At the Fair. - Margaret Sparks

Inspiration details:

19th century english show glass

show glass

England, Great Britain (made

late 18th century - early 19th century (made)

unknown (production)

Trailed and combed glass

V&A collection reference number(s):
7702, 7705, 7724.

Artist Statement

Margaret Sparks

I was immediately attracted by the very exciting colours and patterns of the bottles and vases made as show pieces and for fairs. Looking closer, I could see that the transparency of the glass allowed the patterns to overlap, producing new pattern combinations. I made drawings and took photographs, and experimented with mono prints on tissue paper, and with lino cuts, making three small blocks on scrap lino. The mono prints were very delicate but did not overlap well, and the tissue paper tore easily. Lino cuts better represented the boldness of the patterns, and I made four new ones which were freestanding designs, not solid blocks like the first ones. I experimented with prints in pink, and white, which showed up grey against the light, before deciding on red and black.
As well as the strong patterns, I wanted to show the translucent quality of the glass, by printing on a paper thin enough to be suspended against the light and have the patterns overlapping and back lit. I found a paper that was strong and very fine. It would not have been possible to put a large sheet through the press, and also I wanted multiples of the same design, so I had to print off a lot of individual prints. I found I could assemble the prints in ways which gave entirely new patterns. The bottles and the vase were very smooth and rounded, so I decided to make the print round too, and reinforce the edge with cane, so that the whole piece can be hung up, and the light can shine through it.
Throughout this process I have had support and encouragement from my tutor, Simon, who helped me with suggestions and in making decisions. The atmosphere of the class is always friendly and helpful.

At the Fair. - Margaret Sparks

No Image

Inspiration details:

19th century english show glass

show glass

England, Great Britain (made

late 18th century - early 19th century (made)

unknown (production)

Trailed and combed glass

V&A collection reference number(s):
7702, 7705, 7724.

2015 Exhibition Guide

Please wait