Pringle Teetor

I dearly miss those hot and sultry summers with five minute rainstorms in the afternoon that turn the streets into steaming ribbons of asphalt and bring rainbows all over the city. I especially love the bright colors of pastel madras clothing that, to me, are summers in New Orleans, where I was born. When I started working on cane pieces this winter, these memories were my biggest inspirations in my work. Patterns of lines in different colors are most easily produced by a complicated ancient Italian technique called cane work.

Cane refers to rods of glass with color that can be simple, containing a single color on the inside (core cane) or complex with strands of one or several colors in pattern. Veil cane is where you have a color on the outside over a clear core, or at times a core of another color. Pulling cane takes a lot of time, especially if you want different types of cane in many different colors.

My partner, Dana, and I spent a good bit of time this year pulling a lot of cane in many different colors. We would take a large a “gather” of colored or clear glass, heat it and shape it a number of times. For veil cane, we first make a “cup” of color, then stuffing it with a mass of clear glass. With a metal rod at each end, we would stretch the glass to a length of 30 to 50 feet. Once it is cooled, it is broken into pieces anywhere from 5 to 8 inches long. These pieces are carefully laid out on a kiln shelf and heated in the reheating furnace until fused, then rolled up on the end of a pipe. Finally we begin to blow glass! It is a long process but the outcome is amazing. With many colors and types of cane, the possibilities are endless, which you an see in the show Colorful!



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Three Perspectives

Pringle Teetor

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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