|Glass Vessels: An International Invitational by Brion Clinkingbeard|
Valerie & Rick Beck
Ben Edols & Kate Elliot
Joel Philip Meyers
Poole & Petrovic
Maria Grazia Rosin
Mary Van Cline
Brook Forrest White Jr.
the earliest days of glass manufacture glass vessels have been used to
store valuable commodities – from wine to oils lotions and emollients.
Until about 50 B.C. glass objects could only be made slowly.
Using casting, core forming, or cutting techniques, a vessel might take
several days to make by. Because it was difficult and time-consuming to
make, glass was a rare luxury item. That situation quickly changed with
the discovery of glass blowing. Roman people, probably in Phoenicia
(mostly modern Lebanon) discovered that an object could be formed by
gathering molten glass on the end of a hollow blowing pipe, and
inflating it like a bubble. It could be blown into a hollow mold to form
it or freely shaped with simple tools on the end of the blowpipe. For
the first time, a worker could mass-produce dozens of objects a day with
glassblowing techniques, so glass vessels became common and relatively
Glass, particularly blown glass,
naturally lends itself to the vessel form. It is a flexible, malleable,
inert material that is readily transformed in the hands of the skilled
artist. “There is a real choreography to blowing glass, a rhythmic
motion akin to dancing that appeals to me. It’s very alive. You have
to keep moving, you can’t stop,” says glass artist Toots Zynsky
vessel form is the inspiration for this international invitational
exhibition. Artist from across the globe were invited to put their
creativity to work and interpret the vessel using their own particular
language and methodology. The result is an inspiring feast of artistic
expression, affirming the extraordinary creativity of the studio glass
Powell’s vessels are a sumptuous blend of color and heart-stopping
scale. A color-field artist, his signature vessels have nothing to do
with practicality but are meditative explorations in color manipulation
in relation to surface modulation.
In sharp contrast to Powell’s explosive use of color, Bert Frijns, from the Netherlands, transforms a very familiar material – flat plate glass – into sculptural vessel forms of elegant simplicity. His are subtle works, explorations in three dimensions of line, volume and space.
Toots Zynsky employs a kiln-forming technique that is in some ways similar to that of Bert Frijns. Her base material is thousands of colored glass threads, which are fused together and hand-manipulated while hot to create vessel forms. Her explosive use of color is inspired by among other things; the brilliant colors of Italian medieval and renaissance paintings and her finished works a balance between fragility and carefully considered sculptural manipulation.
Pennell and Lisabeth Sterling are glass engravers who transform the
surfaces of their blown glass vessels with diamond-tool engraving
techniques. Theirs are narrative works, with figures, flora and fauna
enveloping the surface in delicately rendered fine detail. Sterling’s
work has a contemporary, often sociopolitical meaning to it while
Pennell creates highly personal images of fantastic beasts – harpies,
rhinos, crocodiles, tigers and pet terriers - drawn from his imagination
and the everyday world of rural Herefordshire, England.
Tarpley carves his blown glass vessels by sandblasting Celtic, Mayan,
Greek, Chinese and Native American inspired geometric patterns deep into
the surface of the glass. He then employs a difficult and rarely used
method of electroforming to fuse copper onto the surface of the carved
glass forms. “Every design I use is universal and appears in European
and African traditions as well as Native American,” says Tarpley.
“The multicultural nature of these motifs appeals to my sense of place
in our modern culture and allows me to honor the multiple nationalities
and ethnicities that comprise my family.”
Šabóková, from Prague, is one of the rising stars of the current
generation of Czech glass artists. Hers are sculptural works with no
illusions of functionality. They are monumental cast glass sculptures
that utilize deep, rich, concentrated color and rough, carved surface
details. This combination gives her works a geological look and feel,
which seems to mimic the textures of stone, ice and lava while
encompassing the colors of the setting African sun, a blast furnace or
of a frozen Antarctic iceberg.
Blomdahl’s vessels are an exploration of elegant form and
sophisticated color. She incorporates traditional Italian encalmo glass
forming and craved battuto finishing techniques to create vessels that
radiate with the intensity of their colors and the purity of their
Earth, receive an honoured guest:
(Wystan Hugh) Auden. In Memory of W.B. Yeats, Another Time (1940).
“A man’s interest in the world is only the overflow from his
interest in himself. When you are a child your vessel is not yet
full; so you care for nothing but your own affairs. When you grow
up, your vessel overflows; and you are a politician, a philosopher,
or an explorer and adventurer. In old age the vessel dries up: there
is no overflow: you are a child again,” George Bernard Shaw,
(1919). Captain Shotover, in Heartbreak House, act 2,