The relationship among line, form and color is the fundamental focus of this specific body of blown glass work called Bellybottles.
I explore fundamental color theories to create visual harmony. I deliberately make off center work, highlighting the organic nature of molten glass, while capturing its fluidity and freezing its gesture. The forms are plump and luscious. The surface treatment of sandblasting, sealed with a coat of Liquid Lustre alters the finish, making the work look soft and pliable.
Above all I want my work to be accessible, visually pleasing, and joyful
I generally work with at least one another person to make my work, and with the larger pieces a team is necessary. The set-up is pretty standard where we apply a dense concentration of color at the beginning of the process; this is called an overlay. This color overlay is applied to a clear bubble and allowed to cool. We then gather up layers of clear glass over the color overlay, and start to blow air into the bubble. Everything is on center to begin with but once we have enough volume relative to the mass we start to sculpt the bubble using heat, gravity, compression and momentum. We transfer the work from the blow pipe to a punty rod to finish off the piece. Again using heat and gravity we sculpt the top.
It takes about 16-20 hours to cool down. The work is then cold-worked to remove the punty mark, flattened so it stands straight, and then sandblasted to alter the surface.
She has exhibited her own work extensively, with exhibitions including Solas: Light Inspires Glass, Morean Arts Center, Florida (2017), Into The Field, The Model Contemporary Art Center, Sligo (2014), Future Beauty at the National Craft Gallery, Kilkenny(2013), Critical Selection, Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Collect 2012, Saatchi Gallery, London, Engaging with Glass, Traver Gallery, Tacoma, and the Solstice Arts Centre, Co. Meath, Ireland (2011- 2012), Supermarket, Stockholm, Sweden (2012), Transformation, Shift Gallery, Seattle (2012), 21st Century Irish Craft, National Museum of Ireland (2011), and The Wild Geese, Crafts Council of Ireland Gallery, Ireland (2007).
Stokes’ work is included in many collections including the National Museum of Ireland and the Irish Embassies in Brussels and Beijing.
She has been awarded artist’s residencies at the Cill Rialaig Arts Centre, Ballinskelligs, Ireland, and at the Jefferson County Museum of Art and History, Port Townsend, Washington. In late 2019 she will present her installation 1845, a memorial to the Irish Potato Famine during Refract- The Seattle Glass Experience.