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Talking Out Your Glass podcast

As editor of Glass Art magazine from 1987 to March 2019, Shawn Waggoner has interviewed and written about multitudes of the world’s greatest artists working glass in the furnace, torch, and on the table. Rated in iTunes News and Noteworthy in 2018, Talking Out Your Glass continues to evolve, including interviews with the nation’s finest borosilicate artists making both pipes and sculpture on the torch. Other current topics include how to work glass using sustainable practices and how artists address the topics of our times such as climate change, the political chasm, and life in the age of technology.
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Now displaying: April, 2022

Your Podcast Source for Interviews and Information on

Hot, Warm and Cold Glass!

www.glassartmagazine.com

Apr 29, 2022

Throughout Kathy Jordan’s career, education via workshops and hands-on experience has kept her approach to glass fresh and informed. Her training is the beneficial byproduct of many workshops, including a decade of Richard Millard’s glass painting instruction held at his Antrim School in New Hampshire, intensive China painting study, and master instruction internationally. Antrim inspired Jordan to teach others by providing the same kind of camaraderie combined with intensive glass painting instruction. Jordan states: “If I had gone to an art college or university when I graduated high school, I would not be involved in glass today. My education has been unconventional, but most certainly degree worthy.” 

At home in Media, Pennsylvania, Jordan is wife, mother, and artist. The success of her studio, The Art of Glass, Inc.,rested upon her multifaceted talents in visual arts, historical research, technology, and entrepreneurship. Jordan’s studio completed projects in churches and public spaces from Barbados to Maine, 95 percent of which were restorations. Though restoration painting is her forte, in 2013 she painted and fabricated seven new windows for St. Joseph Church in Sea Isle City, New Jersey. The largest, a panoramic baptism scene, measured 560 square feet. The late Charles Z. Lawrence, who created five windows for the Washington National Cathedral, designed the windows and selected glass for the project.

Over the last three decades, Jordan has been involved with many notable restoration projects by Tiffany, LaFarge, Clayton and Bell, Mayer of Munich, Lalique, and other historically significant artists/ studios. Many of these jobs were carried out in collaboration with Femenella & Associates, including seven Tiffany angels for a travelling exhibit called In Company with Angels, Princeton University Chapel, the Washington National Cathedral and the fire-damaged windows of St. Bernard’s Episcopal Church in Bernardsville, New Jersey, which established Jordan as a conservation painter. Several of these projects received Historic Preservation awards. 

In 2014, Jordan closed The Art of Glass, Inc. and began working for Willet Hauser Architectural Glass, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. As Director of Art Development, one of her first jobs was to represent the studio at an important function at West Point Military Academy. She is currently involved with ongoing large, new window projects for St. Wenceslaus in Omaha. Nebraska., St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Jefferson, Mississippi, and St. Agnes in Key Biscayne, Florida. Willet Hauser received the Philadelphia Preservation Alliance Award this year for the historic restoration of the Isaiah Rose Window by John LaFarge, First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

In contrast to her work on historic windows, Jordan’s autonomous panels, especially those that involve portraiture, reveal her hand and are painterly and spontaneous. For example, The Chief’s Wife, which is comprised of three, 5-inch-square paintings of Native American elders that turn within the frame, was painted with Reusche’s water based medium. She explains: “It behaves like an oil, but thins with and cleans up with water. It will dry if left out, but you can work into it for an extended period of time before drying occurs. I can work quickly and get a full range of value in one face, in one fire. This technique can be spontaneous and loose or controlled and refined, allowing the viewer to see tool marks, brush strokes, or none at all.” Jordan created her panel On Walden’s Pond in a Debora Coombs’ class from a sketch done previously in a life drawing session. Coombs’ workshop was an exploration of all the different textures possible with water-based medium.

Many of Jordan’s autonomous panels have been donated to the American Glass Guild (AGG) auctions to raise money for the James Whitney educational scholarship. Involved with the AGG since its inception in 2006, Jordan is going into her third year as president of the organization – an extended term due to the global pandemic. The AGG will hold its annual conference from July 14 – 17, 2022 at the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York. Also serving as Co-Chair of the International Year of Glass’ North America Steering Committee, Jordan says 2022 is the perfect year to celebrate glass in all of its forms.

Jordan states: “My work and more importantly my contributions to our industry, emerging artists I work with, the clients we work for and the students I teach is why I love this medium and continue to work and volunteer in glass. It is in my DNA and am enthralled by its beauty, mystery and endless possibilities. I was asked not too long ago what or where my body of work was. It was a leading question, and my response was swift. I responded by saying, my body of work was within historic works of stained glass windows that were preserved. My work is called upon by the many students I have taught and by doing so, they now create with confidence and pass along what they have learned.  I can’t ask for any more.”

https://masterclass.narcissusquagliata.com/courses/business-life-of-an-artist

Click the link above for the webinar, The Business Life of an Artist, featuring Kathy Jordan, Narcissus Quagliata, and Orfeo Quagliata. On the checkout page, click on Have a coupon? and type: toyg

 

Apr 22, 2022

Martin Blank’s early figurative work swiftly solidified his place as a premier figurative sculptor working in glass. The artist expanded his contributions to the contemporary glass scene in 2001 when he introduced his sensual and fluid abstract landscapes. An innovator with an intense drive to create and to push his material, Blank’s influences include glass masters Pino Signoretto and William Morris and artforms as diverse as origami and opera.

Blank states: “My work explores what I call visual mirroring. It deals with abstract forms and their spatial relationships. Mirroring is the way two juxtaposed objects relate to one another. There is a dialogue that is created between these forms. A tenuous and tactile presence is created. It is the resonating voice. Each shape relates to its adjacent partner. In this intimate stage, each element has the ability to affect and echo the other. There is a moment when these objects reach their peak visual potency. This is the essence of what is revealed while I create.”

Blank emerged as one of North America’s premiere figurative sculptors with a style quintessentially his own, admiring the grace and flow of the human form since childhood. In 1984, the artist earned his BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. That same year, he moved west to begin his professional career in Seattle, working at the center for studio glass and learning from the driving force behind it – Dale Chihuly. Blank brought his infectious enthusiasm and courageous desire to push the material to Chihuly’s team, all the while establishing his own contributions to the glass movement.

From his Lotus series to Deconstructed Blue and Adorn series, Blank’s sculpture can be found in international locations including the Millennium Museum in Beijing, China, the Shanghai Museum of Fine Art, Shanghai, China, and the American Embassy in Slovakia. The artist was among a group of America’s most renowned glass artists invited to make presentations to create public art for the World Trade Center park in New York City. His work is included in private collections and museums around the world to include the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, Stanford, California; and the Cleveland Museum of Fine Art. 

In 2001, Blank created the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation “Access to Learning” Award for recipients in Finland, Argentina and Guatemala. His own honors include: the Award of Excellence for the International Glass Invitational, Habatat Gallery, Royal Oak, Michigan, 2006, 2010, 2013 and 2016; Artists Grants, Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, Washington, 1986 and 1990; and artist residencies at Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington, 2003, 2007. His public abstract landscapes include: Current at Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington; Repose in Amber at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Indiana; Fluent Steps at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington; and Steam Portrait at 99 Church Street, New York, New York. These public sculptures reveal nature’s inherent structure and celebrate the complementary relationship of natural and figurative objects in space. 

Blank recently completed a new installation at Imagine Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida, titled If a River Could Tell a Story, an installation and ecosystem of light, reflection, form and motion, on view through 2022. The artist was commissioned to collaborate on a work of art for Imagine Museum with founder, Trish Duggan. The fluidity of motion contained in the work invites one on the journey of the river of self-discovery. Every year, Imagine Museum selects its Artist of the Year, a contemporary artist whose art fosters the appreciation of the artistic and expressive nature of glass. For 2022, Blank was chosen, as he is one of the premier figurative sculptors across the globe whose work distinctively expresses motion, sensuality, and the powerful resonance of human landscapes.

Since the 1990s, as an independent artist in Seattle, Blank has produced art and commissions for contemporary collectors, museums and gallery exhibitions. Whether it is a collection of flower blossoms, a monumental abstract installation, or a figurative sculpture, his hot sculpted glass is made with a combination of technical exactitude and creative exuberance. His working relationship with glass is an intimate one, as he wears heat protective clothing, gets very close, and employs his entire body while molding the molten material. Intuitive and deliberate, he is nonetheless open to enhancing his visual vocabulary with the happy accidents of glasswork.

Blank states: “It always intrigues me when the forms reveal a negative space that is as vital and potent as the actual objects. Great sculpture is like music, all you have to do is feel it.”

 

Apr 15, 2022

The Glass Art Society (GAS), Inc. is an international organization whose mission is to encourage excellence, to advance education, to promote the development and appreciation of the glass arts, and to support the worldwide community of artists who work with glass. Since 1971, GAS has been using the joy of glass to connect, inspire, and empower all facets of the global glass community. 

From the early days of the American Studio Glass movement to the upcoming United Nations’ International Year of Glass, GAS continues to foster connections that last a lifetime. This year’s gathering – held in Tacoma, Washington, from May 18 – 21 – celebrates 50 years of Glass Art Society. With the theme Between Here and There, this milestone conference will explore the past five decades of glass and what the next five decades will hold for making, collecting, and educating. 

GAS Executive Director, Brandi Clark, says: “This will be one of the most exciting GAS conferences yet. GAS will be celebrating its 50th Anniversary, it is the United Nations’ International Year of Glass, and we will be able to gather together again after three long years! While celebrating the history of GAS, we will also be highlighting the reach and diversity that is the future of the glass community. Our Saxe Emerging Artists are a great reflection of that.” 

The Glass Art Society is pleased to announce the 2022 Saxe Emerging Artist Award recipients: Fumi Amano, Krista Israel, and Madeline Rile Smith. Each winner will receive the opportunity to present at the 2022 Annual GAS Conference, placement in a digital artist exhibition, an honorarium to support their artistic endeavors, and more. Through a competitive jurying process, GAS recognizes emerging artists every year based on their promising talent with glass. Applicants—nominated by peers, academics, and curators—are evaluated by a professional panel of jurors. 

All interdisciplinary artists, each of the three winners use their work to explore the similarities between the unique properties of glass and their own minds and bodies. Joining me on this episode of Talking Out Your Glass podcast, Smith uses glass as a “performative vehicle to consider notions of intimacy and embodiment,” exploring the parallels between the human body and the medium of glass. 

Informed by her background in music, Smith creates objects that explore connection and isolation. Her work has been exhibited in venues throughout the US and internationally, and has been featured in New Glass Review 41 and 35. She currently teaches glass art as an adjunct professor at Rochester Institute of Technology and has instructed glass working in schools and institutions throughout the East Coast, including UrbanGlass, Salem Community College, and the Crefeld School. 

You can see more of her current work and educational videos on InstagramYoutube, and TikTok.

States Smith: “Informed by my experience with chronic pain, my work explores degrees of ability and compromise of the human body. Pain has caused periods of isolation in my life, and as a result I have a strong impulse to connect with others. I utilize glass as a performative vehicle to explore interaction between people. Through objects and performance, I examine the pleasure, intimacy and discomfort that accompany the interpersonal experiences we all seek.” 

This episode also features a conversation Natali Rodrigues, former GAS Board President, this year’s GAS Lifetime Membership award winner, and Associate Professor in the Glass Program at the Alberta University of the Arts in Canada. Rodrigues discusses the upcoming GAS conference, the organization’s new mission, vision, values and strategic plan, and how those are being implemented to create a more inclusive organization and glass community. “The more work GAS does to be an international organization, the more ways it finds to bring together the glass community across borders,” Rodrigues says.

And you’ll hear from one of GAS’ founders, Fritz Dreisbach. Equal parts artist, scientist, and historian, Dreisbach has spent the last five decades teaching and demonstrating glassblowing around the world. This “Johnny Appleseed of Glass” has himself played a vital role in the history of the American Studio Glass movement that he now strives to preserve and share with the next generation. In the process of inspiring others to try glass, Dreisbach began studying and reinventing historic shapes in glass with his personal brand of irony, humor, and fun. Children’s toys and games, funk ceramics, and 1960s comics all inspired Dreisbach’s early artwork. Above all, he endeavored to capture the fluid nature of the hot glass used to create his work.

Having studied painting at the University of Iowa, earning his master of arts degree, Dreisbach planned to eventually teach college level art, thus his advisor instructed him to study a wide variety of mediums. A two-credit, experimental course in glassblowing was part of the curriculum. Serendipitously, his love affair with glass began the summer of 1964, only two years after the seminal ’62 Toledo Museum of Art (TMA) workshops. During this time, Dreisbach first met and was inspired by three pioneers of Studio Glass—Harvey Littleton, Dominick Labino, and Erwin Eisch.

Dreisbach has led hundreds of workshops and lectures about glass in over 185 institutions worldwide. Traversing the country, teaching and spreading the gospel, earned him the moniker, “The Johnny Appleseed of Glass.” Dreisbach designed and built many hot shops in the 1960s and 1970s, including Pilchuck Glass School. After his short visit in 1971, the artist began teaching and advising the school for over four decades and has served as an artist trustee since 1993. He helped found and direct the Glass Art Society, which presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

Enjoy this multi-faceted conversation about GAS – past, present and future.

 

 

Apr 7, 2022

Cappy Thompson is an internationally acclaimed Seattle artist known for her mythopoetic narratives on glass created via the grisaille painting technique. Early in her career, she was drawn to the images and symbols of the medieval period, inspired by the Christian tradition of Western Europe as well as the content of Hindu, Pagan, Judaic, Buddhist and Islamic painting. In more recent years, the artist has moved away from mythological narrative and toward compositions on vessels that draw upon images and themes from her personal life. Thus began an autobiographical exploration of world culture and spirituality that continues to the present.

Thompson states: “For me, as a narrative painter, the issue has always been content.  The issue wasn’t glass, the material that I chose some 45 years ago. Nor was it the painting technique—grisaille or gray-tonal painting—that I taught myself to use. My work—which spans several decades and a variety of scales from the intimate to the monumental—has always been driven by content.”

Born in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1952, Thompson grew up in Seattle and attended the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where she received her BA in 1976 in painting and printmaking. Basically self-taught, her first professional exposure to glass came in 1975 when she worked for a small studio in Olympia. For several years she learned and worked in solitude until her reputation brought her to the attention of glass artists Charles Parriott, Therman Statom and Dale Chihuly. In 1984 Thompson moved back to Seattle, and her subsequent exposure to artists at Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, Washington, led her to painting on vessel forms.

Thompson’s work can be found in collections worldwide, including those of the Corning Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, the Chrysler Museum of Art, Museum of Art and Design, and the Microsoft Corporation.  Recent exhibitions include Indie Folk: New Art and Songs from the Pacific Northwest, held at The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Washington State University, Pullman, 2022; The Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland, Oregon, 2022; and Fluid Formations, Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, Washington, on view in 2021. Public commissions include large-scale installations at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Evergreen State College, and Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. In 2019, Thompson designed, fabricated and installed eight painted glass windows for Salk Middle School, Spokane, Washington, a project commissioned by Washington State Arts Commission in partnership with Spokane School District. 

A recipient of an NEA fellowship, the Libensky Award, and Pilchuck’s John Hauberg Fellowship, Thompson has also been artist in residence at Pilchuck and at Toyama City Institute. She has served on the Bellevue Arts Museum Advisory Council, the Board of Directors of the Glass Art Society and Pilchuck Glass School’s Artistic Program Advisory Committee and continues serving on the Board of Directors for Pottery Northwest. She has taught workshops around the world at Bildwerk, Frauenau, Germany; California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, California; Canberra School of Art, Canberra, Australia; Centro del Arte Vitro, Monterrey, Mexico; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia; International Glass Center, Dudley College, Stourbridge, England; National Sculpture Factory, Cork Ireland; National College of Arts and Design, Dublin, Ireland; Northlands Creative Glass Center, Lybster, Scotland; Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina; Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, Washington; and many more.

Though each piece tells its own story, there is one general message Thompson tries to convey with her work: “I see now, after more than three decades of work, that I am like those medieval painters striving to express magnificence and beauty.  But my expression focuses on the human experience of goodness, of hope and of love.”

 

Apr 1, 2022

One would be hard-pressed to think of any other artist working with glass whose work reflects as many varied and compelling styles as Dan Dailey’s. From vessel forms to his Individuals to lamps, sconces and chandeliers, these beautiful, sometimes humorous pieces dazzle through a combination of colored glass and intricate metal work. No matter the format, Dailey’s work expresses humanity, historical reference, and reverence for the natural world. 

Dailey credits his successful career to his education in the arts. Born in Philadelphia in 1947, he attended Philadelphia College of Art, where he encountered glass through ceramic teacher, Roland Jahn, and discovered a mentor in William P. Daley, who taught basic design and color to his freshman class. Dailey, who completed graduate studies at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) as Dale Chihuly’s first graduate student, says: “Under Chihuly’s influence, I focused totally on glass. That was a breakthrough for me. It was a lucky time for me to be there.’’

Following graduate school, with the support of a Fulbright fellowship, Dailey moved to Italy and worked in Murano’s famed Venini Factory during 1972 and 1973 as an independent artist/designer. He later worked with other established glass companies such as Critsallerie Daum in Nancy, France, and Steuben Glass Works, in Corning, New York.

In 1973, Dailey returned to the US and established the glass program at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, which he headed until 1985. Now Professor Emeritus, he transitioned into a new relationship with MassArt, creating a lecture series titled Materialism, in collaboration with Joe Rapone, a professor of design at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Dailey continues his role as independent designer at both Venini and Daum, and serves on the National Advisory Board for The University of the Arts. 

Among his many awards, Dailey received a Fulbright Hayes Fellowship, Venice, Italy, 1972-1973 and a Fellowship at the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1975-1983. He was elected a Fellow of the American Craft Council in 1998, honored in 2000 with the Libensky Award, and in 2001 with the Masters of the Medium Award by the James Renwick Alliance. Shown in over 300 exhibitions, including a retrospective at the Renwick Gallery, his work is included in more than 50 museum and public collections internationally, and currently represented by Schantz Galleries, Stockbridge, Massachusetts; Hawk Galleries, Columbus, Ohio; Habatat Galleries, Royal Oak, Michigan; and Sandra Ainsley Gallery, Toronto, Canada. 

Dailey’s process for transforming glass into compelling and unexpected forms is almost as interesting on paper as it is in three dimensions. Drawings and watercolors are used to refine ideas, but also to direct his team, which can include glassblowers in Seattle; acid polishing in West Virginia; waterjet cutters in local machine shops; and cutting, grinding, metal working, and assembling assistants at his New Hampshire studio. Working from his titles forward, the artist keeps a list of thoughts and key phrases, illustrating words with the objects he makes. 

He states: “I emphasized drawing as a teacher for many years, because it would help me to help somebody realize their own ideas. It doesn’t have to be a beautiful drawing. It just needs to include information. However, in my own work, I make accurate drawings that really represent the piece.”

Focusing part of his time on producing sculptural lighting and large installations for residences and public buildings, Dailey says being diversified has kept him continuously busy, though he notes, not everyone makes a connection between all of his work. “Someone interviewed me at an exhibition in Chicago and did not realize that I made all of the work on exhibit. She thought it was three different artists. It was the first time I considered that perhaps my work wasn’t clearly all mine, even though to me it all looked like it belonged. If you look through my sketchbooks and see the black-and-white ink on paper drawings, you can see that as different as the finished work can be, it is all connected by my stylistic approach.”

Emerging from the Studio Glass movement initiated by Harvey Littleton, Dailey’s work goes beyond its historical glass roots to combine with metal in a variety of formats, all of which communicate a subjective, narrative message. A vast array of forms has always been required to express the multitudes of ideas generated by Dailey’s mind, and style is the common thread that binds them.

 

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