsy.com/au/shop/jensstudio. But do us all a favour, if you’d like something as a Christmas gift, delivered to Ulan Bator, please don’t leave it till December 24th.
Or you could head yourself over to https://www.facebook.com/jensstudioglass and like her FB page and join in the conversation.
If you live in the Melbourne area (or if you feel like visiting) Jenie will even teach you how to make your very own piece of art glass.
One was one of the guinea pigs for her class, and one promises you hand on heart it’s the best couple of hundred bucks you’ll ever spend, and amazing value for money.
She even throws in a light lunch. Remember what we said about generous?
If you’re interested, give her a ring direct on 0408 899 900. (From outside Australia, +61 409 899 900.)
You go, grrrl.