A Retorti - Bianco (detail), 2010
A Retorti - Nero (detail), 2010
24% Lead crystal glass; Free-blown cane-work, ground and polished
Photo: Nick Moss
Cooney’s working process is and has always been continuous, and consists of experimenting in the workshop with a particular technique in mind. The resulting tests are improved, refined, developed and explored further with finished objects or groups of pieces exhibited at various stages.
A Retorti – Bianco and A Retorti – Nero have evolved over several years through experimentation with the cane-work technique. Coloured glass is cased in clear glass and stretched out to make canes, which are then combined and stretched again while twisting to make more canes, before eventually being blown and shaped as bubbles in the chair (the glassmaker’s bench).
Dominic Cooney served an apprenticeship at Isle of Wight Studio Glass before studying Glass Design at the University of Wolverhampton, then going on to teach glassmaking at the International Glass Centre in Stourbridge, and later as a visiting lecturer at DeMontfort University, Leicester and the University of Wolverhampton.
In partnership with Elaine Sheldon they converted a dilapidated Methodist Chapel into a Live/Work Studio (Chapel Glassworks) in Cellarhead, Staffordshire Moorlands. They have operated their business “Sheldon:Cooney” from there since 2003, exhibiting at events including Chelsea Crafts Fair, Origin, and 100% Design, as well as exhibiting separately in the UK and internationally.