I grew up in a very creative environment and took up silk and fabric painting as a teenager. When I was 16 my mother suggested that I try glass engraving, as I adored fine detail brush work when painting silk, she thought glass engraving would suit me well. She brought me a simple battery operated engraving drill and the first thing I ever engraved was a rose on top of a thick slab of glass.
From there forward I was hooked, and now some 28 years later I’m still engraving and still deriving immense enjoyment from my art.
Although I hold a degree in Multimedia Design I have a strong dislike of rules when applied to art outside of a practical, technical framework. All art is freedom of expression in a very direct, pure and emotive form.
The vast majority of contemporary Glass Engraving is decorative in form and more craft orientated than art focused. I try to choose forms and subjects that defy this norm and to push the boundaries of what is a highly sensual yet cold and unforgiving medium.
I engrave with a mixture of drill and stipple techniques and my style is very akin to chalk or pencil sketching. Even after all these years I’m still amazed at the depth and clarity of detail achievable with a few simple scratches on what is essentially baked sand.
The great glass engraver Sir Laurence Whistler once described glass engraving as “Painting with Light”. … Well, the man was a genius after all.
Steve Lee, Dover, 2016