The Earth Watcher
“The Watcher series of bowls had its inception with the two works “Bowl for Morgan le Fay” that I developed in 2006. Conceived as a homage to the fine Celtic art culture, its vessels and jewellery, a movement of metal smithing which blossomed in Europe from before the birth of Christ and the skills they developed in-setting precious and semi-precious stones.
My thoughts at that time from my reading were concerned with the genocide of old women, in a time when Christianity overlaid the earlier earth-driven understanding of life, resulting in the wide -spread persecution of women with knowledge of the healing arts. The Wise Crone became The Witch, to be burnt at the stake! This mind set lingers still in a deep subliminal mistrust of women to this day.
Morgan le Fay, half-sister of King Arthur, a mythical woman was reputedly of great power and knowledge of the healing arts. She was regarded with suspicion, a shape shifter, Witch, caster of spells.
In 2016 I returned to these pieces, feeling that I could explore the work further as it had been such a pleasure to make. From a new perspective I began to see the inset jewels as eyes, searching in all directions. Watching. The watcher (myself). I began to understand. For me I have always believed the practice of art is about understanding the hidden depths of one’s self.
In 2006 there was the Midnight Sky Watcher. Star Watcher. In 2008 the Earth Watcher.
Bringing together the themes of planetary over-exploitation, with the chemistry of glass making. Set into the dark earth Bowl, the watcher’s eyes represent dull elements found in the earth that transformed into exquisite colour by chemical reaction and fire. Even now after 40 years of glass making, I still marvel at this magic.
The following chemical elements are used to create the coloured eyes of the Watcher:
Selenium: yellow/orange/ scarlet
Copper: blue/ turquoise
Cobalt: dark blue
Nickel: grey, purple
Di Chromate: Greens
Neodymium: Purple pinks
Erbium: soft pinks, apricot
– Ann Robinson. April 2020