The theme of “Dreaming in Color” is perfect for me with regards to an art show. I have always loved colors, mixing them, keeping them pure and combining colors with gold and silver in their chemistry to create new and beautiful colors. In one of the groups of pieces I have used colors in a haphazard way, combining and applying colors in a painterly fashion or as lines of three. I studied painting in college and loved the work of Morris Louis. He would layer veils and rivulets of color over and over each other until you couldn’t see where one started and another began. I wanted to translate this into glass by using colors as strokes applied over and over to create a bold statement on glass instead of canvas.
The Incalmo bowls are made using a long and complicated process. Usually they are made with two or more glass blowers assembling each section or bubble of color one at a time. Since I mostly work alone I had to figure out a way to produce these pieces with pure sections of color stacked on top of each other. I’ve always been inspired by the work of Boyd Sugiki and after visiting his studio in Seattle 5 years ago I decided to give his technique a try. Long tubes of each color are blown exactly the same and annealed. Then they are cut into sections on a diamond saw. These sections then have to be ground and polished one at a time on a flat lapidary wheel.
When I return to the studio, I set the sections up in order in small electric kiln that heats them up to about 1000 degrees. Since they change color once they are hot, I map out carefully the order of the sections. Then I pick up one section at a time on a hot pipe and stack them on top of each other. The fit must be exact! Once the pieces are stacked, all the lines and grooves melted out and the connections are tight, I gather more glass over the entire stack and form the pieces. This is time consuming and very precise work, the complete opposite of the organic painterly pieces.
Many of the pieces in this show are sandblasted. When glass is shiny it will reflect light but when the surface is sandblasted to a delicate matt, the colors will glow with the light. There are some new clear pieces sandblasted using a medium to create a unique pattern. Words are combined with doodles, doodles that I have been doodling since I was a child.
As I gather my thoughts around what is now the 10th anniversary of opening our glassblowing studio and the 10th anniversary of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts and my membership in this gallery, I am truly amazed at how lucky I have been to be able to do what I love everyday!
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