Rish uses a sandblasting technique, where pressurised air is used to force abrasive sand through small nozzles to etch the glass surface. She masks the surface of cold glass that has been hand blown in colours to her specifications, then draws into it her image. The masking is then selectively removed using this outline as a guide. Over many stages, using varying air pressure, she painstakingly creates the most beautifully detailed designs of wildlife and nature.Engraved Zebra Vase by Rish Gordon 15cm H x 11.5cm W
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MEET THE ARTIST
THE GORDON FAMILY DECADES OF BREATHING LIFE INTO ART
Born in the north of England in 1935, Rish was educated at Kenya High School in Nairobi before enrolling in the Edinburgh College of Art where she met Alasdair. After graduating she worked as a freelance engraver with Whitefriars Glass in London before joining Alasdair at Hadelands Glassworks in Norway in 1958. While raising four children – Susan, Eileen, Cameron & Kevin – Rish produced freelance watercolour paintings of the Norwegian flora and fauna. But during her early years in Kenya, Rish developed a keen interest in African wildlife and considerable abilities in watercolour and eventually she chose to go back to the medium of glass engraving as a vehicle for these visions. Over the years she has refined a sandblasting etching technique which is very much her own. Rish exhibits nationally and abroad, and has been commissioned for engraved presentation pieces for HRH Prince Philip, Bill Clinton and for Prime Minister Bob Hawke. She is also represented in the National Gallery, Canberra.