Last week, the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston unveiled a public artwork made up of more than 10,000 individual glass droplets. Installed in the atrium of the art college's Design and Media Center on campus, the project was the culmination of an innovative interdisciplinary course taught by independent artist and visiting professor Dan Clayman. A group of MassArt students worked alongside the Providence-based artist to realize this the work entitled Rainfield, which marks the single largest-scale installation realized by Clayman. In an exclusive interview with the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet, the artist explains how the project came about and how it was realized.
Viewing: Artist Interviews
GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet: You've already published an autobiography, No Green Berries and Leaves (McDonald & Woodward, 2007), and a manual for artists entitled Spark the Creative Flame (McDonald & Woodward, 2013). What inspired you to come out with Studio Craft as Career (Schiffer, 2016) and how does it differ from your first two books?
Paul Stankard: Well, my first book was a memoir, and the second one was a guide to finding and renewing motivation. But I decided to write this book because I was hearing so many people trying to make it as artists who believed it was all about who you knew. I wrote this book to say 'Wait a minute, it's not who you know, it's all about the work.' I wanted to give people a way to educate themselves about what excellence is, and to hand over tools for self-directed learning. People who read this book will hopefully think about how they need to see themselves in competition, not only with the best work in the contemporary realm, but also the best work that has come before. It's about studying the best work that's been done in your field and engaging in a dialog with it — to understand it, and to respond to that work in your own unique way.
The complex relationship between the human and the natural worlds is rich territory for an art gallery set in the town of Waitsfield, Vermont, with its long history of forestry and agriculture. Through mid-October, art dealer Stephanie Walker has turned over her Walker Contemporary gallery space to an exhibition entitled “What Have We Done?”, which examines artists “grappling with the often precarious human versus nature relationship,” according to the gallery’s website. Among the five artists with work on display is the native-born Charlotte Potter, who grew up in Waitsfield before embarking on a notable career as a multi-media artist with a focus on glass. Holding a 2010 MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Potter is currently the studio manager/program director of the Chrysler Museum of Art’s Glass Studio, in Norfolk, Virginia, and her evolving artwork is represented by New York City's Heller Gallery. Potter's glass deer and elk antlers have actually been incubating in the artist’s mind and studio practice since 2008, and are recontextualized by showcasing them alongside paintings and drawings in which, as the gallery puts it, humans’ “meddling interference in the natural order of things…takes center stage”
The recent passing of Klaus Moje (1936 - 2016), who died at the age of 79 on September 24, 2016, after a protracted illness, has unleashed a global outpouring of grief and appreciation. Honored for his disciplined approach to technique and visionary work taking kiln-forming into the fine-art realm, Moje's impact on the glass art field is immeasurable. Celebrated as an artist, Moje was also hugely influential as an educator, and created the glass program at the Canberra School of Art, which has since been incorporated into the Australian National University's College of Arts and Social Sciences. Consciously not opening with a hot glass furnace, Moje designed the program in 1982 with a radically different approach than most glass education facilities in the world. In honor of Moje's legacy, the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet is republishing an article from the Spring 2005 print edition (GLASS #98) that provides unique insight into the founding of the Canberra program. In the article below, Moje shares his singular perspective on not just education but what it takes to become an artist.
Cappy Thompson, known for her folk-art-inspired reverse paintings on glass that explore contemporary themes, has been experimenting with engraving for the past few years. It's been a departure for Thompson, who is an expert grisaille painter, a process where a first-layer of enamel in gray tones is followed by second firing of brightly colored enamels, to create figurative works. Though grisaille involves the removal of an initial coat of gray color, most of Thompson's work was based on layering enamels onto glass to create densely colored surfaces. But etching into glass had been on Thompson's mind since a 1990 trip to then-Czechoslovakia, during which she was intrigued by acid etching using a resist. "It looked like ice that had been melted," Thompson remembers. The dangers of working with highly corrosive and toxic etching acids kept her from ever pursuing this technique at home. However, while she was teaching at Corning in 2012 with master engraver Max Erlacher, she became entranced by the possibilities of wheel-cutting glass. Her friend and fellow artist Charlie Parriott helped her acquire a lathe from the Czech Republic, and she was able to learn from April Surgent and two Czech master engravers during a Pilchuck residency. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet recently caught up with Thompson for a telephone interview as she prepared an artist's talk at Traver Gallery scheduled for this evening to talk about this bold new direction for the work in her current exhibition "Bright Blue Light."
A new Norfolk, Virginia, residency collaboration between The Chrysler Museum of Art, Glass Wheel Studio, and the Rutter Family Art Foundation, has culminated in “Between Further and Farther,” an exhibition currently on display at the Rutter-family-owned gallery and nightclub, Work|Release. Mixed-media artist Sarah Blood — the first recipient of the New Energy Artists Residency (NEAR) — used her residency to wrestle with ideas of actual and perceived distance and explore different ways to engage with the form of the paper airplane. The outcome, “Between Further and Farther,” incorporates mixed-media sculpture, large-format photography, video, and performance. Art goers of the Hampton Roads area can view the exhibition at Work|Release until September 24th.
For the month of September 2016, Traver Gallery is displaying new works by artists Heike Brachlow and Cappy Thompson. Aside from their shared use of color as a primary aspect of their work, they are otherwise strongly divergent in their approach to the material. This month's exhibition will see both artists exploring new techniques. Brachlow will showcase the latest works in her "D-Form Series" solid-glass sculptures whose forms were discovered through joining together two flat shapes with identical perimeter lengths. And Thompson will move beyond her prior body of vitreous enamel paintings to unveil a new series of transparent engraved vessels.
Judith Schaechter, who employs the radiance of stained glass to present human figures arranged against lushly patterned color fields in poses of transcendence or anguish, will open a solo exhibition at Claire Oliver Gallery in the Chelsea area of New York City on September 8th, 2016. Entitled "The Life Ecstatic" the exhibition does not present radical shifts in Schaechter's approach as did her previous exhibition "Dark Matter," which saw a foray into three-dimensional sculpture, or her preceding site-specific architectural installation at the Eastern State Penitentary in Philadelphia, where she installed her works in narrow prison-cell windows. Instead, the upcoming exhibition, which runs through October 15, 2016, represents a return to her career-long project of updating the Gothic tradition of stained glass to plumb the intersection of spiritual longing and psychological torment from a contemporary perspective. Evident in the latest work is how her meticulous craft and expanding ability to render complex narrative works continues evolving in her most intricate and nuanced works to date. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet recently caught up with Schaechter for an email interview about her upcoming exhibition.
As part of the The European Glass Context 2016 exhibition, a biennial showcase of European glass and ceramics, The Royal Danish Academy, School of Design Bornholm has selected American artist Aric Snee for a six-week artist residency at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts program in glass at KADK Bornholm. As social media opens a window of opportunity for artists and designers to crowd-source funding, Snee is taking a novel approach, eschewing sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, instead reaching out to his followers on Instagram to auction a selection of his latest work “Orbit Vases.” Snee, who has extensive glass-factory experience dating from his tenure at Simon Pearce and Steuben Glass Works, transitioned into academia with an MFA from Alfred University in 2012, putting an emphasis on sculpture/dimensional studies. During his upcoming residency in Denmark, Snee plans to plot new designs to produce himself. At the same time, he wants to develop designs to be manufactured by a third party. Ultimately, he wants to continue investigating how a prototype is essentially the "embodiment of idea," dependent of the context where the work is seen. In other words, if context changes, the meaning of the work changes. Snee, currently a gaffer for The Corning Museum of Glass and a product designer for the Danish glassware brand Holmegaard, recently answered questions from the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet about his fundraising effort via an email exchange.
Through September 4, 2016, Leo Tecosky’s exhibition entitled "Flithy Precision" will be on view at the galleries of Glass Wheel Studio in Norfolk, Virginia. Tecosky's work, which freely mixes glassblowing and neon, as well as found and constructed elements, incorporates inspiration from across cultures. His approach is an outgrowth of his interest in travel and wider study. Tecosky holds a BA from Alfred University with a cocentration in fine art, and an MFA from The School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. The GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet recently checked in with Tecosky about his latest work and exhibition.
GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet: What are you working on?
Leo Tecosky: I’m working on a new body of sculptural glass work that combines graffiti-esque and stylized typography with decorative Islamic motifs and concepts of the Supreme Alphabet. I've been investigating hot plaster/silica blow molds and hot bubble sculpting to redefine the dynamic shapes of letters and other iconic graffiti forms like arrows. Both of these physical techniques are a new part of my making repertoire. The multi-step process of creating a plaster/silica waste blow mold is a very deliberate way of working.