James Devereux’s Clovis Collection is the result of labored experiments by the artist to literally chip hot glass like stone. Having perfected this unusual technique, he produces breathtaking, monolithic objects with smooth lines juxtaposed with fractured edges. Creating these pieces in subtle tones places the focus on the texture and form of each component.
Devereux states: “A blow too hard would simply shatter the piece, too light a tap would crush the surface. After flame polishing, the meandering edges despite their appearance are not sharp, but smooth to the touch.”
Having worked with many prominent names within the industry in a host of roles including collaborating artist, facilitator, instructor and demonstrator, Devereux’s impact within British and international glass to date has been far reaching. Positioned as one of the most active glass artists currently working in the UK, it is the unique combination of abundant skills and technique with an eye for detail that has made him a highly respected and sought-after glass craftsman.
Starting in the industry at the age of 15 thanks to a work experience placement at Bath Aqua Glass, Devereux worked at a crystal factory making stemware, tableware and gifts. He subsequently studied glass for three years at Wolverhampton University before opening his first hotshop in the inspiring Wiltshire countryside. In 2009, Devereux took a job as the glass technician at the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London before attending the college as a student. He states: “RCA opened my eyes to everything else going on in glass, including new contacts and opportunities that remain at the core of my career.”
After leaving London in 2013, Devereux and fellow glass artist Katharine Huskie established a new studio together. Devereux and Huskie Glassworks is a custom-built studio dedicated to creating innovating and exciting glass for designers and artists from the UK and overseas. Over the years, Devereux and Huskie Glassworks has become known for large-scale glass sculpture that pushes the boundaries of the material. Devereux also sells glass tools and supplies through his business, Glass Toolbox. Visit https://www.glasstoolbox.co.uk.
Devereux and US artist David Patchen first met through social media and at the Glass Art Society’s (GAS) conference in Murano, but their unique collaboration didn’t officially begin until 2019 in San Francisco. United in harmony, their collaborative artworks combine Patchen’s murrine patterns and Devereux’s intrinsic forms. Making their first collaborative Clovis sculpture at a fundraising party and their second during a demo for hundreds of people at GAS Tacoma, their relationship continued during Covid with Patchen shipping pattern blanks from San Francisco to Devereux in the UK. Patchen makes murrine with color combinations he’s interested in exploring – cutting and arranging different pieces together to achieve the perfect mosaic for blowing. Devereux then uses these intricate patterns to sculpt and breathe life into the artwork.
Says Patchen: “My collaboration with James has been going strong over the past year. We began this project just before the pandemic and have completed a dozen sculptures without the benefit of working in the studio together. We communicate via text and email with me making the patterns in San Francisco and shipping James patterned murrine blanks (thick densly-patterned cups) which he heats up in his studio in England to create the finished sculptural forms. Aside from being distinctive and beautiful forms, a particularly interesting aspect of these is the hot-chipped edge. James creates this edge texture by carefully hammering the sculpture while the glass is hot on the punty, chipping away chunks of glass, exposing the interior and creating the scalloped edge. You can see a short video on my Instagram of James chipping the second Clovis we made in San Francisco at the beginning of our collaboration.”
Devereux is currently exploring a new series, Diodes, continuing his look at collectable obsolete objects. These works combine multiple materials, processes and skills as well as distorted Morse code to look at what we consider current or outdated technology or communication. Having just returned from Biot International Glass Festival, and travels to Sweden and Istanbul, the artist discusses his history and works in glass.
Vivian Wang is an American sculptor of Chinese descent, who is inspired by the art of ancient China and Japan. With Asian features and formal poses, her figures are always elaborately clothed in garments replete with Asian patterns and motifs. The style and color of the clothing has been greatly influenced by her previous career as a fashion designer. The “textile-like” surfaces of her work are purposely distressed or antiqued. Wang uses glass components for the hands, feet and heads of her figures, which imbues them with an intangible quality. Together, these elements give the sculptures a haunting look, mirroring the paintings and sculptures of ancient China and Japan.
All of Wang’s pieces are now extravagantly embellished with semi-precious stones and crystals. This reflects the opulence and pageantry of court life in ancient Asia. Even the Samurai warrior wears the most resplendent armor covered with an overwhelming number of garnets and moonstones. The use of these semi-precious stones is a new direction in her art, one which she intends to develop further.
Wang states: “It is difficult to place my art, sometimes referred to as Asian Figurative Sculpture, neatly into the spectrum of the art world as it is both old and new. Ancient in its origins, subjects and some of its materials, my work is also contemporary in its use of cast glass as a significant element of its design. In ancient times, figurative sculpture was made in ceramics, stone and wood, and I have followed that tradition by using clay for my bodies. In old China, glass was used only for religious artifacts and decorative ornaments; its purpose to mimic jade. In contrast, I employ glass as glass to create my heads, hands and feet, a contemporary use of materials.”
A former New York fashion designer, Wang was inspired to become a sculptor after seeing work by Akio Takemori. One lucky day, sometime around the turn of the new millennium, she walked into Garth Clark’s Gallery on West 57th Street in New York City to see Takemori’s sculptures. She knew then that viewing that exhibition would change her life.
“Perhaps my interest in ceramics is what took me to Akio Takemori’s exhibition that day,” says Wang. “From the moment I saw Akio’s pieces, I was hooked. I was literally transfixed by his work. The exhibition consisted of a dozen ceramic figures, about two or three feet in height, of the people he remembered from the Japanese village he had lived in as a child. I had never seen anything like them. My embrace of Akio’s work made me want to do what he did, to become a sculptor, to create my own figurative pieces.”
At the time, Wang was living in New York and working as a fashion designer for Jones, New York – a large, corporate, not “very creative”, clothing manufacturer. Several years earlier, Wang had sold her own design firm because small fashion companies could no longer compete against the large corporations. To satisfy her creative needs, she began experimenting with ceramics, casting plates, bowls and cups, and painting intricate Chinese scenes and people on them. For several years, she continued her career as a designer, but with some encouragement from her husband, she took a giant leap and quit her job to become a sculptor.
For a while, Wang stayed in New York, taking live model sculpture classes. But in 2007, she and her husband moved to West Palm Beach, Florida, where she became an artist. Early works included first American children, called Ragamuffins. Then she moved on to Chinese and Japanese courtiers and children. By 2009, Wang had produced enough work to have her first exhibition at Stewart Fine Art Gallery in Boca Raton, Florida. Her sculpture sold well there, and three years later she was invited to join Habatat Galleries. “Since then, I have been creating sculptures as quickly as humanly possible – and having a wonderful life doing so,” Wang says.
Wang’s sculpture can be found in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery, Washington, D.C.; Imagine Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida; Barry Art Museum, Norfolk, Virginia; Fort Wayne Museum, Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, Florida. She has been honored with the “Artist of the Future Award” by Imagine Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida, 2019; Fort Wayne Museum of Art Award, 45th International Glass Invitational Award Exhibition, 2017; Art Palm Beach Award for Excellence in Creativity, 2017; Fort Wayne Museum of Art Award, 2015; the 43rd International Glass Invitational Award Exhibition, Habatat Galleries, Royal Oak, Michigan; and Outstanding Glass Artist of 2013, Florida Glass Art Alliance, Miami, Florida.
Six years ago, Hannah Gregory, owner of Bad Ass Stained Glass, Cervantes, Western Australia, was puttying windows for free in exchange for education in stained glass. In October 2022, the artist spent a month at the renowned Judson Studios, Los Angeles, California, working with some of the best glass painters in the world as well as artists working with glass in non-traditional ways. This was made possible through a fellowship awarded to Gregory by the International Specialized Skills Institute of Australia.
Growing up in Western Australia, Gregory enjoyed a childhood spent by the ocean, around cray-fishing boats and fishing off of the beach. With no fine arts education, she has always been an outsider artist, making irreverent, bold works in painting, drawing, printing and photography until her mid 20s when she became focused entirely on working with glass.
Since 2016, stained glass has been the planet on which Gregory wakes and sleeps. She has now trained, worked, studied and travelled extensively in the US, Europe, and Australia resulting in a comprehensive and contrasting repertoire of both Medieval and innovative skills and techniques for working with stained glass. Residencies have been awarded to Gregory by the Australia Council of the Arts, the International Specialized Skills Institute, the Western Australian Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries, and the American Glass Guild.
A passionate advocate for a more diverse, inclusive and engaging future for stained glass, Gregory is also determined to undermine the outdated expectations and connotations of her beloved craft. Gregory states: “I believe stained glass needs to be where people don’t expect it. It needs to say things people don’t expect it to say. It needs to ask questions. It needs to be in architecture/ outside of architecture. It needs to be thought provoking and collaborative.”
Currently living with her husband in the small fishing town of Cervantes on unceded Yued land, Gregory enjoys working on both architectural commissions and experimental autonomous works. She served as International Artist in Resident at the well-known Swansea College of Art in the UK for what was supposed to be one year, but ended up being two due to Covid. At the beginning of 2022, she returned to Australia where she was awarded a six-month residency at the Fremantle Arts Centre, resulting in a new body of work focused on seaweed. Her work can be found in architecture and private collections across the world.
Upon her return to Australia from Judson Studios, Gregory begins work on two large jellyfish windows, a complex commission for a wildlife photographer and videographer in Oregon for 12 animal skylights, an ongoing larger job in Melbourne that will be her largest job to date, and her Steven’s competition window. She has also just received seed money from the UN International Year of Glass to run some lead lighting workshops for people in regional Australia and is hoping to start glass painting workshops in her studio. She enjoys sharing her passion for glass through teaching and workshops when she can.
Believing that stained glass is a having a bit of a renaissance and hasn’t reached its full potential, Gregory and husband Kris are experimenting with traditional wet plate collodion photography on glass and its applications for stained glass. Other recent projects have included two windows for a door depicting a large protea, some commissioned tattoo designs and some small memorial windows.
Says Gregory: “My work is guided by the concept of transformation from destruction. Stained glass is one of the most enduring artforms in the western world, and its creation hinges on breaking glass, manipulating metals, burning pigment. Every act in fabricating a piece of my work relies on destruction. In its very essence, the building and durability of stained glass relies on a balanced mix of the fragility of glass, and the strength of lead.”