Furs series by Renata Jakowleff

Renata Jakowleff is a glass artist living in Helsinki, whose work delves into the immaterial and optical qualities of glass. Furs is a series of compositions and sculptural objects consisting of small pieces of glass and stainless steel, that together form patchworks full of bright glass expressions, according to the light conditions and the viewer’s perspective.

The Beginning

Renata jakowleff: I have been working with glass for about 15 years. Glass really got me because of its vivid, instant nature when worked hot. Molten glass has a nice tempo, and I love working with the formative suggestions it offers. Working on glass feels like dancing with a strong partner to me.

Renata jakowleff: Hot glass has its size limitations. For me, working in the glass blowing area seemed very limited, so I began to increase the size of my work through the assembly. Simultaneously, I was also searching for means to focus on the immaterial qualities of glass. Dealing with shape and object associations has always been a challenge for me. It is actually really difficult to create something that does not refer to anything. My solution to this problem was to start working through surfaces.

I am interested in the many ways glass is on the border of existence. Just because it is fragile, there is a constant risk of breaking, ceasing to exist.

Renata Jakowleff

Fragility & Repetition

Renata jakowleff: I am interested in the many ways glass is on the border of existence. Just because it is fragile, there is a constant risk of breaking, and ceasing to exist. But glass is fragile also because of its optical qualities. It can become totally invisible, no longer present through our perception. In a way, glass is really just a phenomenon. It is shifting from one state to the other, and this change or movement is the very basis of all my work.

Renata jakowleff: Another theme I explore in the Fur series is repetition. Repetition is an interesting way to reveal more about the nature of the material than just simple enlargening. Repetition also brings uncertainty into the process, because it is dependent on the changes that exist over time, like changes in my mode and perception, changes in the quality of material, and so on. Working in the uncertain has always been my way to work. I would like to see myself as an assistant to the material rather than a strong creator, with a ready-made statement then expressed through the artwork.

Main Challenges

Renata jakowleff: The amount of time it takes to create these works is really problematic for me. I am really not a restful type of person, so it takes me a lot of patience for me to do these pieces. On the other hand, I am happy about this challenge, and I think it has brought me a lot of theoretical questions about the process of creating artworks in general and even made my mood calmer.

Selecting Colors and Compositions

Renata jakowleff: Since the light itself is the theme in these works, I tend to use “colorless” colors, like white, black, or simply clear glass. I feel the colors are still too strong for me to deal with in this series. I made one work in red and it actually shows well how color can take lead over another subject, defining the meaning of the work as a total.

Renata jakowleff: The compositions I made are kept as simple as possible. Since my theme is not a loud one, I really felt that I needed to have the shapes to work just as a framework or background. I also wanted to limit all the implications and associations a form would bring along.

Interview with Renata jakowleff | Photography Renata jakowleff.