A country kid always wants to know how things work.
Blanche Tilden creates forms that explore value, mechanical movement, and industrial and architectural uses of glass, translating something of the macro immensity of the built and material world to the intimacy of the jewellery object. Her fascination with mechanical devices, fuelled by a desire to understand how things work, continually inspires her work and Blanche has developed a unique approach to her materials, in particular glass, which she explores both as a material for jewellery making and a universal metaphor.
Julie Ewington writes in her essay 'Blanche Tilden in Five Movements', "Tilden is fascinated by modern forms of motion and the beauty of the industrial processes that express it; she looks to machinery, bicycles and architectural forms like windows, to every kind of linking structure. It follows that her kinetic language of jewellery is phrased in the modern materials of glass and metal; in her hands borosilicate glass, and stainless steel and titanium, are coaxed into articulated jewellery that is light, hardy and comfortable to wear." And indeed, Blanche's work is cherished by private collectors for its comfort; its considered balance, movement and weight. A Blanche Tilden necklace becomes an integral part of its owner's life.
In Blanche Tilden's work we see with clarity how glass is entwined with systems of production, both artisinal and industrial, giving form to ideas that have shaped the world around us. For a contemporary designer/craftsperson material culture is an evolving practice. In the future's past, Tilden's work will shed light on who we were.
Simon LeAmon, NGV, 2021