Jo Ludwig & Peggy Brack Works

Jo Ludwig

I am a trained Heavy Duty Mechanic and hold a degree in Philosophy. But I prefer sculpture and the brilliant color of glass. So in 1996/97 I quit everything, moved to Victoria, opened Kiln Art Glass Studio and commenced teaching myself kiln forming (i.e. fusing and slumping) glass. I taught myself through trial and error and sometimes (when all else failed) through books. In 1999 I discovered dichroic glass and have been working with it ever since.

At one time, beauty was necessary, even the principle, quality in works of art. Sometimes beauty alone was sufficient. Today, beauty is not necessary, and certainly not sufficient. For that matter, beauty seems almost to be detrimental. My work addresses this issue. It consists of small, glittering, mesmerizing, colorful bowls. The bowl form, familiar and comforting since pre-history, facilitates the pre-cognitive and un-mediated appreciation of my work. It facilitates my work speaking directly to, and satisfying, the senses. The scale of my work, objects small enough to fit into ones palm, is non-threatening.

I aim to present, and re-introduce, objects the primary quality of which is beauty.

One of the hallmarks of beauty was/is that it speaks directly to, and satisfies, the senses. Its appreciation is unmediated by other considerations. Consequently, beauty is not perplexing. Nor is it alienating or threatening.

Peggy Brackett

My glass jewelry starts out as large 18 x 18 sheets of opaque, transparent and dichroic glass which I cut, piece and layer to create designs which I fuse (melt) together in an electric kiln at about 1500 degrees F. After the sheet is fused and slow cooled, I re-cut, grind and drill the pieces. All of the drilling and grinding is done under water with special diamond bit tools. Then I return these pieces to the kiln and re-fuse them. Finally, when the glass pieces have cooled, I construct my jewelry pieces. I also make many of my own findings which are created to be an element of the overall design of the piece, but are intended mostly to showcase the glass-work.

There are two things that inform my work: first, it has always been important to me to make beautiful things that can and will be worn for many years, not go out of fashion and get thrown away after a season or two. To that end I spend a great deal of time designing every piece. The second thing that is important to me and which, on closer examination, is evident in my work, is that in order for it to be used and cherished for many years, it must be of the highest quality I am capable of. So, I spend a lot of time perfecting my control over the glass in the kiln firing and honing my glass cutting and especially my cold working skills that I use to fine tune designs and achieve that "classic" crisp look of my finished product.