the gem of glass
Photo Crédit : Nadine Glerperlur
In her Kopavogur workshop near Reykjavik, Nadine Martin has been handmaking glass pearls since 2007, transforming them into jewelry or carefully incorporating them into everyday objects. She discovered glass working early on while traveling in her home country of France, and was immediately attracted to the craft that continues to fascinate her today.
Photo credits: Nadine Martin
Before giving in to her love of Iceland and moving there, Nadine Martin worked in France as a dental technician. “I found that making glass pearls was somewhat similar to my work as a technician: working with fire, looking for the shape, moving meticulously, concentrating.” The regularity and refinement of calculated hand gestures confronts itself well to the unpredictability of working with glass, as it is very hard to reproduce each pearl identically.
“I like classical shapes, the round pearls, cabochons, and donuts. I find myself in the rigor of symmetrical patterns, and I play more with that than with the transparence of the glass itself. I like the difficulty of trying to achieve a perfect motif.” Because glass rod producers don’t exist in Iceland, Nadine has to order them online. This complicates the process, as it is hard to assess their true color from pictures on a computer screen. For the settings, Nadine uses sterling silver as well as silver finishings.
Photo credits: Nadine Martin
“Even though I like warm colors, ochres, yellows, reds, and patterns you would usually find in Moroccan crafts, my color choices rather represent the Icelandic mood, the colors of mountains in the fall, of moss, lava, or a faded and cloudy sky. Natural colors one can discover in the beautiful landscapes and unique light Iceland has to offer year-long.”
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