Poetry on Glass- 2

I have been reading some of T S Eliot's poetry- in particular 'Burnt Norton', one of the Four Quartets. I learned only recently that the village of Burnt Norton is only a few miles from Mill Dene Garden in Gloucestershire, a site where I have a glass sculpture installed, and which, until recently, hosted one of the slumped glass panels inspired by the poem.

Two extracts in particular have inspired my glass works. Both seem to express ideas found only today in modern physics and philosophy about the structure and behaviour of the world we live in, and the words we use to express and come to terms with, that structure and behaviour.

The first extract from Burnt Norton is:

"What might have been is an abstraction
 Remaining a perpetual possibility
 Only in a world of speculation."

I have exhibited this panel in an outdoor setting - Mill Dene Garden in Blockley, Gloucestershire

Image © 2006 Jacqueline Allwood

This shows the original slumped panel- (it is the one I'm removing from the kiln on the Slumping techniques page!).

I used four layers of lightly-smoked glass to build up a panel of varying depths of grey/transparent glass

Image © 2006 Jacqueline Allwood

This shows the panel engraved with the above quotation. I chose this fluid layout because it reflects both the flowing nature of the slumped panel, and also the philosophical notion of uncertainty inherent in the poem's lines

Image © 2006 Jacqueline Allwood

This shows the finished engraved panel mounted on a wall at Mill Dene Garden. My hope is that the quote will stimulate reflection on the nature of the decisions we take in our lives, and how we reflect on how "it might have been" (but wasn't)

In the second work, I also used a glass panel slumped as described. This panel suffered an annealing fracture when it was taken out of the kiln, but I incorporated this feature into the final design.

The second extract, again from Burnt Norton is:

"...Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip, slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still."

Image © 2006 Jacqueline Allwood

This shows the orginal slumped panel with its fracture. This too uses four layers of lightly-smoked glass

Image © 2006 Jacqueline Allwood

This shows the panel engraved with the quote. In particular, the lines of the poem invoke the idea of words breaking under the burden of the meaning they carry, and this is reflected in the disposition of the lettering around the break in the glass

If you would like such a panel, for example, in a garden environment, or as a piece of sculpture in a reception area, please contact me via email to discuss your requirements

Page last updated 18 August 2009