Name: “Caught by the Moon”
In a few words: This is the largest version of an unique sculpture that is recognised by the federal Ministry of Heritage as an cultural object of ‘Outstanding Significance and National Importance’.
Transformational Value: It was created first as a 50 cm high sculpture with a colourless cast glass vertical element and a deep cobalt blue ball, that sit on a stone base. Years later that work served as the maquette for this monumental work that uses different materials.
Materials: The stone is Belfast black granite from South Africa, renown for its tight grain and deep black. It is no longer available as the quarry is closed. The hollow stainless steel ball is from China. Unseen stainless steel connectors were precision machined by Velan/PDK Inc. of Montréal.
Story: The cast glass version of this sculpture was originally conceived as a horizontal work. During the polishing process, it became obvious that it should be vertical. The work is in the permanent collection of the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery/Museum, Waterloo, Ontario. The sculpture marks the first and only time that David James combined stone and glass elements.
Name: “Heaven and Earth”
In a few words: This is an intermediate sized 150 cm long version of a cast glass sculpture that is 30 cm long and high. Its designation by the federal Ministry of Heritage as a cultural object of ‘Outstanding Significance and National Importance’ is pending.
Transformational Value: The first version consists of a deep cobalt blue ball sitting on a colourless cast glass base. Years later that work served as the maquette for this monumental work that uses different materials. Last year, a nine ton, 2.6m long version with a 120 cm diameter ball was installed in Mississauga, Ontario.
Materials: The stone is Belfast black granite from South Africa, renown for its tight grain and deep black. It is no longer available as the quarry is closed. The 75 cm. diameter hollow stainless steel ball is from China. Unseen stainless steel connectors were precision machined by Velan/PDK Inc. of Montréal.
Story: Inspiration for the work came instantly when James discovered a granite artefact in an excavation in old Montréal. It had a concavity where a metal rod or axel may have turned. That is where the ball now sits.
In a few words: Serendipity and the guiding hand of the artist created a cast glass sculpture whose form and internal imagery create an intriguing interplay of textures and forms.
Transformational Value: In creating this sculpture, various sized pieces of glass were positioned in a mould made of plaster, water, silica and half inch strands of fibreglass. Then it was placed in a computer controlled kiln whose temperature was raised to 800C within 1 day, during which time the glass melted into the form of a demi-circle mould. The kiln was then cooled slowly over 2-3 weeks. For some 100 hours, the temperature decline was less than 1C per hour. This slow pace provides for the equal cooling to minimise stress that could eventually create cracks. The internal veils were created as pieces of glass melted and flowed together.
Materials: The glass is high quality optical grade glass made by Pilkington in the United Kingdom.
Story: The sculpture is part of a demi-circle casting that David James made at the U.K. studio of a pioneer of cast glass, Colin Reid. The raw demi-circle of cast glass was shipped to his first studio in St. Henri, Montréal where he then cut out and polished the final sculpture.
The creations of David James are in private, corporate and museum collections from Saudi Arabia to Canada, including the Musée des beaux-arts, Montréal and are represented by galleries in Mayfair, Chicago, Sarasota and Aspen.