I taught art in various places from 1968 until 1974, always in an effort to create a greater appreciation in my pupils for the many styles, visions, forms and convictions in which the visual artist can find her or his authentic expression. The content of these lectures were mainly based on my own life's experiences, which required some profound soul searching to get it right. Of course I also had to go to the books and do research. Before this chastening episode my work had been mainly spontaneous and expressive, based on experiments I had done in Bolivia with molten glass, but teaching had widened my horizon.
During the mid seventies I was occupied with mapping. Which implies the principle of bringing random data or material into relation with an immutable grid. This interest was explored in a series of art works. A standard way of producing accurate grids is by negative engraving. Which means that instead of making a positive by drawing black lines on a substrate, a negative is produced by coating a transparent substrate with an opaque film in which lines are engraved with a small chisel. If the opaque film is white, the grid consists of transparent lines in an immaculate white background. I created a number of pristine works in this manner. One was called "The Truth About Cartesian Clarity" in which there are tiny wiggles where the horizontal and the vertical lines intersect. These works are in the collection of the C.C. Art Bank in Ottawa and in the Agnes Ethrington Art Center in Kingston ON.
Other explorations resulted in paintings. The Pakenham Bridge is one of them. This remarkable five span stone bridge was designed and built by the engineering firm OToole & Keeting in 1901. The painting is about the genesis of that bridge, mapped into a grid, as it must have been in the minds of those engineers.
This minimalist approach, to do more with less, has been paradigmatic for most of my later work.