Sand and fire make glass. I think of this while looking at Chiqui’s gift from Venice, a glass pen that looks like amber, with a surge of turquoise sea and gold foil inside. Glassworkers stretch the glass on iron rods while it’s hot and taffy-like; they know to the second how it will twist and harden, into a memory of a place I have yet to visit.
On any glass pen, the tip is the most fragile part. The point usually chips off, leaving a jagged edge. On thick paper, this makes brute lines. They’re good to look at, but not very pleasant to make. This is where I bring out the Micromesh. I take off most of the roughness – not all. A little tooth is welcome.
I am always gratified by the contrast, how from something so innately fragile emerges these lines, bold and expressive. If it were a fragrance it would be osmanthus or jasmine, a heady exhalation from a tiny white flower.