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Dr Heike Brachlow

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  • Heike Brachlow
  • Area

    School of Arts & Humanities

    Role

    Tutor

  • Dr Heike Brachlow is glass Tutor in Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art. She is an internationally recognised artist specialising in cast glass sculpture. Her work and her research focuses on the interaction of colour, form and light in transparent solids. 

  • Biography

  • Born and raised in Munich, Germany, Heike Brachlow received her BA in Glass in 2004 from the University of Wolverhampton, her MA in 2006 and her PhD in 2012 from the Royal College of Art in London. She works as a self-employed artist from her studio at Parndon Mill, Essex, UK. Her work is represented in public and private collections in Europe, the USA, China, Australia and India.  She regularly teaches glass casting courses at institutions such as Pilchuck Glass School and the Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass.

  • Practice

  • Heike’s balanced sculptures aim to physically engage, inviting the viewer to interact. Colour is an important part of her work: the exploration of the interaction of colour, form and light in solid transparent glass during her PhD research has led her to producing her own glass colours, adding metal oxides to the glass batch during the melting process. This enables her to create a personal palette, which consists mostly of subtle tones and polychromatic colours, that is colours that change in different types of light. Her work reflects her attraction to movement and transformation, both in colour and form.  

  • Publications, exhibitions and other outcomes

  • Selected Exhibitions

    2018 Art of Glass, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

    2017 Form + Motion at the UK Pavilion at the 10th Cheongju Craft Biennale, Korea

    2017 British Glass Biennale, Stourbridge, UK (2006, 2010, 2012, 2015)

    2016 Solo Show Chaos Theory, The Gallery at Parndon Mill, Harlow

    2016 Connections, Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh

    2015 Solo Show Colour through Form, Traver Gallery, Seattle, USA

    2015 Objects in Flux, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA

    2015 Visiting Artist Showcase, ANU Gallery, Canberra, Australia

    2014 International Contemporary Glass Art Exhibition, Hangzhou, China

    2013 SOFA Chicago, presented by Bullseye Gallery, Portland, Oregon, (2008)

    2013 COLLECT, The Gallery at London Glassblowing

    2012 Solo Show Six Impossible Things, Bullseye Gallery, Portland, Oregon

    2012 Solo Show, The Gallery at Parndon Mill, Harlow, UK

    2011 Pilchuck Glass School Annual Auction, Seattle (2005, 2006, 2007)

    2011 Jerwood Makers Open exhibition, Jerwood Space, London

    2010 Art Miami, presented by Bullseye Gallery, Portland, Oregon

    2010 COLLECT, Bullseye Gallery, Portland, Oregon, Saatchi Gallery, London

    2010 Master der Moderne, Handwerksmesse, Munich

    2009 SOFA Santa Fe presented by Bullseye Gallery, Portland, Oregon

    2009 Space – Time, National Glass Centre, Sunderland, UK

    2009 Bonhams Modern And Contemporary Glass Auction, London

    2008 e-merge 2008, Bullseye Resource Center Gallery, Portland, Oregon

    2007 Barrier, installation at Moorhouse and One London Wall, London

    2007 New Faces – Crafts Council Showcase, Victoria & Albert Museum, London

    2007 London Art Fair 2007, modernground

    2006 Discovery, Kullo Children's Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia

    2005 Kyoto Art Center, Japan


    Selected Collections

    Museum of Glass, Tacoma, WA, USA

    Ernsting Foundation, Glasmuseum Alter Hof Herding, Coesfeld, Germany

    China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China

    Barbara-Achilles Foundation, Hamburg, Gemany

    European Museum of Modern Glass, Art Collection of the Veste Coburg, Rodental, Germany

    Dan Klein & Alan J. Poole (Private Collection) @ The National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh, UK


    Publications

    2008 'On Colour, Glass and Light' in Craig, Blanche (ed.) Contemporary Glass. London: Black Dog Publishing


    Presented Conference Papers

    2015 The appearance of colour in glass. Ausglass Conference, Adelaide, Australia

    2009 On Colour, Glass and Light, BECon conference: Filling the Void: Kilncasting, Portland, OR, USA


    Published Conference Papers

    2010 'Shaping Colour: Density, Light and Form in Solid Glass Sculpture', in Creativity and Innovation in Glass: Proceedings of the International Glass Symposium, University of Wolverhampton, 2010 

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  • Awards and Grants

  • 2017 Glass Seller’s Arts and Crafts Award, British Glass Biennale

    2015 Arts Council & British Council Artists International Development Fund Grant

    2011 Jerwood Makers Open Award, London

    2007 – 2009 Arts and Humanities Research Council Postgraduate Award for PhD studies

Selected work

Research

Research interests

Dr Heike Brachlow’s research explores of the interaction of colour, form and light in solid glass sculpture. Drawing on Czech cast glass, particularly the work of Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova, in combination with extensive colour testing, she is working with forms designed to achieve variations in hue and value in solid objects made from a single transparent glass colour. 

Current and recent research

Art of Glass, group exhibition 2018 at the National Museum Scotland, traveling to the National Centre for Craft & Design. For this exhibition, Brachlow has created three new works focussing specifically on the colour grey. The predominant colouring agent in grey glass, nickel, has two interesting characteristics: it subtly changes hue in different types of illumination, and it strongly changes in both colour density and hue if the physical thickness of the glass varies. Brachlow’s research resulted in elongated shapes with pronounced thick-thin variations, emphasised by the appropriate colour density for each form, aiming to achieve multiple shades and sometimes multiple hues within the work. A combination of surface finishes is used to selectively reveal and obscure views inside the glass, and to focus and diffuse light.

Chaos Theory was a solo exhibition shown at The Gallery at Parndon Mill in England and Traver Gallery in the USA during 2016. The works shown in Chaos Theory are further explorations of the concept of ‘D-forms’ and build on works developed during a residency at the Australian National University in Canberra in January 2015 and shown in the solo exhibition Colour through Form at Traver Gallery in 2015. Continuing the exploration of the interaction of colour and form, the exhibition contains three works in opaline glass, a glass that develops its colour during the firing process and can appear anywhere on a scale from clear to opaque depending on the exact firing cycle. Two works are almost completely opaque, the second white with thin edges appearing a translucent blue. The third is translucent throughout.

Research students