Glass blower designer, Beth Gates considers how her colour combinations can reflect a mood and she takes us through her steps for smashing through that pesky creative block!

It is clear that colour is an integral part to your design process, tell us – what does colour in design mean to you?

Colour is such an important element to my work. The relationship of colour and form are what I continue to play with within my designs and throughout my making process. I have always loved contrasting colours. For my glass pieces the colour needs to be bold, however my designs can change and transform when I start to create them in the glass hot shop. I tend to go more with the flow of the glass, if the colours blend and merge I take that organic element and just run with it.

Choosing a colour palette not only enhances the design but can entirely shift a mood or perception. How do you go about curating this experience for your audiences?

My colour palette choices are a personal one and are inspired by other things. However, when designing and making a piece I often consider how the colour combinations reflect a mood. I want my audience to get a joyous feel from my work. I would love for my pieces to brighten up a space. Something you can look at, admire and feel calm and content.

Do you have any predicted trends for 2020?

The trend that I would love to see would be big bold prints, stripes are a classic pattern that should be used more. I also love the idea of more textiles, prints and object with a primary colour block vibe. Looking into the future I think we must be bold and brave and to see this within the design industry would be exiting.

Creative block is just the worst, what are your tips and tricks for smashing through this wall?

My top tip for creative block is to spend sometime out! Go for a walk, stretch your legs and just see what’s around you. Ideas come from the strangest of places sometimes and your mind just needs time. Your brain works best in 20 minute intervals so if you have been trying to get creative and it just isn’t working give yourself 5 minutes, grab a cup of tea and try again.

A world without colour! Tell us how you would cope?

I’m not sure how I would cope! I would most likely fall back to my other favourite creative element; Texture. I would use this to express myself. Monochromatic tones would be the way I would design and I would end up making all my wares in clear glass! Wishing for someone to turn on the worlds colour switch soon.

Hypothetically, if your studio was a blaze and you could save 1 thing, what would it be? e.g. Our Marketing Manager has 3 paintbrushes that have travelled the world with her, but are no longer any good to paint with.

I would save my Jack, an essential tool for any glassblower. My pair are very sentimental to me. They were given to me by a dear glassblowing friend who I promised to keep them safe. I would not be able to forgive myself if they were lost, something I hope shall never come true.


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