Sometimes “less” is just enough. Especially when it comes to colour. This little blog is about the joy of white glass and the many ways I’m using it at the moment. You can order any of these pieces in any of my “normal” sizes. Just let me know.
My favourite all white glass design is one that takes a lot of patient work to produce but I love the outcome so I keep making it. Here goes: the design is called RIVER MARNE. Its in France.
The Celts of Gaul worshipped a goddess known as Dea Matrona (the “divine mother goddess”) who was associated with the River Marne. The Marne was navigable as a free-flowing river until the 19th century. It had one gated 500 m shortcut, the Canal de Cornillon in Meaux, which was built in 1235, which is the oldest canal in France.
In World War I, the Marne was the scene of two notable battles. In the First Battle of the Marne (September 1914), the military governor of Paris, General Joseph Gallieni, took the initiative in driving the Germans back from the capital, rendering their whole ar-plan inoperative. In the Second Battle of the Marne (July-August 1918), the last major German offensive on the Western Front was defeated by an Allied counter-attack, leading eventually to the Armistice. This is interesting – but not why I have a piece of glass called RIVER MARNE!
With a very dear friend who has now sadly passed away, we were driving from Bayeux in Normandy to Paris to see Disneyland and stopped for the night at a hotel that was right on the edge of the River Marne.
I’d done a bit of traveling, but as a girl from Adelaide, (a desert city!), it was very cold and I’d never seen ice flowing down a river before.
I was mesmerized and terrified at the same time. The speed of the water was astonishing and the size of the ice was surprising.
There are lots of ridiculously fun stories from this overnight stay but one enduring memory was the blocks of ice storming down the river. I found this video on a news site of ice flowing fast down a river in Missouri – the Marne looked very like this that night. Common in North America, not so common in Paris!
So of course as I am always inspired by nature I was always going to make a piece of glass with regular but irregular pieces of white on a bed of clear glass, wasn’t I? Here’s how I did it.
I started with graph paper, I’ve loved playing with graph paper since school, and it’s very helpful when making intricate designs! I start with some paper glue (like Elmers) and purchase a bundle of white stringers and lie them on the graph paper and tack fuse them and cut them all into 2cm strips. You can see some results below with black stringers on clear glass. (Its easier to see black on clear which is why I am showing you this here.) Stringers of all types are always available to students for incorporate into their designs. They are in a box in the studio marked “part sheets” – its full of surprises for you anytime you want to find something unusual!
So anyhow, I do this with white stringers and then add it to the centre of my RIVER MARNE design. I have made it in dozens of different sizes and shapes and I’m happy to make one for a special gift for you anytime. Below you can see some of the finished pieces using this technique.
On the left, “Paris Elegance” is a combination of black and white stringers. It and “London Fashion” and “Snow and Skis” are always very popular when paired with modern, monochromatic kitchens, as is “River Marne”. I think I’ll be making these designs for as long as I make glass!
So back to white glass … well, creating opaque white glass is actually an ancient art, since vessels were made as early as 1500 B.C. in Egypt. Yes, white has been a popular colour for glass for centuries! The popular term “milk glass” almost always refers to the opaque white glass that was popular from around 1835 through to the 1980s in America and England. Beginner collectors of older glass gravitate to milk glass because it’s beautiful, relatively easy to find, and very affordable.
Nowadays I am able to buy large sheets of glass that’s mostly clear with some whispy threads of opaque white on it.
I just love it and so do my customers. I thought you’d like to see some pieces I’ve made using this fabulous “whispy white”.
You can see half a sheet of this amazing whispy white glass below. It’s not cheap, but the results are superb. It’s great on its own or in combination with white stringers. Below the half sheet you can see a variety of designs using this glass.
Over the years I have made other designs, of course in all white, I had one called Weddell Sea, I haven’t made that for ages. WHITE LINEN (far left, below) is also perennially popular.
I made one piece where I cut whispy white glass into strips that are 1cm wide and laid them on their side and fused them. Checkout the result in the middle below. Let me know if you want to try this technique, its called ‘STRIP CUT’, and you can do it with any of the glass here or I can make a piece for you. PICK UP STICKS is always a customer favourite. It used to sell especially well at craft markets for some reason, when I used to do those.
Of course you can add one element to white and also create something really wonderful. The woven platter you see above is a Bespoke Order for a customer in New Zealand using mostly clear glass and white whispy with a touch of a greeny glass we call “Sour Apple”. Sour Apple is actually a white base of glass with moss green swirled through it by the glass chemist who makes the glass. Let me know if you want to see more art made with Sour Apple, I’d be happy to show it to you. The client absolutely raved about this design, it was exactly what she had envisaged. If you ever want a special piece designed for you to suit your home’s decor just head here: jenieyolland.com/contact-us
White glass is also absolutely my favourite for my SPLAT CLOCKS, and splat coaster sets – you can see some below. These have been safely posted all over the planet and are loved by people everywhere.
So now you know the names of these different white glass art pieces you can easily order them from me, or come into my Richmond Studio (by appointment) and create one yourself.art glass fused glass Jenie Yolland kiln glass kilnformed glass melbourne glass Oceanside Oceanside Tile and Glass stringers warm glass white glass white stringers