The other day, an old friend who’s a photojournalist complimented me on my Facebook profile photo.
“Black and white is very cool,” he said.
He and I both learned photography with black and white film cameras. But it’s not just nostalgia that makes us love B/W.
It is a different art form altogether, when color doesn’t distract from pure tonality.
Fused glass is similar to photography in many ways. Light grants it dimensionality; color gives it animation.
So what would fused glass be like in black and white?
Maybe that exchange with my friend was in the back of my mind this morning when I picked up my glass pieces to play.
I have a set of eight pieces of black glass that I’ve cut and shaped into curved shapes, like ink strokes. So the first thing that came to me was Chinese characters:
Then I saw the black strokes as a choppy sea, with the silhouette of an endangered boat:
A vertical composition brought me into a tableau of relationships – the featured image at the top of this post, which I call “Divorce,” and then “Young Couple” with sibling and parents nearby:
There’s this commentary that I call “The Outcast”:
This vertical composition is called “The One that Got Away”:
And finally, this stack is about the delicate balancing act for my brain these days:
The trouble is – all of the above snapshots show the glass in raw form. It will lose most of the subtleties of those black strokes when it’s fired in the kiln. That’s one of the things I don’t like about fused glass.
Well, maybe it’s time to try mosaics.
Today’s penny is a 1979, the year when I took Basic Black and White Photography in college.