Fire & Ice

Winter is a time to appreciate the physical sensation of temperature extremes: arctic blasts that freeze breath to beard, roaring fires that bead sweat to brow. For me, winter is also a time to study the visual manifestations of temperature extremes in detail, with glass being the common denominator that allows for photography. On one end of the spectrum, window glass acts as a canvas upon which ice crystals form. On the other end of the spectrum, stove glass acts as a barrier through which flames dance.

Both of these processes follow a cadence that’s strikingly similar: the first spark of fire through inferno to single smoldering ash, the first fan of ice through full-window-freeze to single drop of water. At the end nothing remains – an empty stove stained with ash, a windowpane streaked with dirt – until the next cold front arrives and the cycle repeats, hypnotic and meditative.

As different as these forces of nature are, the forms they create complement one another and I’ve come to see them as inseparable from one another. This ongoing project of fifteen years has been photographed entirely within the walls of my house using natural light only.