Alison Fraser - Platter by Tobias Mohl

Podcast Transcript

Platter, Tobias Mohl

My name's Alison Fraser, I'm Lead Curator of Collections Access and I've chosen Platter, a large glass plate made by the Danish glass artist Tobias Mohl. I first saw this piece at the Collect Art Fair at the Saatchi Gallery in London in 2012. I was interested in acquiring a work of contemporary craft from one of the Scandinavian countries, our close neighbours in the North, who we are linked to by trade across the North Sea and now by the oil industry. The piece fits well in to our collections of contemporary craft, as we already have examples of metalwork and jewellery by Scandinavian makers. It also relates well to this historic collections because it uses traditional techniques developed by Venetian craftsmen. These techniques are employed in 18th century Georgian drinking glasses and in paperweights made in the 20th century by Scottish factories such as Caithness Glass. Tobias says that he wants to use Venetian techniques in a Scandinavian way. I met him at Collect and he was excited that his work would be coming to Aberdeen. He belongs to the important generation of Danish glass artists who achieved international recognition in the 1990s and are particularly notable for technical innovation. He trained in Denmark and he has also studied at Edinburgh College of Art, so he has connections with Scotland. The techniques Tobias uses for this piece are very demanding, incalmo fuses two differently coloured sections of glass, in this case white and clear glass, to form one piece. Canework involves stretching the molten glass to long, thin strands then cutting and twisting to form intricate patterns. The resulting design is reminiscent of textile work and in particular, of lace patterns. The delicate central design contrasts with the overall bold impression. The piece demonstrates how established techniques can be adapted to produce innovative, contemporary objects. And this is a theme we are interested in developing for future exhibitions. Platter sits well in a display of contemporary craft or as comparative piece for historic glass. Both the Art Fund and The National Fund for Acquisitions helped us with funding to purchase this work. Platter is large and imposing. It embodies Scandinavian style along with expert technical skill.