In recent years Luke Jacomb has risen to the forefront of the international studio glass movement. His reputation is already firmly established in the United States and he is represented in significant private and public collections throughout the world.
Currently based in Avondale, Auckland, Lukeke Design is made up of Luke Jacomb and a team of peers who collaborate to produce an affordable range of handmade cast glass works.
Lukeke’s cast glass, wall-mounted birds appear to move with the changing light, creating enchanting silhouettes and shadows which mimic their flight path. In pairs they are engaging in that they appear to be in dialogue; in threes, fours and fives they appear to swoop and rise which lends them a rhythmical, almost musical quality. In ‘3s and 5’s particularly, they are reminiscent of the hugely popular row of ducks which graced the walls of the Colony’s homes in the 1950s – though Lukeke’s feathered fellows are far more chic. In larger groups they are simply magical – they literally flock – one can almost hear the beat of their elegant wings.
While the result is stunning, the process is laborious. Lukeke begin with sculpting the forms in clay. The clay is covered in rubber to create a mould, which is then filled with wax. Once cool, the wax is carved to add more detail. The wax is then overlaid with a mixture of plaster and silica which then becomes the mould, into which ground glass is poured. Small pieces are fired for 8 hours and large pieces for up to 24 hours, before being annealed (gradually cooled) for as long as a week. After the sculptures are removed from the kiln, the artists grind them, leaving small traces which bear testament to their handmade nature. They then polish the surfaces in a bath of acid. ‘Kiln casting is such a challenging medium. It is extremely technical, but at the same time it is freeing in that you can make anything once you've figured out specific details and fully understand the process.’ Lukeke Design (2012)