Born and raised in Munich, Germany, Heike Brachlow received her BA in glass 2004 from the University of Wolverhampton, her MA in 2006 and her Ph.D. in 2012 from the Royal College of Art in London. She primarily works as a self-employed artist from her studio at Parndon Mill, and as an educator and lecturer. She has taught at the Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School, and Penland School of Crafts.
Heike’s often precariously balanced sculptures aim to physically engage: the viewer becomes toucher – invited by words or form, boldly or guiltily. Colour is an important part of her work: the exploration of the interaction of colour, form and light in solid transparent glass during her Ph.D. research has led her to producing her own glass colours, adding metal oxides to the glass batch during the melting process. This enables her to create a personal palette, which consists mostly of subtle tones and polychromatic colours, that is colours that change in different types of light. Her work reflects her attraction to movement and transformation, both in colour and form.
Heike Brachlow’s new sculptures were developed during a residency at the Australian National University, where she spent three months early in 2015. They are based on a concept invented by London-based designer Tony Wills: surprising three-dimensional forms can be created by joining the edges of two flat surfaces that have the same circumference. These forms, when transformed into glass solids, show off the characteristics of transparent colour: variations in hue and value depending on the form as well as changes in different types of illumination.