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.