The pieces I created for this show came out of frustration and boredom. Seriously! When two artists work together in a glass studio for years on end but only one day a week, you tend to fall into a pattern of “normalcy”. We just get used to doing the same things, creating the same type of pieces because we want to make the most of the “bench time”.
One morning on the way to the studio, my partner Dana and I were discussing my frustration with a certain color application I had been trying to figure out how to do by myself. He mentioned watching an artist many years ago at Corning Museum of Glass layer small bits of different colors together. He had the assistant bringing each color to him one at a time, fully melted, as he piled on color on top of another, like building an ice cream cone with many layers. But instead of then blowing the piece directly from this pile of color, he then turned it on a different axis and created the piece. Since I mostly work by myself, I had not considered this!
We played with this technique that day, piling 5-10 colors together and took this one step farther by flattening the blown piece. Flattening a round glass form is something that is better done with an assistant and we had not done any flat pieces in several years. Inspiration was reborn!
The next week I came in determined to do the “color sundaes” by myself. I took it a bit farther by layering 15 -25 colors together. My interest in the chemistry of glass color took over and I would add strings of other colors here and there. I wanted to use colors that reacted differently to the one next to it to create interesting effects. Once these “sundaes” were created, they were removed from the pipe and annealed for the next time Dana and I worked together. So, before the final piece, hours of work had already gone into the creation of just the colors.
Since glass colors doesn’t always play well together, it became quite a challenge. Some colors remain stiffer when molten, while others would be so hot that they would blow thinner than the rest of the colors. During the flattening process (using large cork paddles) the glass is compressed under pressure and if there is a spot that is too thin or too hot, it could be disastrous. The colors were sandwiched to create the effect of an abstract painting, which brought me back to painting roots, many years before glass, bringing together the past and the present in a creative way. I hope you enjoy these pieces!
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