IN CONVERSATION WITH BETHAN LAURA WOOD
WonderGlass: You created a language of your own with your creations and your personal sense of fashion. Which adjectives would you use to describe both?
Bethan Laura Wood: Layered, graphical, colourful, detailed.
WonderGlass: What inspires you the most in your work? Is it something always changing or constant?
Bethan Laura Wood: Location, material, makers/collaboration: these are the three important factors that most influence my work.
WonderGlass: You make vast use of materials, from wood to steel and from fabric to glass. Do you have a favourite? How does it feel to work with glass?
Bethan Laura Wood: I like all sorts of materials, I think I most often work with materials that have varied histories that are used in both high and low contexts, spanning both the mass and the one-off. I was very excited to get the opportunity to work with the cast glass and its architectural qualities.
WonderGlass: The COVID-19 emergency affected everyone, how has the process behind Chain, your new creation with WonderGlass, been?
Bethan Laura Wood: We had to do a lot of finger-crossing as we were not able to do as many experiments with the real materials before these pieces were made, but the highly skilled makers of WonderGlass were able to produce these first works. I am excited now that these pieces are made and looking forward to expanding this body of work even more with WonderGlass, especially after my factory visit.
WonderGlass: You presented Chain at The Venice Glass Week 2020 in WonderGlass’ latest exhibition ‘London – Venice: The Spirit of Resurgence’. I think with Chain you created a perfect balance between the harmony of Venetian glass and the boldness of London. How did your Londoner background affect the process?
Bethan Laura Wood: London was the first city that I was drawn to from a young age and has influenced many pieces of my work. I think I have always been drawn to the layering in a city, the different buildings, and the architecture that you can find. London tends to keep a lot of its older buildings’ facades whilst adding in new buildings in between so you can see its identity built up over time through the different architectural styles you can find. Possibly, the way I have built the CHAIN pieces, though form-wise is inspired by Temple architecture, the construct you cut also has a nod to the layering of a city like London.
WonderGlass: Where did you draw your inspiration for this piece?
Bethan Laura Wood: These pieces draw inspiration for my pre-COVID-19 travels to Asia and in particular Japan. I have been very lucky to visit Japan, Korea, and China over the last two years, and I have been keen to find the right projects to start exploring the beautiful shapes and proportions that I came across during my visit.