GLASS | COUNTY ANTRIM
Antrim Fields is a collection of non-functional blown forms that invoke the visual textures of the landscape in rural Northern Ireland. Living on the north coast of County Antrim, Scott Benefield is surrounded by gently rolling hills that are covered with small fields and winding hedgerows of various shades of green and earthy tints of brown. Knocklayd, a mountain overlooking the pocket port town of Ballycastle, sits in the distance.
Although abstracted in its translation to glass, the landscape is a patchwork of small, irregular rectangles with few visible signs of the built environment other than hundreds of years of steady cultivation on the farms and holdings in the area.
Scott’s work uses the traditional Venetian techniques of filigrana and zanfirico, first developed by the artisans of Murano in the early 16th century, to create areas of small detail within the larger composition. To achieve this, several different coloured glasses were successively melted in the furnace and different canes were drawn from each colour. These were all combined to make a mosaic of pattern and colour that was then fused together, picked up on a blowpipe, and fashioned into the finished forms.