Tell us about yourself!
My name is Lothar Böttcher. I live and work in Pretoria, South Africa and run my own coldshop, Obsidian Glass. In 1994 I helped build our first furnace for the Glass Department of the Tshwane University of Technology - I was hooked! Thereafter I furthered my studies, specializing as cold worker/engraver in Germany at the Glasfachschule Hadamar, under masters such as Josef Welzel.
What draws you to the material you work with?
As a cold worker I have become intimate with glass from another angle. I guess the discipline of grinding and polishing stems from my sculptural background, whereas the meditative process and material offer me new unexplored possibilities. Each piece is a personal journey.
What themes do you pursue in your work?
Looking, seeing, explore, the universe and my place in it. I am increasing scale by including metal, stone and sometimes wood to give my sculptures a proportional presence as “animated characters" which in turn facilitates a visual conversation or interaction between spectator and object.
What is your dream project?
To build a sun-powered furnace, melt scrap beer and wine bottles, collaborate and see where this idea leads to uplift communities and inspire future generations through the medium of glass.
If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
Architect or mechanic, maybe even astrophysicist or engineer. Something that will make this little blue dot we live on a better place.
What's something about you that most people don't know?
I live on a smallholding on the outskirts of Pretoria with my family, having a few goats for meat and a vegetable garden. This is also where my studio is. We live across the road of an informal settlement with roughly 4000 people living in shacks. Maybe there is a way to make the future better, for all.
Why are you a member of GAS?
I enjoy being part of a special group of people, highly dedicated to the same material I love and its future, having meaningful conversations and introducing oneself at a conference by your name and then your speciality, e.g. blower, engraver, etc.
Its like having an extended family with cousins living all over the world.
Visit Lothar Böttcher's GAS member profile here.