ARTIST IN THE STUDIO – LESLIE ROWE-ISRAELSON {TWIN VISION GLASS}

It’s easy to admire the transcendental work of local glass artist and owner of Twin Vision Glass, Leslie Rowe-Israelson. A member of Village Arts since 1998, Les’ work continues to evolve and Village Arts feels so fortunate to have been a part of her journey as an artist over the past twenty years.

As an outside observer, Les’ work is clearly beautiful, luminous really. But beyond the attractiveness of the form there are layers to this medium and depth to this process. I never fully understood how an artist must be completely willing to let go of attachment to the outcome. This is a medium that calls for surrender and to succeed in transforming it, one must let the glass lead the way. it’s a beautiful practice for life and for creative expression. Leslie Rowe-Israelson is accomplishing that with grace.

Any work created by Twin Vision Glass is full of vibrant colours and textures. The rocky terrain of the mountains has always spoken to Les. She first started exploring this vein of inspiration through the natural landscape when her husband Gerry worked as the head of search and rescue in Jasper National Park. Gerry was outdoors constantly and worked closely with the rugged and wild terrain. Les found that connection deeply inspiring and channeled that energy into her art. After working collaboratively with her sister for many years in Jasper, Les moved to Invermere in the late nineties and started her own glass studio.

A huge part of Les’ process is the creation of her colour bars. This consists of carefully and creatively laying strips of glass into a 19x10x3 mold. Once the colour bars have been fired Les’ now retired husband Gerry helps cut and polish the pieces with a diamond saw. The creation of these pieces requires Les to think three dimensionally as the glass can be viewed from various angles and will often be cut and fused together in a variety of arrangements. It is a multi step process that requires patience, taking up to three months for the completion of one piece.

Photographing Twin Vision Glass for Village Arts latest ‘featured artist’ brought us to the renowned local studio of Bavin Glassworks where Les has been working on an exciting new project. It started with the concept of creating glass eggs to rest inside of nests that Les was making out of woven glass. She approached local artist and glass blower Ryan Bavin about collaborating on what she called her ‘hatching of ideas’ and the results have been outstanding. Together they bridged the gap between fused and blown glass and have created something totally new.

Les brings pieces of her fired colour bars into the glass blowing studio where Ryan helps her to blow them into stunning bowls and eggs. It was a fascinating process to photograph. Never attached to an outcome, Les likes to say she ‘just let’s the glass be created’. The finished pieces look completely different depending on how the colour bar is sliced and with that comes endless possibility. She describes the process a lot like painting with glass.

Les and Ryan will have a piece of collaborative work in the ‘Accord’ show at Passion for Glass Gallery in Calgary from March 24 to April 29, 2018.

All photos and content submitted by Kyla Gent (nee Brown) of Kyla Brown Photography. Kyla is one of our local Village Arts artists.