Heike is an internationally recognised artist specialising in cast glass sculpture whose work focuses on the interaction of colour, form and light.
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.
Heike’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.
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.
Arts Council & British Council Artists International Development Fund Grant 2015
Glass Seller’s Arts and Crafts Award, British Glass Biennale 2017
Jerwood Makers Open Award, London 2011
Arts and Humanities Research Council Postgraduate Award for PhD studies 2007 – 2009
Current and recent projects
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, 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.
Publications, exhibitions, other outcomes
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
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
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