Greta Latchford is a mixed-media artist using innovative techniques to combine stained glass with textiles. Latchford studied Visual Art and Design in South Carolina at the Greenville Museum School Fine Arts Center and Furman University in the late 1980's. She went on to apprentice with California glass-master Lorn Marshall for eight years before opening her own glass studio in South Carolina. After moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2005, she served as the Art Administrator and Curator for the Port of Portland and Portland International Airport through 2016. Latchford works as a public art consultant and artist from her studio in Kalama, WA.
The characters in my work each have a story to tell. The underlying figures are universal archetypes, colored and textured by my personal narrative. Through my characters, I explore the power of feminine and masculine energies. Each of us contains both - push and pull; moving forward and yielding; power and vulnerability. I'm curious about the impact we have on our world, and each other, as we each struggle to find our individual balance.
My technique is an innovative experiment of combining stained glass with textiles. I enjoy the variety of textures and patterns that come from fabric and the range of finishing techniques that glass allows. Beginning, I rummage my library of photographs, sketches, fabrics, and glass until a rough concept emerges. The puzzle comes together as a certain face seems to click with a feathered fabric print, for instance. The harmony of materials completes the narrative.
I sketch, then reduce the sketch to decisive black lines that I will cut from glass and fabric. After hand-cutting each piece of fabric, I fuse them individually to a muslin covered birch board. I glue the glass pieces to the same surface. The space I leave between each piece of glass determines the heaviness of the grout or solder line.
In my mosaics, I cover the entire piece with fine grit black grout. This is a climactic moment! No matter what image I have intentionally created, something magical and unintended always reveals itself as I wipe the excess grout away.
Having worked in clay, metals, glass and wood, I'm continually experimenting with unexpected material combinations - the pliable and the rigid. The interplay of materials reflects the interplay of energies that I'm exploring.