Deborah Thomas

With both a 1st Class Honors Degree for Sculpture and a Post-Graduate in Theatre Design firmly under her belt Deborah Thomas went on to create her first spectacular glass lighting installation for a dance theatre production in 1984. Assembled from broken glass shards and candles the piece was ceremoniously lit by a dancer at the opening of the set before being hoisted up to illuminate the performance beneath.
Three years later Deborah started making chandeliers and wall lights commercially following a word of mouth private commission. Others were to follow and in 1988 Deborah joined the roster of artists at Themes and Variations Gallery, London where her works were exhibited alongside those of Tom Dixon, Mark Brazier-Jones, André Dubreuil, Danny Lane and Ron Arad. Her unique creations garnered a lot of attention featuring in major publications such as Vogue, American Vogue, Elle and Time Out.
Deborah describes the often labor intensive process behind her lights:
‘Working with broken glass fragments held an instant attraction for me. The fragments seemed to me to be a lost material, discarded and unusable in that form. I was interested in exploring how I could use the broken glass in a way which might transcend its origins but still retain a sense of punk inspired anarchy…Each work consists of broken glass fragments sourced from glass bottles or domestic glass objects. The bottles are first carefully cracked and broken into large fragments. From this starting point, smaller fragments are individually tapped into the required shapes using a small metal hammer. Retaining the fragmented quality to the glass pieces during this controlled process is important and became a skill in itself.’
Her work can be found in the Victoria and Albert and the Ashmolean museums in England, and in important international collections.


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