The Makers - Michael Ruh
Michael Ruh works not far from my home in South East London but I'd never been to his studio or met him prior to embarking on this project. Ruh's glass is exquisite in its simplicity, I love the utility of it and the sweet colours. On a grey day in September Michael and his wife Natascha Wahl kindly welcomed me to their glass-blowing workshop, whilst we chatted Michael and his assistant were continually working, it was fascinating to see the process and to see the vessels emerge from molten orange blobs, the heat is intense. Lots of interestingly shaped tools were deployed in the making and mostly the tools are all centred around Michaels bench which has a wonderful bottom shaped dip worn into it, some other areas are scorched black and there are several big plastic buckets of water with the wooden tools dunked in.
In Michaels portrait I wanted to get a sense of the scorched bench and the buckets of water and the wonderful shapes of some of the Glass-blowers tools I particularly liked the pipes with cones on their ends. This piece has a bit more of an abstract feel about it, I hope that although the image might not be instantly recognisable, Michael or another glass-blower will find it strangely familiar.
This work is part of my project 'The Value of Making' and will be on show at Collect Open 2018. My project is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Many thanks to Michael and Natasha for having me. https://www.michaelruh.com/ourstudio
Collect 22-25 February 2018
Duke of York's HQ