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Blake Milteer
Fragments (2009 - 2015)

These fragments are among the hundreds of glass shards I unearthed on a hillside behind our home in Colorado between 2008 and 2016. Bits of bottles once containing liquor, medicine, perfume, soda were found along with smaller quantities of ceramic shards, rusted light machinery, slag, burnt wood, and bricks. Many objects were found over a metre deep and had clearly been buried for decades – some the likely refuse of nearby illicit nightclubs during the Prohibition era. 


As an extension of that delightful moment when the glass was pulled from the ground and held up to the sun for inspection, I tried photographing each piece against the sky. With that method having produced inconsistent results, I sought greater aesthetic control by photographing the shards individually on a lightbox outside in the garden, with artificial light passing through whilst natural sunlight reflected off the surface. That method sustained the natural luminosity in each fragment and also retained an open-air quality to the process.

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