Making the ordinary extraordinary – part 1

Week 2 and for my ordinary objects I decided to choose something that is becoming increasingly apart of my life…glasses. As I am getting older I am finding the need to use glasses for reading increasingly necessary. I started to think about glasses in a wider Covid context. We are seeing the world differently. Much of our contact is now from behind planes of glass or Perspex. When we go shopping the assistant is viewed behind a screen. So much of our contact now is viewed through a laptop screen. I also started looking at the Covid virus viewed through a microscope. I found some of these images surprisingly captivating. From this I looked at eye disease through a microscope. Many diseases are picked up during routine eye examinations. The eyes truly are windows on the world.

I was interested in the shadows that glasses produced and played with filters to alter these images. I looked at reflections that bounced off glass.

I had on old enamel ‘kiln’ and was curious to see if enamel could be melted into the glass rom glasses. This experiment was an unmitigated disaster. It turns out that the ‘glass’ in my old glasses was plastic. The lens caught fire and disintegrated. I wont be doing that one again

I am keen to look at glasses and how they can be used to create something out out of the ordinary.


When looking at glasses, on a sunny day I was interested in the shadows that they made.  I thought the shadows were more interesting than the glasses themselves

          Looking at shadows




I then started playing with some simple colour adaptations of the shadow pictures.  Personally I think the more subtle colour changes are the most effective.  I think work with these in some way



 Reimagined large scale


 The eyes are on the wall



I started looking at reflections seen through the glasses and was interested in the reflection I saw looking through the lens of the glasses at the glass of a picture that was in turn reflecting the garden behind.  I like the idea of trying to work out where the varying images were coming from

I went on to run these images through a photo app.  I am not sure about the resulting images.  I think the unadulterated image was more interesting.

I then had the ‘bright’ idea to add some enamel glaze the ‘glass’ lens of one of the pairs of glasses using an ancient Ennamelaire that I acquired years ago.

This experiment proved to be disastrous.  When my husband asked me before I started ”how do you know the lens is glass” and ”what happens if it catches fire” – I responded a few minutes later ”looks like it isn’t glass and the flames soon died down”

So it turns out the lens disintegrated and I am not allowed to set stuff on fire anymore…..oops

I did however really like the image of the burning eye.  Well one has to suffer for their art.

The fire was actually pretty self contained

With the empty glasses frame I attempted a wee weaving.  This was yet another failure.

I went on to create a mobile with the glasses.  I was interested in the close up image shown on the left.  The mobile itself was less interesting

I looked at whet the mobile looked like reflected in the picture.  I don’t think the resulting images are very successful.


We were also asked to look at different locations so I took my pile of glasses  into the garden.  I attached my mobile to a tree and recorded it blowing and moving in the wind.

Intrigued by reflections I decided to further explore this with the addition of a mirror.  I was blessed with a sunny day and decided to make use of the autumn blue sky.



Undeterred by my earlier fire incident, I further experimented with heat by attempting to melt a pile of glasses in my domestic oven

I became increasingly interested in reflections and screens.  I was aware of how many devices that we had in our home, laptops, iPads, smart phones.  I wanted to somehow capture this.


When I recorded this the sound became very distorted.  It was pointed out to me that  the sound had a bird-like quality.  This led me to try and create a ‘nest’ using the glasses with the ide of placing the work in a tree and see what happens.  To do this I decided to try and mould the glasses around a bowl.  I put the glasses back in the oven and hoped that they would melt and mould together .  That didn’t happen.  The glasses did melt but did not bind with each other

Rather than a nest I ended up with a collection of distorted glasses

At this stage I felt that I had exhausted what I could do with glasses and wanted to revisit my interest in screens and microscopic images.