Inspirations & early influences...
Jan Langdale is a Glass Artist, based in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Her inspiration has evolved from nature and the elements, trees, water, colours and light.
"I create hand-painted, multi-layered glass panels. Through my artwork I aim to share a sense of the stillness and peace that is inherent within the simplicity and beauty of nature, captured and reflected within the beauty of glass.
"Glass has always held a fascination for me with its reflective and refractive qualities, its fragility and robustness, the way the colours can change with light from being barely visible to becoming lustrous and iridescent.
Inspirations from my early years were from the colours my dad used as a handloom weaver. I was intrigued by how changing the arrangement of the tones within a single colour could make such a difference to the overall feel of the whole. Then in my teens I developed black and white photographs as these seemed to create more of a sense of stillness. I now use the subtle hues of a single colour to create differing moods and emphasise the tone and form within my pieces.
Growing up on the tops and experiencing all kinds of weather has been a big influence in my work, the changing light, stormy weather and beautiful sunsets. I try and capture the essence of a moment in my work. I also find music gives me inspiration and having a peaceful environment in which to do my artwork. When younger, life challenged me so I would find a safe haven within nature and particularly around trees which, as well as changing with the seasons, seemed almost timeless in their presence. They are also vital to our survival. For these reasons I donate 10% of profits towards raising awareness of the value of trees and towards the planting of trees. So, within my work I like to capture and share a sense of that peace. "
My collections are oftentimes developed from the same views and, though of the same view each piece is totally unique. By using the subtle hues of a single colour I aim to create a sense of stillness, differing moods and to emphasise the tone and form within my work.
“The multiple layers within Jan’s work draws the eye deeper into fractal woodland scenes captured in meticulous detail in a compact angular glass form.”
I use hot fire enamels, painting one picture, receding, over several layers (I typically use 9 to 12 layers of glass).
The sense of dimension created by the layering is enhanced by diminishing the size, colour, texture and translucence within each layer.
Between stages of painting, each piece is pre-fired, sometimes 2 to 3 times before they’re finished. This enables me to build up more detail on each layer (and the individual layers often seem like a painting in their own right).
Once all the layers are finished, they’re then stacked and fused together (kiln-cast) to create one solid piece of artwork (usually between 27 and 36 mm’s deep). The final firing process takes between 2 to 3 days and each piece typically takes between 1 to 2 weeks to complete.