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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: Category: art

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Hot, Warm and Cold Glass!

www.glassartmagazine.com

Sep 7, 2017

According to Japanese tradition, anyone with the patience and commitment to fold 1,000 paper cranes will be granted their most desired wish, because they have exhibited the crane’s loyalty and recreated its beauty. Backed by a successful $92 thousand dollar Kickstarter campaign, Jeremy Grant-Levine, AKA Germ, will flamework no less than 1,000 glass cranes in a year’s time. Exploring one large idea requires the artist to focus on the moment rather than the future. He says, “It’s a step back from feeding a commodity market for a year to focus on one thing rather than what’s next.”

 

Based in Philadelphia, Germ has been flameworking glass pipes for over 13 years, earning a reputation as one of the most technical and innovative makers in the industry. Mixing classical shapes and modern silhouettes, he transforms functional glass into sculpture that has been exhibited at galleries in Seattle, Philadelphia, New York, Miami, and Tel Aviv. Germ has also taught workshops and collaborated with other artists worldwide.

His 1,000 Cranes project represents more of a fine art move for the veteran functional glass artist, whose smokeable pieces typically sell for thousands of dollars. This, the largest project Germ has undertaken to date, will require up to 250 pounds of glass for flameworking and approximately two miles of wire for display, totaling $20,000 in materials.

As Germ works solo making the cranes, his focus remains on this larger scale, singular artwork rather than the many individualized pieces he typically creates when making pipes. Though he misses the personal aspects and relationships involved with functional glass, the 1,000 Cranes project offers Germ the chance for a more grand impact. Upon completion, his work will be displayed in an immersive installation in conjunction with Arch Enemy Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Aug 25, 2017

By suspending creatures in moments of tension and recalling the myths and legends with which they are associated, Shelley Muzylowski Allen reminds us that nature is precious and in many ways fleeting. From the red gazelle to Asian and African elephants, some of her subjects face extinction or have been forever lost in the tides of time, taking with them some of humanity’s finest qualities.

 

Relying upon her background as a painter and an understanding of anatomy, Muzylowski Allen creates impressionistic or contemplative expressions and vignettes. In combination with sumptuous coloring and the acid etched surfaces of glass, her forms inspire a remarkable and powerful influence on human feeling.

 

Born in Manitoba, Canada, Muzylowski Allen never considered working with glass until a co-worker remarked that her paintings would translate well to three dimensions. After taking a course at Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, Washington, it quickly became evident that the artist had found in hot glass the perfect material for her painterly approach. Her textures, patterns, and gesture of brushwork enrich strong, three-dimensional forms.

 

Muzylowski Allen worked with the William Morris sculpture team in Washington State as a glass sculpting assistant from 1998 through 2004. In 2005, she established a glass and sculpture studio with her husband, artist Rik Allen, at their property in Skagit County, Washington. The couple has taught internationally at the Toyama Institute of Glass in Japan; Nuutajarvii Lasikyla, Finland; and the International Glass Festival in Stourbridge, England, as well as in the US at the Penland School of Craft; Pittsburgh Glass Center; and at Pilchuck.

 

Muzylowski Allen has been awarded Provincial and Canada Council grants. Her work is held nationally and internationally in public institutions and private collections. In 2008, she had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, Washington, Modern Menagerie. Other selected shows include The San Juan Museum of Art, northwest Washington; Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe and Scottsdale; Habatat Galleries, Michigan; Traver Gallery, Seattle; and Schantz Galleries, Massachusetts. In 2012, Muzylowski Allen was a guest artist at Studio Salvadore in Murano, Italy, where she collaborated with artist Davide Salvadore on a series of large-scale sculptures.

 

Whether living things such as the beloved and revered horse or creatures associated with magic and mythology such as the unicorn, Muzylowski Allen renders her menagerie in states of grace, repose, or movement. They are transitory, by their choice or by ours. These archetypal symbols reflect not only the artist’s insights and experiences but inspire a deeply emotional connection for the viewer.

 

Aug 8, 2017

 

 

It’s interesting to contemplate the many obstacles to liberty - past, present, and future. Walking through the glass gallery of the National Liberty Museum (NLM), home to Maurice Gareau’s biblical glass scenes in stained glass, one remembers the colonists who came to America seeking religious freedom. Having escaped persecution in Europe, their challenge then became how to live in peace with others who did not share their beliefs. The NLM’s glass chess set by Gianni Toso includes flameworked pieces arranged in groups, as if conspiring to find answers to the complicated dilemmas that the search for liberty generates.

Located in the heart of historic Philadelphia, the National Liberty Museum is dedicated to preserving America’s heritage of freedom by encouraging people to find their own place in the story of liberty. Visitors to the Museum enjoy an inspiring and entertaining experience, as they interact with incredible stories of heroes and a collection of contemporary glass art including a 20-foot tall glass art sculpture entitled Flame of Liberty by Dale Chihuly. 

The National Liberty Museum first opened its doors to the public in January 2000. An independent learning and exhibit center, the museum is supported by visitors, community leaders, and foundations. Core themes include leadership and good character, diversity and inclusion, peaceful conflict resolution, and civic engagement.

In the Spring of 2017, the NLM sponsored a temporary exhibit titled The Treachery of Images: A Glass Art Exhibition. This exhibit pushed the limits of artistic respectability by showcasing the work of pipe makers and embracing the challenges they face in their efforts to be accepted within the art world. Later in the podcast, you’ll hear from pipemaker Jeremy Grant Levine, also known as Germ.

The NLM’s current GlassAccess Temporary Exhibit, Transparency: An LGBT+Q Glass Art Exhibition began in June runs through August 6, 2017. To celebrate Pride 2017, the National Liberty Museum hosted the nation’s first museum exhibit of studio glass works produced exclusively by artists of the LGBTQ community. Later in the podcast you’ll hear from participating artists Tim Tate, Jenny Pohlman and Sabrina Knowles.

We begin our podcast tour of the National Liberty Museum's history, goals, and exhibitions with glass department manager, Meegan Coll.

 

 

 

 

 

Jul 11, 2017
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

Jun 27, 2017
Known for his one-of-a-kind creature pipes, Salt began flameworking in 2001 in his hometown of Austin, Texas, where he still resides today. From spots and stripes, teeth and claws, to his trademark eyes, Salt’s detailed borosilicate sculpture has an undeniable hold on the functional glass community. His loyal 159K Instagram followers wait for new work to be released and search select shops and galleries for exotic creatures to add to their collections.
Salt Glass is inspired and informed by influences as vastly different as Surrealists such as Salvador Dalí and Maurits Cornelis Escher to elements from hip-hop culture such as graffiti and music, specifically the free-style movement. As he works, Salt let’s his imagination run wild. He endows his creatures with names and personalities, imagines how they might move, how and what they might eat. Environments they will thrive or die in are pondered.
 
On another level, the artist uses the creative process to examine thoughts, concerns, and dreams. As Salt works glass in the torch, he focuses on the feeling of having negative energy consumed and changed by this creature, allowing it to not only consume negativity, but transform the energy to positivity in a magical glass alchemy.
 
Sponsored by the company of the same name, Salt serves on Glass Alchemy’s artist board, contributing invaluable feedback to the development of new products for pipemakers and flameworkers. Independently, the artist has pioneered a variety of revolutionary technical advances including the Gill and the Salt Perc.
 
Says Salt: “In the end, my style is the fruit of my continually striving to put a message in my work and to amplify my voice as an artist and as a human. I want to do my best to represent the pipe making community that raised me and raise the voice of my generation.”
Jun 13, 2017

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that we are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. An unprecedented 65.3 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. In a world where nearly 34,000 people are forcibly displaced every day as a result of conflict or persecution, Susan Cox makes a poignant statement about the importance of home and the heartbreak of losing our place in the world.

Informed and inspired by her background in architecture, Cox’s cast glass forms reveal her unique understanding of the correlation between light and space. The artist considers elements that define the concept of "home," including the evanescent qualities of childhood memories and the lifelong moments of looking back and looking forward. She explores the landscape where we feel most at peace or at home, as well as the act of individualizing a home to identify and make our own. Cox’s sculpture triggers examination of the home within each of us.

Working at her kiln and casting studio in Pound Ridge, New York, Cox earned a Master’s degree in architecture from Columbia University. In 2009 she turned to glass as a more immediate means of exploring ideas about light, space, and memory. In 2014, Cox was awarded a four-month residency at Bullseye Resource Center, Mamaroneck, New York, and was selected as an “E-merge” finalist. In 2015, she was honored by ArtsWestchester as one of their “50 For 50” artist’s, recognizing 50 outstanding artists living or working in Westchester County. Cox had her first solo exhibition "Finding Home," held December 3, 2016 through April 4, 2017 at View Art Center, in Old Forge, New York.                 

May 30, 2017

Judson Studios’ Resurrection Window, the largest single composition fused glass window in the world, was dedicated in April, 2017. Created for the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, the groundbreaking work measures a mammoth 37 feet tall by 93 feet wide. For the ambitious project, Judson Studios collaborated with world-renowned artist Narcissus Quagliata to bring Judson designer Tim Carey’s vision to life. This represents the first time a notable liturgical window was created entirely from fused glass.

Chosen for the Resurrection Window project via a worldwide selection process, Judson Studios designed, fabricated, and installed 161 panels each measuring 4 feet wide by 5 feet tall. Located above the sanctuary chancel and choir loft, the spectacular 3,404 square feet of glass is comprised of approximately 6,000 individual pieces of painted, fused, and glazed glass. Though protected from the elements by a glass curtain wall, the colossal expanse of art glass is visible at night from miles away.

To accomplish the daunting task of producing this first ever fused window wall, Judson Studios expanded from their workspace in nearby Highland Park to a new addition in South Pasadena. More than 5,000 square feet of modern factory and kiln capabilities enabled the studio, with Quagliata’s assistance, to complete their most challenging commission to date.

The dramatic centerpiece of a $93-million capital improvement plan, the Resurrection Window serves as a beacon on the church’s 76-acre Leawood campus. Designed by Minneapolis-based HGA Architects and Engineers and Gould Evans of Kansas City, the new sanctuary changed the local landscape with its seven stainless steel-clad exterior panels. These "sails" rise more than 104 feet above ground and represent each day of creation, the wholeness of life, and the seven days of Holy Week. In harmony, Judson’s Resurrection Window tells the biblical story from Genesis through Revelation.

Our conversation begins with president of Judson Studios, David Judson. Next we’ll hear from designer Tim Carey, then Narcissus Quagliata about each of their roles and experience in the creation of the Resurrection Window.

 

May 12, 2017

Robert Mickelsen’s second act in glass not only pays homage to his early career in flameworking, but couldn’t have happened without it. The artist gracefully transitioned from sculptural to functional glass, promoting his artwork to an entirely new fan base and resulting in the most successful years of his career.

Born in 1951 in Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mickelsen apprenticed with a professional lampworker for two years in the mid ‘70s, then sold his own designs at outdoor craft fairs for 10 years. In 1987 he took a class from Paul Stankard that opened his eyes to the possibilities of his medium. 

Mickelsen stopped doing craft shows in 1989 and began marketing his work through fine galleries and exhibitions in high profile shows nationwide. His work can be found in many prominent collections including the Renwick Gallery of American Crafts at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.; the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning New York; and The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Ohio. 

Beginning in the mid 1990s, Mickelsen taught flameworking at major glass schools including the Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood Washington; Penland School of Crafts, Bakersville, North Carolina; and The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York. He has published numerous technical and historical articles on flameworked glass and served for six years on the board of directors of the Glass Art Society as treasurer and vice-president.

June 19 - 23, 2017, Mickelsen will co teach with Jared Betty the first flameworking workshop at Pratt Fine Arts in Seattle, Washington, to include pipe making as part of the curriculum. From July 17 – 21, 2017 Mickelsen returns for his ninth year in a row to Pittsburgh Glass Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to teach the creation of organic forms made from bubbles of borosilicate glass. He also teaches private workshops at his home studio in Ocala, Florida. 

Apr 28, 2017

Sarah Hall has refined a unique and hi tech approach to architectural glass that gifts the world with both beauty and power. Through the use of photovoltaic cells that convert solar energy into electricity, Hall’s windows can store sunlight by day to backlight the glass by night. They can also produce clean electricity that feeds directly into their respective buildings’ energy systems. Though designing with photovoltaic cells introduces some challenges, Hall moves viewers through her stunning mastery of light and color.

 

Hall designs large-scale solar and art glass projects for clients around the world including embassies, cathedrals, schools, universities, and colleges. These include Waterglass at Enwave Theatre at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre; Lux Gloria at the Cathedral of the Holy Family in Saskatoon; Lux Nova wind tower at the University of British Colombia; Leaves of Light for the Life Sciences Building at York University in Toronto; and The Science of Light at Grass Valley Elementary School in Washington State.

Having studied at Sheridan College in Ontario, Hall continued her education in the Architectural Glass Department at Swansea College of Art in Wales, UK. Her exceptional contribution to the built environment has resulted in Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architects and the Allied Arts Award from the Ontario Association of Architects. Hall’s artistic achievements were acknowledged by her induction into the Royal Canadian Academy of Art in 2002. An Arts Fellowship from the Chalmers Foundation in 2005 supported her innovative work in BIPV (Building Integrated Photovoltaic) solar art glass.

 

In 2016, Hall’s autonomous glass was featured in the exhibition International Panorama of Contemporary Glass-Art, held at the Centre International du Vitrail in Chartres, France. In addition to projects, lectures, and exhibitions throughout North America and Europe, Hall has co-authored 35 articles on glass art and published three books: The Color of Light (1999); Windows on Our Souls (2007) with Bob Shantz; and Transfiguring Prairie Skies (2012) with Donald Bolen. Her work was the subject of J S Porter’s volume, The Glass Art of Sarah Hall, as well as the CBC documentary series, “Great Minds of Design.” She is presently working on a large format retrospective book of her work entitled:  A Thousand Colours – Sarah Hall Glass.

 

Through her glass designs, Hall currently explores ways to generatepower and save birds simultaneously. She endeavors to create colored, transparent solar panels that will not only help power the buildings they cover, but also prevent birds from colliding with glass.

 

 

Apr 14, 2017

Like something out of a dark fairytale, David Fode’s personal work in stained glass entices the viewer with its frighteningly beautiful aesthetic. His alluring autonomous panels painted in the Munich style provide a canvas for Fode’s highly detailed and elaborate renderings, resulting in an irresistible synthesis of the exquisite and the macabre.

Since 2004, Fode has been designing and fabricating independent works in glass from his Waukesha, Wisconsin, studio HaeuserHeil as a means of promoting the Munich style for applications in private and smaller public venues. Though Fode’s subjects are not ancient, his medium is, making for an interesting and endlessly appealing dichotomy. His contemporary content helps to legitimize the stained glass craft through its appeal to today’s art viewing and art buying audience.

Formally trained in illustration at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Illinois, Fode has worked in stained glass studios for nearly 20 years, replicating the Munich style for new and preservation projects across the United States. As senior artist at Gaytee-Palmer Stained Glass in Minneapolis, Minnesota, last year Fode designed 14 4' by 4' windows for Trinity High School in Bismarck, North Dakota. With natural light on only one side, the remaining windows were artificially lit to mimic natural light. LED panels set on dimmer switches and timers controlled the light replicating daylight as closely as possible.

Whether creating autonomous panels, restoring historical glass, or designing new projects at Gaytee-Palmer, Fode’s artistic endeavors serve his goal of keeping the art of stained glass alive.

Mar 24, 2017

 

Lino Tagliapietra’s visit to Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington, in the late 1970s was a game-changer. His willingness to share glassblowing techniques regarded as Muranese secrets with American artists hungry for knowledge was one of the most important seeds of the Studio Glass movement’s growth. For Tagliapietra, the Americans planted a seed also, one that would encourage him to leave his career working in Italian glass factories and transform himself into an independent glassblower and artist.

Since 1990, the Maestro has created some of the world’s most recognizable blown glass, represented by prestigious museums including the De Young Museum, San Francisco, California; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK; the Metropolitan Museum, New York, New York, as well as by numerous galleries and private collections.

Tagliapietra’s awards and honors are innumerable and include his 2006 Distinguished Educator Award presented by the James Renwick Alliance of Washington D.C. In 2011, the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere e Arti in Venice held an exhibition Lino Tagliapietra from Murano to Studio Glass, and in 2015 bestowed upon him the coveted Career Award. Tagliapietra holds two honorary degrees and the title PhD of Fine Arts from Ohio State University. In 2012 the Maestro was chosen for the renowned Phoenix Award. In 2014 he was presented with the Visionary Award at Art Palm Beach, Florida, followed by the Best Glass Work Award, Masterpiece exhibition, London, UK.

Tagliapietra is widely revered as the Maestro of glassblowing, an inspiring teacher, and the elder statesman linking the glass centers of Venice, Italy, and the Pacific Northwest. Vessels, installations, panels, and Avventurina comprise his current body of work. His 2017 exhibition schedule includes Sandra Ainsley Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, from May 13 through August 6; and Lino Tagliapietra, Master of a Glass Renaissance, Morris Museum, Morristown, now through June 18. The New Jersey exhibition will showcase approximately 30 Tagliapietra masterpieces in collaboration with Schantz Galleries.

Mar 10, 2017

 

Widely regarded as one of the godfathers of the functional glass community, Banjo works glass in a torch to create mind-blowing psychedelic sculpture that transcends its functionality. In doing so, the artist has attracted a legion of faithful fans and collectors, many who do not smoke marijuana.

Banjo’s glasswork brings to life interdimensional biomechanical deities that represent the emergence of sacred feminine energy within the post-modern techno-industrial matrix. He also pays homage to pop culture, crafting thousand-plus piece Transformer robots, motorcycles, cars, and Star Wars characters in borosilicate glass.

Though it’s happening, Banjo and his contemporaries don’t need gallery support or acceptance from the mainstream art world in order to sell their work. The functional glass community has always been tightly woven with the fibers of social networking. With over 150,000 followers on Instagram, hungry collectors devour Banjo’s new work the minute images appear online.

“Pipe-makers, glassblowers, and even glass collectors make up an entirely new class of cannabis celebrity,” wrote Ben Parker Karris, editor and correspondent for Kind Stash, Los Angeles, California. “With the nationwide legalization of marijuana, more artists will be inspired to enter the glass industry, because the demand for pieces is growing so quickly. This heightened demand creates a rise in the value of the work as well. Artists who were once barely earning money for their work are sometimes pulling in as much as $30,000 per piece.”

In 2016, Banjo had his first solo exhibition, Sacramental Vessels, held October 8 through November 13, 2016 at Gregorio Escalante Gallery in Los Angeles, California. Featured alongside other visionary works by Alex and Allyson Grey, Amanda Sage, Chris Dyer, and Luke Brown, Banjo’s android-goddesses snuggled in amongst their pistons and gears, represent harbingers of another incremental step towards normalizing and celebrating marijuana culture as part of creative life. Goddesses in vibrant transparent colors mingled with those created in opaque glass, each one surrounded by the hundreds of detailed nuts, bolts, screws, and knobs of Banjo’s mega-mechanisms.

In terms of industry growth over the next few years, many believe the functional glass movement has a chance to become one of the biggest art movements in recent history. According to Banjo, the government called glass pipes a billon dollar industry as far back as 2003. He estimates that currently between five and 10 functional glass artists are earning half a million dollars per year, with over 300 artists bringing in over 100K each.
Nice and tidy.

Feb 17, 2017

 

From the archives, this very first episode of Talking Out Your Glass has been edited and re-released for your listening pleasure.

Former editor of Glass Art magazine Shawn Waggoner interviews internationally respected artist Narcissus Quagliata about his 2013 book, "Archetypes and Visions in Light and Glass." They discuss highlights from his 40 years of groundbreaking glass projects, including his work with the figure and public projects such as his Dome of Light in Taiwan. Just how did he conceive and execute one of the world’s largest stained glass domes?

 

 

Feb 6, 2017

At 19, Preston Singletary was the night watchman at Rob Adamson’s Glass Eye studio in Seattle. Three months later he started blowing glass, working with his childhood friend Dante Marioni. Both artists credit a visit from Italian Maestro Lino Tagliapietra as well as Pilchuck classes with inspiring their subsequent successful careers in glass.

 

In the 1980s, Singletary began incorporating Tlingit designs into his work. By doing so he found not only a new artistic direction but a captive audience for glass that reflected the stories and symbols of his Native Southeast Alaskan tribe. Singletary transformed the notion that Native artists work best with traditional materials. The evolution of his glass working skills and designs along with his subsequent commercial success has positioned Singletary as a primary influence on contemporary indigenous art.

 

Wrote Matthew Kangas for Visual Art Source: “Making indigenous art releases the ego tied up with individual artistic expression in favor of a wider, collective surge and cross-cultural impact. Combining private and public commissions as well as mainstream gallery commitments, Singletary’s new work is advancing both glass and contemporary Native American art. He is perhaps now the leading artist doing so.”

 

Singletary’s astounding commissions include his glass Clan House screen and house posts at the Walter Soboleff Center in Juneau, Alaska. The screen depicts a Northwest Coast design in sandblasted glass. On the left stands an Eagle warrior; on the right stands a Raven. This screen measures approximately 11.5 feet high by 16 feet wide and weighs over 1000 lbs. It is comprised of 28 glass panels, 28 Plexiglas panels, and over 200 custom made mounting bolts.

 

More than five years in the making, Singletary’s Family Story Totems include three 7-foot tall 3-dimensional glass totem poles depicting a beloved family story about the artist’s great-grandmother. A collaboration with longtime friend and woodcarver David Svenson, the Family Story Totems are three of the largest cast glass sculptures in the world. From designing, to carving, to casting first in plaster, then bronze, then lead crystal - this project broke boundaries in art glass production. No other artist has attempted glass casting on this scale with this detail.

 

In terms of his gallery work, Singletary will exhibit new sculpture in Premonitions of Water at the Traver Gallery in Seattle from April 6 – 29, 2017. Opening in 2018 at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Raven and the Box of Daylight is the Tlingit story of Raven and his transformation of the world—bringing light to people via the stars, moon, and sun. A dynamic combination of artwork, storytelling, and encounter, the exhibition allows the treasured Tlingit creation myth to unfold during the visitor’s experience.

 

When he’s not making art, Singletary sings and plays bass with his band Khu.éex’ (pronounced koo-eex). This one-of-a-kind musical collaboration included the legendary late Rock and Roll Hall of Fame composer and performer Bernie Worrell of Parliament/Funkadelic and Talking Heads. Other bandmates include Skerik collaborator with Pearl Jam, Stanton Moore of Galactic, Captain Raab of Red Earth, and tribal members Clarissa Rizal, Gene Tagaban and Nahaan. Following their debut album, “The Wilderness Within," their second album “They Forgot They Survived” will be released on triple vinyl. We’ll hear a track, “Angry Bear,” later in the show.

 

Of the handful of Native Americans working in glass Singletary is a forerunner, using previously undeveloped techniques to revolutionize a new art form. The artist has unintentionally carved a place in history for himself by sharing Tlingit stories and traditions in the unexpected and technically challenging medium of glass.

 

Jan 20, 2017

Paul Messink’s multilayered kilnformed glass panels draw the viewer into an ethereal and ghostly landscape that represents the uncertainty of life and its myriad directions. Transforming a painting, an historically two-dimensional art form, into a three-dimensional scene with depth and perspective, Messink poses questions about choices and pathways via scenes obscured and enhanced by the mystery of fog and mist.

Frequently asked if a photograph has been embedded in his layers of glass, Messink actually creates his imagery by applying glass enamels and fusing. The artist creates depth by layering the glass, diminishing the size and color of his subject matter, and manipulating texture and translucence. Messink typically uses between nine and 12 layers of glass that are kilncast into one solid panel.

Formerly an IT project manager in Chicago, Messink is currently based out of Palm Desert, California, with studios in both Palm Desert and the nearby Coachella Valley Art Center in Indio, California. While mostly self-taught, workshops of artists such as Susan Taylor Glasgow, Richard LaLonde, Mark Salsbury, Annette Baron, and Don Schneider helped him refine and advance his technique. Messink now teaches his process around the country to other artists and kilnworkers looking for more expressive approaches in glass.

Messink was awarded “Best in Glass” in the 2012 and 2014 Royal Oak Clay, Glass and Metal show, Royal Oak, Michigan, and was awarded “Multi-Media Artist of the Year” in the Art Comes Alive 2013 competition, Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2014 he received a category award in The Glass Prize 2014, sponsored by Warm Glass UK, and was also awarded "Best in Show" at GATHERING: Contemporary Glass from the Heartland, sponsored by the Indiana Glass Art Alliance.  In 2015 he took home the "People's Choice Award in Glass" at the 3rd Brea Clay and Glass Exhibit, in Brea CA. Messink has participated in numerous group shows around the country.

Jan 6, 2017

Award winning artist/designer Peter McGrain has been working with stained glass for over 30 years. During this time he has handled every type of stained glass project imaginable, ranging in scope from intimate experimental panels to large scale architectural installations. The book Uncommon Stained Glass charts McGrain's journey from crafter to award-winning artist.

In 1990 McGrain's panel "Shrimping the Spring Tide" was honored by the World Glass Congress as the finest example of stained glass created anywhere on earth during the 1980s. The artist expanded his worldwide notoriety through the creation of exhibition showpieces designed and fabricated for Kokomo Opalescent Glass Works and the Paul Wissmach Glass Co. 

Since the development of McGrain's Vitri Fusaille process - a hybrid of glass fusing and traditional glass painting - demand for his workshops has been on the rise along with increased gallery interest. His piece "Man with Fish" appeared in New Glass Review 26, the Corning Museum’s annual survey of avant-garde glass. In 2012, McGrain proved to himself and the world that Vitri Fusaille could also be used in the creation of architectural work as seen in his commission for the Jewish Home in Rochester, New York, his home town. 

I met McGrain in the late 1980s. In fact, he was one of the first artists about whom I wrote a major feature for Glass Art magazine. I had seen his work for the Strassenburgh Planetarium in Rochester and thought it was not only cutting-edge in terms of design and execution, but far superior to much of the stained glass of the day.

The recipient of the American Glass Guild’s 2014 Joseph Barnes Lifetime Achievement Award, McGrain has always been in demand as a teacher, lecturer, and author of books and journal articles, including his current ongoing series for Glass Art magazine on traditional glass painting. McGrain is grateful to stained and fused glass pioneer Dan Fenton for inviting him to teach his first workshop, sparking the discovery of the joy of sharing knowledge and information with students all over the world.

In this conversation, McGrain discusses his early history, his teaching philosophies, and his best works. We’ll even hear an original song!

Dec 23, 2016

Richard Jolley, internationally recognized as one of today's most accomplished and inventive glass sculptors, was born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1952. As a youth, he moved to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and in 1970 began his art training at Tusculum College in Greenville, Tennessee, studying under noted glass artist Michael Taylor. After receiving his BFA from George Peabody College in Nashville (now part of Vanderbilt University), Jolley continued graduate studies at North Carolina's Penland School of Crafts, under the instruction of studio glass artist Richard Ritter. Jolley has participated in over 65 solo museum and gallery exhibitions throughout the United States and in Australia, Europe, Israel, and Japan.

Jolley's sculpture takes the form of drawings, busts, totems, suspended figures, birds, the garden -- all exploring issues of the human condition, nature, and the universe through the use of glass, color, and contemporary symbolism. Jolley’s work is alluring, in part because it allows the viewer to escape from the everyday into a dream. His message: Art is not limited by its medium but is open to a continuous exploration of new possibilities for what can be meaningful to the human eye.

On May 4, 2014, the Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, Tennessee, debuted Jolley’s new, monumentally scaled sculpture commissioned and created especially for the museum's newly refurbished Great Hall, recently renamed the Ann and Steve Bailey Hall. Cycle of Life measures 100 feet long by 12 feet tall, making it one of the largest figurative glass-and-steel assemblages in the world. Fashioned of thousands of individual cast and blown-glass elements, the massive work unfolds as an epic narrative of the successive phases of life.

Dec 9, 2016

 

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https://youtu.be/jalBYU3VlgQ

 

In the process of inspiring others to try glass, Fritz Dreisbach began studying and reinventing historic shapes in glass with his personal brand of irony, humor, and fun. Above all he tried to capture the fluid nature of his medium in homage to the molten material used to create the work. Children’s toys and games, funk art (especially ceramics), and 1960s comics all inform and inspire Dreisbach’s artwork. His influences include and are as diverse as Jackson Pollock, Claus Oldenburg, Robert Arneson, Clayton Baily, Fred Bauer, and R. Crumb.

Dreisbach, who now lives on Whidbey Island, works out of his glass studio in Freeland, Washington, creating a new series of wheel-carved and cameo-cut sculpture. In addition, he continues to explore his large blown works known as Mongos, and produces playful goblets, trick glasses, and toy vehicles.

Nov 25, 2016

TO WATCH WITH IMAGES, VISIT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL

https://youtu.be/PiIBtKII_zE

 

Equal parts artist, scientist, and historian, Fritz 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 of artists.

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Dreisbach grew up in Akron as part of a family of educators. His father, a college chemistry professor, and mother, a high school music and literature teacher, created in their son what is referred to as conciatore - a marriage of art and science. Fritz holds two bachelor degrees, one in art and one in math. This duality is reflected in both his technical consulting for glass factories such as the Glass Eye Studio, Spectrum Glass, Kugler Colors, and Seattle Batch as well as his continuing personal journey to express using hot glass.

Dreisbach studied painting and sculpture at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, earning his MA. Planning to eventually teach painting, his advisor instructed him to study a broad range of artistic subjects. A two-credit course in glassblowing was part of the curriculum, and serendipitously his love affair with glass began. Dreisbach continued his studies at the University of Wisconsin where he earned an MFA and was inspired by three pioneers of the Studio Glass movement: Harvey Littleton, Dominick Labino, and Erwin Eisch. His education includes a hefty dose of art history including Ancient, Renaissance, and 20th-century painting and sculpture. His background in painting and classical intaglio printmaking provides the basis for practical color theory.

When the excitement of working with hot glass spread from the University of Wisconsin, no one traveled farther or more frequently than Dreisbach to proselytize about glassblowing. The artist visited the first summer session held at Pilchuck Glass School in 1971 and has been active with the school as teacher, advisor, and trustee for 39 years. He also helped found the Glass Art Society, which presented him with a lifetime achievement award in 2002.


Oct 28, 2016

By single-handedly revolutionizing the craft of stained glass through her unique aesthetic and inventive approach to materials, Judith Schaechter championed her medium into the world of fine art. The content of her work - which gives voice to those who experience pain, grief, despair, and hopelessness - resonates with viewers, leaving a profound and lasting impression.

In 1983, Schaechter graduated with a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design Glass Program and moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she is now an adjunct professor at The University of the Arts. Her current work was on view in October 2016 at Claire Oliver galley in New York City, in an exhibition titled The Life Ecstatic.

Schaechter’s exhibition history includes the 2002 Whitney Biennial and a collateral exhibition of the Venice Biennale in 2012. Her work can be found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum in New York; the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; the Hermitage in Russia; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York; and The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.

Schaechter found success early and has sustained it throughout her career. In 2008 she was named a USA Artists Rockefeller Fellow and in 2013 was inducted to the American Craft Council College of Fellows. She is the recipient of many grants including the Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and The Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, to name but a few.

 

Oct 14, 2016

Bob Leatherbarrow established Leatherbarrow Glass Studio in Calgary in 1988 and has created original kilnformed glass ever since. Known for his innovative styles, techniques, and designs, he has taken an experimental approach to developing unique textures and colour palettes using glass powders. His glass bowls and sculptures explore the subtle hues and delicate beauty of naturally occurring textures and encourage the viewer to ponder their origin.

In 2008 Leatherbarrow moved his studio to Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, where he continues to make glass art and write e-books on his signature techniques. The artist has also been a popular instructor on both the national and international kilnformed glass scenes. Join us for this fascinating conversation with Leatherbarrow about his techniques and aesthetic approach to kiln formed glass.

Sep 16, 2016

On May 12 at Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle, Washington, a full capacity audience of 275 guests attended Pilchuck Celebrates and toasted the 2016 Honorees. Glassblowing pioneer Dante Marioni, 52, was awarded The Libenský | Brychtová Award, which acknowledges extraordinary talent and high achievement in the world of contemporary glass.


Marioni took the glass world by storm at age 19 with his exacting and intuitive command of both Venetian design and technique. The resulting monumental Post Modern sculpture referred to vessels and paid homage to glassblowing itself. His early aesthetic signature included graceful form, impeccable finish, and the use of solid opaque colors, all of which made his work instantly recognizable.

Always looking for a new challenge, Marioni’s series are short-lived. The natural evolution of process and form led to an aesthetic shift away from opaque, bold color to an exploration of pattern created through Venetian techniques such as reticello and latticino in transparent glass. Marioni’s current work beguiles the viewer with its intricacy, beauty, and perfection of form, revealed in sculptural vessels that are inspired by the stylized leaf as found in the decorative arts.

Marioni’s work will be exhibited in Classical, Native, and Pop Cultures, on view September 2 – 30 at Schantz Gallery, Stockbridge, Massachusetts, along with the work of Preston Singletary and Richard Marquis. His solo exhibition, In a Breath, opens November 4 at Ken Saunders Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, during the first week of SOFA and runs through December 2016.

 

 

Sep 2, 2016

Washington DC artist Michael Janis has developed and refined an intuitive technique over many years, creating detailed imagery by manipulating glass powder. His illustrative works in glass are dreamy and beautifully stylized. His moody glass panels feature partially obscured people submersed in nature or seemingly dissolving beneath colors and patterns.

Maurine Littleton Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of Echoes of Leaves and Shadows, a solo exhibition of new glass works and sculptures by Janis on view from September 16 – October 14, 2016. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with Maurine Littleton Gallery.

Janis' work explores the unseen sides of life, longing and loneliness, juxtaposed with fragile beauty. The atmosphere in his subject matter is often presented as if in a dream or limbo-like state, with elements of surrealism.

The artist discusses his new series of work as well as his role as co director of the Washington Glass School.

Aug 19, 2016

Tom Holdman currently faces the biggest challenge of his career – how to depict thousands of years of world history in the 200-foot stained glass wall his studio is creating for Utah Valley University (UVU) in Orem, Utah. Holdman, artist and CEO of Holdman Studios, is a man on a mission, determined to complete all 80 panels for his masterwork, Roots of Knowledge (RoK), by the end of October 2016. His monumental masterpiece depicts the most important advances in human knowledge and civilization, inspiring individuals to reach their full potential while illuminating stained glass as one of the highest art forms on earth.

 

In this conversation with both Holdman and lead artist Cameron Oscarson, we learn how the creative team functions, how the windows were designed, painted, and fabricated, and how the team will meet the great race to the finish line of completion.

 

On the cover of Glass Art magazine's July August 2016 issue. For back issues go to www.glassartmagazine.com

Visit www.rootsofknowledge.org for more information and to donate to the project.

Aug 5, 2016

Ben Sharp’s artistic focus developed out of his longtime fascination with early aeronautics and the history of navigation. In developing his sculptural style, Sharp drew from engineering, geometry and mapping, and studies of proportion, balance, and light. His visually captivating and seemingly weightless sculptures incite a nostalgic sense of adventure.

Avoiding trite whimsy, Sharp juxtaposes industrial metal with centuries-old cane techniques to subtly reference the stitched netting and structures of hydrogen air balloons, zeppelins, and dirigibles. His work refers not only to flight, but alludes to the mysteries of science and the journeys of the human imagination.

Originally from Gainesville, Florida, Ben Sharp lives in Stanwood, Washington. He is currently Head Studio Technician at Pilchuck Glass School. Prior to joining Pilchuck’s team six years ago, he gained diverse experience working in fabrication at the National Casting Center Foundry, on scientific glassblowing projects for NASA, and in color production at Bullseye Glass Co. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2006 from Alfred University, and he has taught at GoggleWorks Center for the Arts, and The Studio at Corning Museum of Glass. In 2012, he completed a Visiting Artist Residency at Museum of Glass-Tacoma, and this year (2015) received a Juror’s Choice Award by Spokane Arts.

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