Kindred Sisters In Complexity and Technique
Alice Levinson and Pringle Teetor are masters of fabric and glass.
In the show KINDRED, Alice Levinson and Pringle Teetor introduce complex and colorful new work.
Pringle Teetor is introducing a new line of blown glass which she calls “Bubbleware.” Rolling wine glasses and matching rolling decanters as well as larger bowls are part of this year’s show “Kindred.” Bubbleware is made using a glass blower’s tool known as a diamond or pineapple mold. A challenging tool to use, the mold has diamond shaped points on the inside. When molten glass is blown into it, diamond shaped dents are produced in the glass. Another layer of glass is blown over these dents, leaving perfectly placed air bubbles in the bowl or decanter being formed. The trick is getting the piece out of the mold again. “It’s very easy to get the molten glass on the end of your pipe stuck in this mold,” says Teetor. “Getting it right takes practice.”
Alice Levinson describes the complexity of her work, “I am drawn to the tactile nature of fabric, finding delight in its ‘hand.’ I experiment freely with dye, and pigments to create cloth which is complex in texture and rich in visual interest. Each composition is built of successive layering of fabric and thread.” Her work process is intuitive and encourages spontaneity and experimentation. “The studio is a joyful place, says Levinson. “In both process and form, my abstract compositions are guided by content and conceptual intention.” Daily journaling is an important step in her process. Work on a piece begins with a thought, a feeling, a mood, or narrative. “Next I experiment with visual motifs that embody the content. Then I gather my ‘palette’ from my stash of cloth and thread. In a final step I select a construction method that is consistent with, and extends, the metaphor of the theme of the piece. Working each piece becomes a meditation on its central theme. My working process is slow and labor-intensive. Stitch by stitch, layer by layer the piece evolves.”
Considering the theme, “kindred,” Levinson found herself focused on the feeling of belonging that comes in particular places where one feels at home because of familiarity, or friendship, or shared experience. The works presented are varied in content and means of construction, but all represent aspects of her experience in which she has experienced this kindred sense. “I was interested to see as I worked that I was drawn to some of my oldest materials. Building some pieces from the remnants of others. Similarly, in working several pieces I returned to some early ways of working. The subconscious is a mysterious and marvelous driver of creative effort. As I worked, a mantra whispered, ‘Nothing of value is lost – just waiting to be reclaimed.’ As I integrate these older elements with the new, I experience a profound sense of continuity with growth, finding new ways of working, while retaining and building on what I’ve done before. Finding new solutions to old, core questions is the hallmark of creative work for me.”
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