Having relocated to Chatteris in the Cambridgeshire Fens, I visited the ‘Ship of the Fens’, a colloquial expression for Ely Cathedral.
This imposing building has brought pilgrims to the area since medieval times.
I’m not a pilgrim nor indeed religious, but I can appreciate magnificent design and architecture and indeed the skills and determination of its construction.
Towering columns are majestically transformed with light patterns that emanate from its stained glass windows, casting colours evoking a giant moving canvas.
I wanted to interpret this effect in my chandelier and set myself a brief to construct something reminiscent of the windows. Using a framework that would imitate the lead lines, elements that copied the diamond forms and layers of colours that would refract and disperse light into intoxicating patterns, I set about my task.
Added to this, the piece needed to be one that the buyer could connect with, not only in ownership but through the satisfying process of self-assembly and maintenance.
Each glass element hooks onto the frame using an integral hole fashioned during the blowing process. The individual pieces are hollow but completely sealed thus preventing the inside getting dirty and enabling easy cleaning.
Two-tone in colour, they have been made to emulate the encalmo technique. A second dimple imitates the hanging hole and helps hide the hooks while also aiding refraction.
The Fens, famous for arable farming, are flatlands with huge skies. Every sunset becomes an ever-changing palette of colour, pattern and light. Every dawn a vast array of new hews emerging out of the night’s darkness. Every weather front another opportunity for cloud formations to sing against and offset the muted tones of the landscape below. All aspects of this wild land that the light in the cathedral has been echoing for years and which I have endeavoured to showcase within my chandelier.