Table with layered glass calligraphy by Denis Brown


Glass Table  with centerpiece made of layered glass calligraphy
Denis Brown, 2004
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10mm glass, toughened, edge-beveled, and acid etched on both sides.

8 sheets of hand engraved & etched picture glass, in an asymmetric shape. These are layered 6mm apart over a background sheet of watercolor paper, which bears a mono printed image composed from blurred scans from the glass engraving. All are held together in a wooden frame that slots into a plywood base that has been painted & rough gilded with aluminium.

Description of central image
A vortex of engraved lettering, whirling outward in 3-D from a black central cavity. The top left corner of the asymmetric form features layers of frosted glass stepping downward over the 3 dimensional depth. In context of themes I have used in other glass art, the central vortex may suggests either an eye or a womb.

'Under the Avalanche', a poem by Catherine Byron, 2003, where the poet imagines herself trapped 'in the grey darkness of snow', yet finds solace in comparing her freezing isolation chamber to the near foetal safety of 'reading under my bedclothes with a torch'. Since beginning work with her text, the author has told me that the poem emerged 'from the state of being morphine-happy' following life-saving surgery.

In the original it is possible to focus on individual layers and decipher parts of the text. The top layer of glass is legible on close inspection- it reads: 'I've heard that a pocket of air can save your life, so I'm hunkering down in the grey darkness of snow and pulling cold around me like a quilt... '.

Size of Table top: Left edge 6 feet or 59cm; Top edge 4 feet or 42cm
Size of Centerpiece: Left edge 23' or 59cm; Top edge 17' or 42cm
Depth of Centerpiece: 3' or 7cm. Height: 30' or 76cm

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