Born and raised in Munich, Germany, Heike Brachlow received her BA in glass 2004 from the University of Wolverhampton, her MA in 2006 and her PhD in 2012 from the Royal College of Art in London. She primarily works as a self-employed artist from her studio at Parndon Mill, and as an educator and lecturer, teaching at the Royal College of Art and institutions such as the Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass and Pilchuck Glass School. Her work is represented in many museum collections including the European Museum of Modern Glass (Art Collection of the Veste Coburg), the National Museums Scotland, Glasmuseum Hentrich, and the Tacoma Museum of Glass. She has won the Jerwood Maker’s Open Award in 2011 and the Glass Seller’s Arts and Crafts Award at the British Glass Biennale in 2017 and her work has been exhibited in many countries including the USA, China, Japan, Korea, Australia, Italy, and Germany.
Heike’s often precariously balanced sculptures aim to physically engage: the viewer becomes toucher – invited by words or form, boldly or guiltily. Colour is an important part of her work: her PhD research focused exploring the interaction of colour, form and light in solid transparent glass. Her work reflects her attraction to movement and transformation, both in colour and form.
My work explores the interaction of colour, form and light in glass solids.
I aim to make forms capable of transformation, ideally in several different ways. My main focus is the investigation of transparent colour in glass. Thick-thin variations of form, curves and angles, the optical properties of glass, and matt or polished surface finishes all impact the appearance of the final object. The works change depending on the viewing angle, when set into motion, and with changing light conditions.
My current body of work is based on a concept called D-form, a three-dimensional form created by joining the edges of two flat shapes with the same perimeter length. Results are wildly different depending on at which point the shapes are joined. I have been exploring these shapes since 2015; they have been changing slowly, elongating, thinning. I aim at a colour fade from almost black in the more solid parts to almost nothing along the edges; polished surfaces let the light in and matt surfaces capture and diffuse it.