(Scots Law) A common; a piece of land in which two or more persons have a common right.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Carrie Fertig - Homing

A post about glass artist Carrie Fertig and an excellent example of crowd funding for an ambitious project at Chichester Cathedral. These are Carries words explaining the project.

Image above: The Netmaker
image below: Alchemic Object: Rejection/Muse

Flameworked borosilicate glass, horse tail, sterling silver, table knife from Bowerswell House, Perth, hair cutting scissors, swatch of Gordon military tartan as depicted in "The Order of Release" by John Everett Millais, burnt spine of 1898 copy of the Stones of Venice by John Ruskin, rose from Brig O' Turk, paint brush remnant, three drops of the artist's blood.
Photo: Simon Bruntnell

Find more about crowd funding and the project here and how to help fund this project for a great list of perks including some of the glass feathers that make up the work, an artist tour around Edinburgh and 
flame working lessons. Carries website

"Homing - My intention is for this work to transform the North Transept into a place of wonder, peace, contemplation and ascendancy in a way that connects the individual, community and Cathedral for the over 103,000 people who would be expected to visit the Cathedral while the wings are in the North Transept.

People visit Chichester Cathedral for lots of reasons including: attending services, looking at the architecture, prayer, listening to concerts, and to seek solace. This sculpture aims to positively impact the experience of being in the Cathedral for all visitors no matter what the reason for their visit.

The wings will be made from approximately three hundred individual feathers. Each feather starts out as a tube of borosilicate glass, and through fire, gravity, scissors and me, is formed hot into a feather, each one unique. The feathers are sandblasted on one side making them appear white to both catch and transmit light. Each feather will be independently suspended from a metal frame, hanging from the ceiling 61 feet above the ground and be supported in the space between the ceiling and the roof, and additionally be attached at four points to the upper balcony clerestory, 40 feet above the floor.

The dove symbolises the holy spirit, peace, and love, and referencing the story of Noah, a safe place to land. In this way the sculpture aims to visualize the Cathedral's role as provider of peace, solace, and an environment, both physical and spiritual, for finding this within oneself and sharing it with the world.
My artistic practice explores connection and disconnection and is comprised of sculpture, performance and installation using flameworked glass. The wing project for Chichester Cathedral has involved all aspects of my practice and is my most ambitious project to date, pushing my practice well beyond the limits of what I have so far achieved in scale, and once installed, will provide a benchmark for larger projects.

I use flameworking as a means of social inclusion. An important part of my practice is the inclusion of other people in the research, making and bringing artworks to fruition. During my residency at Chichester Cathedral and West Dean College in February of this year, I had a studio set up in the North Transept of the Cathedral, directly below where the wings will hang. This provided the Cathedral and myself with a very different means of engagement with the visitors. I made feathers and explained the project, but also made glass bubbles for a time-based installation that grew over the period of my residency. Working with school groups, the public, staff, and the clergy, I asked everyone to put any concept of the word ‘spirit’ into the glass bubbles I was making and these were hung in an enclosed section of the cloisters. I stressed that there were no wrong answers, any concept, according the participants, and the answers could be totally conceptual like exposing the hole in the bubble to organ music, to small sculptures and mixed media works that were both within and on the outside of the bubbles. At West Dean College, I held a similar event with approximately thirty people simultaneously speaking, humming or singing their ideas into the bubbles that were then hung in a candle-lit greenhouse where the event took place.

At the unveiling of the wings, participants will be invited to speak, whisper, or sing any concept of the word spirit that they want to express in an opening ceremony in a dark Cathedral that is simultaneously slowly lit with candles. You are invited to be a part of this event whether you can attend or not. Visitors are encouraged to quietly utter their concept of the word spirit in this space during the run of the exhibition and to use the wings as both a gatherer and transmitter of spirit.

I have titled the work Homing. The white dove we associate with a peace symbol, holy spirit, or release doves is a rock dove or rock pigeon. Some domesticated rock doves are homing pigeons. This sculpture is intended for a method of homing, of coming to an internal space of centeredness, as a place to contemplate belief, spirit or one’s role as peacemaker."

A private unveiling of the sculpture will take place at the Cathedral on Saturday 8th October at 7.30pm.  This unveiling will involve elements of performance and audience engagement - key themes in Fertig’s work - and will be an atmospheric introduction to the Homing sculpture.  If you would like to attend this private view please email the artist on or see her fundraising webpage for details of how donations can be combined with an invitation to the unveiling event.

Fertig initially began work on the wings two years ago and during February 2011 she was Artist-in-Residence at Chichester Cathedral.  As part of the residency, Fertig worked from a specially installed workshop in the Cathedral’s North Transept, showing her flameworking skills to visitors and running educational sessions with school groups.  The Artist-in-Residence project was collaboration between Chichester Cathedral and West Dean College .

Carrie Fertig is still fundraising for this exciting Glass Wings project and if you would like to support her please visit

Posted by A Simmons


  1. Carrie is simply an amazing artist with a unique ability to translate her idea from an ethereal concept to a tangible entity. Homing is breathtaking in it's scope and intensity simultaneously delivering it's message on gossamer glass wings.

  2. Great news this morning....Carrie has exceeded her $25,000 target (american website so in dollars). It looks like 77 people donated and the project is in full flight!

    I'm hoping this isn't the way we will all have to go to create funding but as an addition to creating a pot of money to produce ambitious work on your own terms, this is such an excellent example.

    Congratulations Carrie and can't wait to see the wings in-situ.