Cara Wassenberg

Elements: wood metal

Places to swim I: Shelf (June 2020)

Made during lockdown during the Covid 19 pandemic the ‘Places to swim’ series was developed in response to the impossibility of access to coastal and wild swimming and a longing for exposure to the elements of wind and water.

As a child Cara often swam from the steep pebbled Dorset beaches in the Summer. Deceptively calm waters often hid a potentially dangerous undertow above a ‘shelf’ formed by the current.

The strong lines and frothiness of the sandblasted glass echo the rhythmic rolling of the waves and the forged texture in the copper reference the Jurassic coast shingle.

Places to swim II: Pool (July 2020)

This piece has a very different feel to the first coastal piece in the series. The circular form feels less precarious and more self-contained.  Cara wanted to express more of the comfort and security that she feels when swimming inland in contrast to the tidal challenges of beach swimming. The form is inspired both by the sharp rock faces of Foggintor quarry on Dartmoor and also by a snow encrusted circular fountain that she came across many years ago  in Austrian village of Hintertaal.

The glass in these pieces has been cast at a temperature in excess of 800 degrees and the copper heated in her forge, formed under a power hammer and gas welded. The fit between the two materials is achieved in the master form made of clay and earth prior to the making of a plaster mould for the glass. The complete making process all takes place in Cara's  studio on a farm at the foot of the South Downs.

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