Rapport de bourse

February 15, 2012

Par: Myrianne D. Giguère

INTRODUCTION

J’ai eu l’honneur de recevoir le 2010 GAAC Project Grant for Students, après avoir gradué en 2010 d’Espace VERRE (Montréal, Québec). Les techniques que j’ai privilégiées en troisième année de formation sont la sérigraphie sur verre et la pâte de verre. À l’automne 2010, j’ai débuté un baccalauréat en Beaux-arts  à l’Université Concordia, avec une majeure en Studio art. Grâces, entre autres, aux bourses GAAC Project Grant for Students et Houdé-Mendel, j’ai eu la possibilité de continuer à travailler parallèlement le verre.

Le projet soumis est composé de deux parties. D’abord, j’ai pris un cours privé de sérigraphie aux ateliers GRAFF[1], un centre de conception graphique axé sur la recherche et la création. Puis, j’ai acheté le matériel nécessaire à l’application des nouvelles connaissances acquises chez GRAFF, pour expérimenter.

DÉMARCHE

Suite à la réception de la bourse, j’ai d’abord pris contact avec GRAFF pour prendre un cours privé d’une durée de 10 heures avec un excellent professeur, l’imprimeur Claude Fortaich. Il m’a d’abord montré comment travailler l’image initiale sur Photoshop. C’est une étape importante dans le procédé : choisir la trame, séparer les couleurs, ajuster les tons, etc. Puis, il m’a expliqué tout le procédé de l’émulsion photosensible et nous avons répété chacune des étapes pour fixer l’image sur la soie. Ensuite, nous avons fait de très nombreuses impressions au médium à l’eau, sur papier, pour pratiquer les techniques d’impression. Une fois plus à l’aise, j’ai fais des impressions à l’huile sur différentes surfaces (cuivre, aluminium, bois, verre, liège, plexiglass). J’ai ainsi pu constater comment chaque support se travaille différemment. Finalement, Claude Fortaich m’a parlé du Conseil québécois de l’estampe et des normes entourant la pratique de l’impression et m’a montré une Fiche de justification de l’estampe originale.

Pour appliquer les principes de la sérigraphie sur le verre, j’avais besoin de différents outils : un cadre à sérigraphie, une raclette, du papier transfert, de l’émail, du médium à sérigraphie, du cover coat, différentes spatules, etc.  On m’a offert le cadre et la raclette, alors il ne me restait plus qu’à acheter le reste. Tout ce qui a trait à l’émail a été commandé chez Reusche[2], via leur site web. En quincaillerie, je me suis procuré le reste. Finalement, j’ai acheté du verre Spectrum en feuille. J’ai fixé les images sur la soie à l’Université Concordia, sans frais. Pour ce qui est des cuissons, je n’ai pas eu de frais à payer puisqu’avec la bourse Houdé-Mendel, j’avais accès gratuitement à un four de thermoformage pendant 6 mois, pour de la recherche et de la création.

J’ai choisi d’expérimenter la sérigraphie sur verre à l’aide du papier transfert. Il s’agit d’un papier sur lequel on sérigraphie avec de l’émail à base d’huile. Une fois sèche, on recouvre l’image d’un cover coat qui la rend imperméable. Dans l’eau, l’image adhère au cover coat et se détache du papier. On la fixe sur le verre et on la cuit, de façon à ce que l’émail fusionne et que la couche protectrice brûle.

J’ai beaucoup appris lors de ces expérimentations. J’ai fais toutes les erreurs possibles : trop de médium et pas assez d’émail, la térébenthine qui coule et corrompt l’image adjacente lors d’une impression, une impression pas sèche en mettant le cover coat (ce qui l’arrache), etc. Donc beaucoup de plaisir et l’apprentissage d’une technique complexe, puisqu’elle nécessite une gestuelle parfaite lors de l’impression et un calcul précis lors des autres étapes.

CONCLUSION

Suite à l’utilisation de la bourse 2010 GAAC Project Grant for Student, je peux affirmer avoir acquis de l’expérience dans la sérigraphie sur verre. Je comprends bien le procédé et j’ai beaucoup d’idées pour l’intégrer dans ma pratique artistique. Reste maintenant à pratiquer ma gestuelle d’impression (un peu comme un souffleur de verre qui doit répéter un geste avant d’arriver à le faire correctement). De plus, cette opportunité m’a permis de mieux connaître le centre GRAFF, de même que les artistes en impression qui y travaillent.

[Je remercie chaleureusement le GAAC de m’avoir permis de vivre cette expérience.]

Dessins avec lesquels j’ai joué



[1] Situé au 963, rue Rachel Est, Montréal, Québec, H2J 2J4 (514) 526-9851

[2] http://www.reuscheco.com

 

Grant Report

GAAC Project Grant for Student

By:  Myrianne D. Giguère

INTRODUCTION

I was lucky to receive the 2010 GAAC Project Grant for Students, after graduating from Espace VERRE (Montreal, Quebec) in 2010. During my 3rd year studies, I focussed on silkscreen printing techniques on glass and kiln casting. In the fall 2010, I integrated Concordia University to study for an Arts Baccalaureat with a major in Studio Art. Thanks to GAAC Project Grant for Students and Houdé-Mendel Grant among others, I was able to carry on my work with glass in parallel.

This project report is set in two parts. First of all, I attended a private course on silkscreen printing within GRAFF studios, a graphic design centre focused on research and creation. Then I purchased some equipment in order to practice what I had learned from GRAFF and experiment it.

APPROACH

When receiving the grant, I first contacted GRAFF in order to benefit from a 10 hours private lecture with Claude Fortaich, a great printer and teacher. He first showed me how to work on an initial picture with Photoshop. This was an important step for the process: how to choose backgrounds, split colours, adjust shades, etc. He then taught me the whole process of light-sensitive emulsion and we practiced each step to set a picture on silk. Next, we made numerous water prints on paper with medium to practice printing techniques. Once I felt a little more confident, I started printing with oil on various surfaces (copper, aluminium, wood, glass, cork, Plexiglas). This made me realise that each component required a different work approach. Finally, Claude Fortaich introduced me to the Quebec Council of Art Print, he told me about printing regulations and showed me documentary evidence from original art print.

In order to carry out silkscreen printing techniques on glass, some tools are essential: a silkscreen print frame, a scraper, transfer paper, enamel, silkscreen printing medium, cover coat, various spatulas, etc. I was already given the frame and the scraper so I all I needed to buy was the rest. I ordered on Reusche’s website everything that had to do with enamel. I then purchased the rest in a hardware store. And finally, I bought some Spectrum layered glass. Concordia University let me fix the images on silk for free. I didn’t pay anything either to use a kiln. Thanks to my Houdé-Mendel grant, I was also able to benefit from 6 months free access to kiln forming for research and creation purposes.

I decided to try silkscreen printing on glass with transfer paper. This paper enables silkscreen prints with oil based enamel. Once dry, the image is covered with a cover coat making it waterproof. Dipped into water, the picture sticks to the cover coat and peels of the paper. When fixed to the glass and heated, the enamel fuses and the protection layer burns.

I learned a lot from these experimentations. I made all possible mistakes: too much medium, not enough enamel, dripping turpentine that spoils the adjacent picture during printing, applying the cover coat too early on fresh print (ripping it off), etc. I had a lot of fun learning such a complex technique that requires exact movements for the printing and accuracy during the other stages.

CONCLUSION

Having benefited from a 2010 GAAC Project Grant for Student, I can now tell how much experience I have gained in silkscreen printing on glass. I clearly understand now the process and have many ideas for ways to integrate it into my art work. I still need to practice my printing moves (like glass blowers need to practice their movements before being successful). Moreover, I got to know the GRAFF centre better and meet with the print artists working there.

[I would like to thank GAAC for enabling me to live such an experience.]

Share

Texas or Bust

By: Cheryl Hamilton

Road trips are usually a fun, carefree adventure with a come-what-may attitude for me.  I mosey and detour; sometimes the destination is never reached.

Not this time.

My sculpture partner Mike Vandermeer and I packed a van full of blown glass and metal and were about to do the 4,000 km trip to Dallas, Texas.

Mike Vandermeer with a wrapped section of one of the mobiles in ie creative studio. Photo credit: Cheryl Hamilton

We had a public art commission for the Texas Discovery Gardens to deliver and install.  This was to be the centerpiece sculpture in the lobby as part of the museum’s new renovation:  seven different mobiles depicting different elements from the world of plants and insects.  Each mobile had individual blown glass pieces perfectly balanced with cast stainless steel elements.

Although we had brought seconds with us in case of disaster (ie. in the event of a piece breaking), we were loath to deal with such an event.  Replacing a broken piece of glass would also mean re-balancing the mobile.  This would be a frustrating task without our studio full of tools and jigs.

Shipping was out of the question.  We had spent thousands of dollars and months working on this art, and our previous experiences with shipping had all been a disaster.  We had just shipped a foam core full scale mock-up of the mobiles from Texas to Vancouver only to have the crate arrive looking like it had been dragged by a chain behind a pick-up truck all the way north.   It sat in our studio like an ominous harbinger from the universe.

You must drive the sculpture to Texas yourselves

We decided on a rented extended cargo van as our conveyance.  We predicted there was enough room to pack the seven mobiles in the back; the tight configuration adding more support and cushioning for the trip.  The van would be easier to drive than a cube truck, and we would need a vehicle to drive around in when we were in Dallas.  We also had to drive home and I had always wanted to do a road trip reminiscent of all the rock and roll bands that I had read about.  A cooler of refreshments in the back, along with the leftover foam from the unwrapped sculpture would make for a luxurious trip.

Some of the glass had already journeyed across the border as we teamed with Erich Woll at Benjamin Moore’s studio in Seattle for some of the larger pieces.  The smaller pieces were made in Vancouver with myself, Mitch Wren and Elizabeth Curry at New-Small and Sterling Glass on Granville Island.  With Erich and Mitch’s skill, we produced some of the most beautiful sculptural glass I have ever seen.

How to pack a van in eight hours

Mike and I immediately began to worry about the hardships this glass would see before it got to its final home, the largest piece of glass being about 27 inches in diameter and weighing about 30 pounds.  Some of these pieces had taken a team of five people in a hot shop to produce.  Before it would hang in the museum in Dallas, it would have to be lovingly cold-worked and custom-fit to metal and rubber attachments, and then it would hit the road for an epic road trip.

We made a plan for the back of the van after measuring each piece of sculpture.  We had constructed a plywood crate for the glass on one side of the cargo hold, which was the inner sanctum; we stored all the precious fragile components in this box.  It had layers of foam and bubble wrap and would be a nightmare to dismantle at the border, but what could we do?  We had a shedload of unknown trail before us and who-knows-what gauntlet of potholes and road tomfoolery lay ahead?

It took six people eight hours to pack the van.  Once the final pieces were in, it was so packed that Mike had to squeeze his clothes into spaces around the sculpture in white kitchen-catcher garbage bags.  This would prove to be a discussion point at every motel we checked into for the entire trip.  We had a specific order in which we had to load ourselves in the van every morning after unloading ourselves for the night.  My toiletries had to sit behind my laptop behind the drivers’ seat and the map book and snack bag sat on top of that, etc. . . .

Cheryl Hamilton packing the van for the road trip to Dallas. Photo credit: Mike Vandermeer

The result of all of this careful packing made the back of the van look like a tightly wrapped bug’s nest.  Instead of spinning a silk cocoon, this large imaginary insect had used bubble wrap and cardboard to protect its larva.  I wondered if this had occurred through fluke or if it was an unconscious act, since we had been working with the bug vernacular for months.  Were we mimicking the process of transformation of pupae to imago with the shipment of our sculpture?  When we arrived in Dallas I imagined the sculpture emerging from the van like a butterfly from its chrysalis.

We had had months of discussion on which route to take. What would be the easiest to drive?  What was the fastest route?  Where was the least amount of bumps? With most of my previous road trips, the route was planned (if planned at all) with priorities like good scenery, interesting destinations for the end of the day, and sometimes (although not always possible) decent food.   None of these priorities even got on the table.  We had concerns like which border crossing would we have to use, what highway was the most modern and flat?  Where could we park our van while we slept, knowing it would be safe?

Seeing the mountains (of paperwork)

Then there was the paperwork.  There was immediately a mountain of forms and special documents that had a labyrinth of offices to report to and approvals to acquire.  As we started our journey into international red tape and talking to the beadledom on the other end of the phone, we quickly realized we were in way over our heads.  We would need to hire a broker.

Luckily, we knew someone who knew someone who knew the broker for the band Nickelback.

The broker gave us a list of tasks.  And there were forms, tons of forms, to be filled in with only blue ink.  In triplicate.  We listed everything in the van, to what seemed like ridiculous triviality.  Who cared how many #6 Robertson screws I had in that box?  Did it really matter if I had thrown in an extra pair of vice grips and roll of masking tape?  Well, apparently it did.

The Nickelback broker warned us of border guards that reacted to bad paperwork like sharks reacting to a drop of blood in the ocean.  Or as Texans like to say, “like buzzards on a meat wagon”.

We enlisted our friends the evening before our departure and shared our fears of our impending carnage.  The result was neatly printed labels and lists.  We had our friends dutiful writing, safeguarding the contents of each box, with an inventory and photo of the contents taped on the side.  Mike and I inspected each box as it was numbered and loaded into the van.  We had a copy of each in a file folder to present to the border officials.  We had also sent pictures of the sculptures hanging in our studio, along with a copy of our contract from the City of Dallas, to the border in advance.  We had an arranged time to cross the border so they knew we were coming, and alerted the public art officials in Dallas to be ready for a phone call at the time of our crossing if there was a snag.  It was a herculean effort, but worth the worry when we presented our inventory to the officials.  I’m sure the acknowledged respect for protocol and the smell of fear on us had quelled any aggression or show of dominance on their part.  Our van was x-rayed and we were sent on our way after a few friendly questions.

It almost seemed like an ambush of some sorts.  Could we really be driving through the border with our artwork?  The Nickelback broker had done the incredible task of putting together all the necessary paperwork and preparing us for the worst.  He was worth every penny as far as I was concerned.  It took a few miles for us to realize that we were actually on our way.

Texas or bust

The trip took us from the West Coast through the Midwest U.S. down South.  We traveled through eight states: Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and finally Texas.  We immersed ourselves in the homogenous highway culture of the U.S.  Another gas-up at another giant trucker stop, mid-westerners staring gap-mouthed in the windows of our van and commenting on how far away Canada was; another Denny’s Moon-over-my–Hammy meal.  I wasn’t feeling the romance of the open road when I lost my wallet and passport in Oklahoma.  (Mike later lost his wallet in Dallas; we got them both back eventually.)

We slept with one eye open at every motel each night.  We would circle the motel first and make sure it either had cameras in the parking lot or we could see the parked van from our room.  If either of these was not possible or the vibe was funky in any way, we would move on to the next motel or sometimes the next small town.  When we finally had a place to sleep for a few hours, the sound of a distant car door opening or closing would wake us up and compel us to check the van.

We drove through storms and tornado warnings, each time thinking that if the van crashed, the emergency responders would be astonished as they sorted through the colourful wreckage of shiny stainless steel and blown glass.

We shared the road with a restless cross section of humanity:  mini-vans with families, retirees in motor homes, army convoys, bikers, truckers, farmers and commuters.  Our “Great Canadian Van Rental” stickers feeling more and more odd the further we got into the U.S.

I could not help but think that this was a perfect way to anoint a public art installation.  This was not a couple of jet-set artists materializing in the protected walls of an art gallery with this work.  No, we made this artwork in Dallas, Seattle and Vancouver, and it would arrive at its final destination with the dusty patina of the road on us.  Art for the people, via the people!

Cheryl on the lift with one of the seven mobiles at the Texas Discovery Gardens in Dallas. Photo credit: Mike Vandermeer

We arrived in Dallas on our fifth day on the road. As we unpacked the van, we discovered that with the few exceptions of some fatigued welds on some very small, unprotected pieces, every bit made it to Texas intact.  The glass was perfect, each piece still pristine inside our friends’ neatly wrapped packages.  Over the next four days we installed our artwork and felt the relief of getting each piece of glass up where it was finally destined.

The “Chrysalis “ mobile hangs in front of the Butterfly Vivarium Photo credit: Cheryl Hamilton

With that kind of luck, we planned to hit Vegas on the way home.

 

About the Author:

Cheryl Hamilton is one half of the artist team of ie creative artworks. A graduate of Emily Carr College of Art and Design, and her recent training in the techniques of glass blowing at Alberta’s Red Deer College and Pilchuck Glass School coupled with her metal working experience now enable her to animate light and colour within her monumental steel structures.

She works out of the ie creative studio on Granville Island in Vancouver. Cheryl has completed public and private artworks across North America.

Share

An Angel Spreads Her Wings

(Reprinted with permission)

by: Jon Wells

The Hamilton Spectator

Thursday, November 10, 2011

 

Shirley Elford and Clark Guettel

 

“I’ve had a good life, a good journey. How could I be upset? It’s liberating to know that it is what it is.” Shirley Elford spoke those words about a year ago, knowing that time was not on her side. Diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer in January 2008, the renowned glass artist never stopped reminding her family and legion of friends that she did not fear death. The life expectancy for that form of cancer is three to five years.

Shirley prepared for it, hired a funeral planner, joked that sometimes it felt odd to organize a party for which she would not be present. And yet, befitting an east end girl who used to work on her dad’s construction sites, she fought death every step of the way, calling upon her reserves of physical and spiritual courage, and receiving experimental cancer treatments for which she paid out of her own pocket.

The battle ended, shortly before noon Thursday. Family gathered at Shirley’s sid e at Juravinski Cancer Centre when she died. She had turned 68 in August.

Shirley Elford lived many lives. The daughter of Margrit and Bill Sinclair — Bill was a prominent Hamilton builder — she married Gerry Elford in 1963, when she was 19. They had two daughters, Ann and Arlene.

At 23, Shirley went back to school, to the Dundas Valley School of Art, where she took every course they offered over 13 years. Then she studied glassmaking at the Ontario College of Art and Sheridan College.

She fell in love with the physical and creative demands of glassmaking; the hum and heat of the oven, shaping the glass in any direction her imagination took it. Nearing middle age, her career took off. She opened a studio in Hamilton, and eventually was picked to redesign the Juno Award. She personally made 1,000 Junos over the years. Her other works ended up in collections around the world, and were presented by the city to visiting luminaries including Bill Clinton, Elton John, Bono, Prince Edward and Christopher Reeve. But her greatest artistic legacy was her angels. In 1990, inspired by her mother’s passing, and the tragic death of a toddler in a house fire, Shirley created a glass angel design that was elegant and uplifting. By the end of her life, she had made about 9,000 of the angels. She believed that every one of them possessed a piece of her mother, and the toddler, and that each angel found its way to the right owner, to inspire and comfort.

In addition to her artistic career, Shirley served myriad community causes, promoting awareness for mental health and ovarian cancer, volunteering for charities and Theatre Aquarius. She sat on the board of directors of the Ticats and was presented with an honorary degree from McMaster.

Her personality was always much younger than her years. Into her 50s she easily mingled socially and creatively with up and coming young glass artists. One of these protégés was Paull Rodrigue, who runs Rodrigue Glass studio in Dundas. Shirley asked him to make the glass urn where her ashes would rest. Paull spoke with her last weekend. She sounded better than she had in awhile, but also quite tired. “She put up a long fight — it’s just hard when you lose people like that,” he said Thursday, his voice weak. “She always gave back to her community. My greatest memory of her is her laugh, and her jokes.” And then, speaking of Shirley’s angels, he added: “She was clearly a mirror image of her work.”

In recent years, Shirley lived by herself in a cosy condo in the east end. Husband Gerry suffers from Alzheimer’s and lives in a home in Owen Sound, near one of their daughters. He is no longer able to recognize family, but could on occasion recognize Shirley.

Living in Hamilton allowed Shirley to receive regular treatment at Juravinski Cancer Centre — she spoke glowingly of her care there — and to keep up her schedule, which included a yoga class downtown three to four times a week that she loved attending.

Her yoga classmates, she said last year, “come by and hang with me, help me laugh, help me get better. You have to laugh every day. Laughter is good.”

She experienced some close calls during her cancer fight before finally succumbing. She nearly died around Christmas 2009, but a new treatment, and her will, pulled her through.

Hot Topic: Shirley Elford

Last year, Shirley was asked: Did she fear anything?

“The loss of my grandchildren would absolutely terrify me. But the rest, no. I’m not afraid to die. I have a deep spiritual belief that there’s a force that takes care of me. Cancer has taught me a lot about life. I feel that every day is a gift.”

Through the ups and downs of the battle, her outlook never changed. Friends said she maintained a “no crying” rule in her presence. Her quirky sense of humour and manic energy for her art and the community never seemed to abate.

She went on a Las Vegas vacation not too long ago and even wondered about giving skydiving a shot.

And Shirley returned to her friend Paul’s glass studio to make more angels. She seemed to bask in the heat of the oven, as though it was a kind of life force.

“If they send me to hell, I’m used to the heat,” she said, laughing. “But I don’t think I’m going there, though.”

It took her many years before she had pursued her artistic calling. She felt it had always been there, inside her, but she just needed to find it.

Discovering glassmaking had been her “Ah!” moment, she said.

Shirley agreed that many people go through life never experiencing that moment.

“That’s right — and I’m not finished yet. There might be another ‘ah!’ moment for me. Maybe death is the final one. But I still think I have a few more before I get there.”

Shirley leaves her husband, Gerry, daughters Anne Elford and Arlene Sokalski, brother Bud Sinclair, sister Elaine Lymburner and grandchildren Michelle, Jayson, Matthew and Evan.

 

This article was written by Jon Wells and made available by The Hamilton Spectator to GAAC for distribution to our members.  GAAC would like to thank them for sharing their moving tribute to a great Canadian artist.  To view the original article visit http://www.thespec.com/news/local/article/623271–an-angel-spreads-her-wingsYou can also see Jon Wells’ award-winning profile of Shirley Elford from December 2010. Readers were invited to talk about the Elford angels in their lives. Read their stories, here

Share

A Dream Called VitrEos: Using Computers to Enhance the Stained Glass Process

By: Vasil Sirmanov, Hon. Chairman, “VitrEos” Association, Burgas, Bulgaria

 

This article will lead you far, far away – to the other side of the planet, deep inside the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. There lies my tiny and very beautiful country, Bulgaria (est. AD 681, Christian since AD 865), originator and disseminator of the Cyrillic alphabet, literature and Christianity to many medieval countries. I will tell you a story, that is a mixture of real facts and dreams, a story about ancient art and modern computers.

However unusual it may be, just in our small country, where stained glass (SG) art is rather exotic due to historical, geographical and financial reasons, a series of innovations for the practice of SG artists were suggested.

Ms. Dilyana Sirmanova

Computer-Assisted Stained Glass 

During her university master’s course in industrial design, Ms. Dilyana Sirmanova researched the possibilities for applying computer-assisted methods in many steps of the SG “cycle” (from the idea to the finished work of art). She proved that 17 of 30 steps of the “fusion” SG cycle can be computerized and that leads to more than 40 benefits in the practice of a SG artist.

Other innovations in her diploma work introduced the principles of Engineering Methods in the SG Art (EMA), Artistic-Technological Analyses (ATA) and Artistic-Technological Experiments (ATE).

To translate these innovations into practical methods for the general benefit, we established the NFP/NGO Association “VitrEos” and a modest amateur website.

And, here is our dream story: we want to build a world class Training-and-Research Studio “VitrEos” to teach young people to be interdisciplinary specialists – both in computer graphics and SG technologies.

How it will work?

Imagine that you are a student at “VitrEos”.  It is 8:45 a.m.  You enter the studio and pass along the “VitroSphere” gallery of small SG works of art, sent as presents from all over the world.  They are arranged by country, technology and authors.  You take a seat in the center of the unique “Mode computer system for the SG designer”.  Your training task today is to design a decorative SG panel for an imaginary reception hall.

As in all previous lessons, you read and work step-by-step according to the respective “Innovative Training Unit” (ITU). Using a graphical program, you draw many vector variants of your project, paint it with real “glass” colours and find several successful artistic solutions. Your huge flat monitor shows very realistically how your SG panel will look.

Next, you apply “engineering methods in the SG art“. What is this? Preliminary systematical examinations of every potential artistic-technological problem. You make an artistic-technological analysis of your project and mark all spots where you don’t know what will happen exactly at fusion as colours, forms, reliefs, edge- and optical-effects, etc. Then you plan a series of artistic-technological experiments with small glass cuts, which will give answers to all questions and will allow you to redesign your project correctly.

 So you may make, for example, a “matrix” of crossed strips with all possible colours for the project, fuse it in a kiln and know how the colours will look independently, as neighbours and one over another. Next, you investigate to what degree different colours will shrink. You make identical pairs of circles, squares, etc. of different glass and size and heat half of them at different temperatures, leaving their “twins” untouched.

Then, you compare original and fused samples and find that glass 1, 2 shrinks 12% at 800°C/15’, and glass 3 shrinks 15%, etc.

With all results ready, you return to the computer and redesign your project, correcting forms, sizes and colours. Now you are ready to show the project. The panel shines in full glory on the giant monitor as the synthesized Sun passes in the background.

The Benefits

At the end of your learning/working day is time to save some money. You scan and vectorize all waste glass clippings and save their named contours in a database. You will use some of them in next project, instead of cutting brand new glass. Good practice is also to save all samples and technological data from ATA and ATE in other database. It will grow and serve you dozens of years.

We described here some simple ideas about the imaginable computer-assisted process. When all possible (more than 50) methods are examined in our studio, turned into detailed instructions and used in the practice of SG artists, their work will be far easer and faster; cost- and time-effective.

Making the Dream Come True

Well, it is time to turn the dream into reality. My personal task as a man with experience of life and engineering is to ensure “starting” funds and to build the equipment of the Training-and-Research Studio.

Two words about me, the narrator of dreams. I am a dinosaur. Sixty years ago our planet was immense and endless; now my computer is two seconds away from yours. I am the father of Dilyana and intend to work tenaciously for months with my group of volunteers until we see the studio ready.

It has to be equipped with specific systems, tools and materials. As our resources are very limited, we took the road of most NFP NGOs to find sponsors. Here we met insurmountable difficulties. We spent 12-13 months in correspondence, meetings and talks with state and private “factors”, but our efforts were very discouraging. Practically – zero. Bulgaria is the poorest country in the EU; SG art is seen as exotic here and our idea to teach and research a highly-technological art sounds as “to build a ski-jumping ramp amid Sahara desert”.

We decided at last to ask our international SG community to support our initial steps. So, dear colleagues, please see our modest webpage for more information.  Let the chariot of Eos start.

Share

Lights. Camera. Glass?! Sheridan Glass Student Installation Lights Up New Hazel McCallion Mississauga Campus

By: Kristi O’Connell

On November 30, 2011, the curtain was raised at the official opening gala celebration of Sheridan’s new Hazel McCallion Campus in Mississauga, Ontario.  It unveiled a shimmering, interactive glass installation created by a collective of 32 students and select faculty from the Sheridan Craft and Design – Glass program. The stunning work features more than 2,000 glass tubes suspended dramatically by nearly eight kilometres of aircraft cable.  Entitled Aurora Borealis, it was the star of the night.

Sheridan Craft and Design –Glass students and faculty celebrate the unveiling of Aurora Borealis during the official opening gala at the new Hazel McCallion Campus on November 30, 2011. Photo credit: Sheridan College

Aurora Borealis is intended to capture the ethereal feeling of witnessing the naturally occurring phenomena of a featureless light display in the northern sky.  The northern lights are caused by a combination of charged particles, solar wind and the magnetic field of the earth’s atmosphere.  To the same effect, the talented makers from Sheridan’s glass studio utilized human energy, swirling lines and the ability of glass to reflect and defuse light to awe their audience.

By day, the piece exploits the natural light afforded by a wealth of windows in the space.  At night, real-time video images of people moving in the room are translated into coloured impressions and projected onto hanging glass tubes.  Through this live interaction, individuals viewing the piece become interconnected.

The impetus for the installation came about through Sheridan College’s decision to base its new facility on a creative campus concept.  In spring 2011, all four of the Sheridan Craft and Design studios were invited to submit design proposals for permanent installation at the Hazel McCallion Campus.  Recognizing the rare opportunity to execute a high profile public installation, the glass students and faculty came together as construction of the building was underway.  It became clear early on that the triangular shaped common area on the southern tip of the building was an ideal location for a large-scale glass installation, due to its unique footprint and two-story outer glass walls.

Third-year glass student, Alex Wilson, and studio technologist, Jason Cornish, use a Skyjack to hang the lines of thin glass tubes. Photo credit: Sheridan College.

In his article, Craft Versus Design: Moving Beyond a Tired Dichotomy, Rafael Cardoso poses the idea that the enlightened craftsperson’s potential value is realized only within a community of like-minded practitioners and users.  From initial concept development,until the final touches were completed in an assembly marathon lasting three days, this project was an intense collaboration.

Third-year glass student, Kurt Fisher, and studio technologist, Jason Cornish, suspending components previously assembled by team members on the ground. Photo credit: Sheridan College

Preparing for the installation took months of work by the team, who tackled the project over and above their own academic and studio work.  Koen Vanderstukken, the Glass Studio Head and an accomplished artist in his own right, describes the finished product as a culmination of a unique learning experience and a fantastic team effort.

Concept Development

The story behind the design of Aurora Borealis has projected light as its main supporting character.  At the first creative meeting, an image of the architectural drawing was projected onto a whiteboard.  The student-lead group drew concept designs on the board within the boundaries of the projected space, erasing and adjusting until they had two sweeping complementary lines.

The next design step took this simple two-dimensional overhead view and translated it into three dimensions.  It was decided that hanging thin borosilicate glass tubes, some sandblasted to absorb light and some clear to refract it, best captured the group concept.  To make the concept a reality, a source for coloured light and support framing needed to be designed and safely hung in the space.

3 Milestones Once the Project Was Green-Lighted

1. Researching Material Solutions

Leveraging his relationships in the collaborative craft community, Jason Cornish, Technologist for the Sheridan Glass Studio, partnered with Gerresheimer USA, to source the glass.  The company provided a list of off-price materials (merchandise available at a significantly lower cost resulting from production overruns or defaulted orders) that included a large volume of borosilicate glass with a 51-expansion coefficient.  Normally an expansion coefficient of 33 is needed for hot glass sculpting, but in this case only cold processes like cutting and blasting were necessary.  Ultimately, Gerresheimer generously donated 3,000 borosilicate glass tubes for use in the project.

Next came the framing. Sheridan employed a structural engineer to advise on the load bearing requirements.  It was determined that aluminum framing attached to the existing building framework would be sufficient to hold the estimated 1,500-pound installation.  In support of the project, George Whitney of Armo Tool Ltd in London, Ontario, sponsored the frame, donating shop time and materials.  The frame itself was assembled by a small sub-team of students and faculty.  During installation, projected laser light was used to map out the mounting points on the ceiling.

Matt Crosby, Aurora Darwin, Silvia Taylor and Alex Wilson work as part of a 10-person team to assembled 120m of aluminum track into the lightweight frame to support the glass. Photo credit: Sheridan College

When completing a public installation, budget and safety constraints dictate that each component be carefully sourced and selected.  As an example, nylon bushings might degrade over time due to UV sun exposure, therefore metal finishing washers were used to support the bottom of each glass tube.

Griplock Systems adjustable reverse release loop-making grippers were used to avoid having to pre-crimp the aircraft cable to exacting design demands.  This system also allowed the tube height to be set on the ground and adjusted by eye in the air to achieve the desired curve and lift along the bottom edge of the piece.  Having the supplier, The Good Rope Company Inc., cut the aircraft cable to two predetermined lengths, and pre-crimp the loops to be used for hanging at the frame, provided consistency and accuracy in this component at minimal additional cost.

Jason Cornish’s deft sourcing and the generous donations by Gerresheimer and Armo Tool enabled a large portion of the budget to be spent on creating a custom projected light system to fully realize the creative concept.  Three cameras register motion in the space, a video mixer abstracts the images and eight 5,000 lumens projectors light up the piece.

Studio technologist, Jason Cornish, adjusts one of the eight 5,000 lumens projectors that light up the piece. Photo credit: Sheridan College

 

2.  Creation of the ‘to scale’ maquette

The students and select faculty worked out plan details by creating a ‘to scale’ maquette of the architectural space and the piece itself.  This type of hands-on exploration is good for the makers and for presenting to project sponsors and vendors, many of whom still find a tangible model preferable to a 3D rendering on a 2D page.

Accurately scaled templates helped to determine the final tube location, quantity and the intertwined path of the hanging glass lines. These templates were used again during installation to determine tube length and position.  Tubes were sandblasted in advance and cut on site during installation.

3.  The installation

When completing large-scale public installations, the importance of coordinating a proper order and timing for tasks cannot be over emphasised.  Prior to installing the glass, external trades people needed to be scheduled to mount the frame, run cable, and put in additional electrical outlets.  Four project team members required Skyjack operator and fall arrest training.  The act of hanging the tubes needed to be choreographed to allow the lift and its operators to dance between the glass and architectural fixtures in tight space.  To avoid unnecessary delays all of the tools, equipment and prearranged student labour teams needed to be on site each day to do the job.

Andrew Beauchamp, Matt Crosby, Allysun Rysnik, Amanda Skalski and Roxanne Tochor are among the students and faculty who worked in rotating teams for three days to measure, cut and thread the glass tube for installation. Photo credit: Sheridan College

 Must-haves for success  

Aurora Borealis, as seen at night in the Hazel McCallion Campus in Mississauga, Ontario. Photo credit: Sheridan College

  1. A project plan with benchmarks and important dates, plus focused work teams who understand and are responsible for specific components of the project.
  1. An inspiring leader like the one these Sheridan students have in their Studio Head, Koen Vanderstukken.
  1. A project sponsor with enough position-power to keep things moving forward, over and around potential project-ending obstacles.  Aurora Borealis was lucky enough to have Senior Vice-President Academic and Research, Dr. Mary Preece as its champion on more than one occasion.
  1. Stakeholder support and enthusiasm.  This critical mass of people provide subtle unconscious inspiration, a “you’re here, I’m here, let’s get it done” attitude, as well as tangible benefits like the 600-plus hours of donated time, suggested solutions, increased budget approval, and expertise that fuelled this venture.
  1. Lastly, crafts people more often than not work mostly for praise.  Receiving supportive comments in writing along the way, in person at the gala opening, and being permanently recognized on an onsite plaque is all the compensation this team of dedicated crafts people received or needed.

The students and faculty from the Sheridan Craft and Design Glass program invite you to walk through the space and be a part of the installation.  To see more images of the installation and its creators, or to post your own supportive comments, watch The Making of Aurora Borealis on You Tube.

About the Author:

Kristi O’Connell is a second-year student in the Sheridan Craft and Design Glass program.  Her glass work abstracts motion picture and original imagery to express the expanding demands placed on women post-feminism.  By fusing coloured glass powder and layered panels, Kristi preserves a meaningful moment in time using a unique painterly style.  After graduating from Ryerson with a certificate in Human Resources Management in 1998, Kristi worked as an Instructional Designer, waiting until the necessary combination of circumstances allowed her to pursue an interest in glass art.  She taps into her humanities background when developing concepts, infusing her work with poignancy and depth.

 

 

Lumières. Caméra. Verre?!

L’installation des Etudiants en Verre de Sheridan illumine le nouveau Campus Hazel McCallion

Par: Kristi O’Connell

Le 30 Novembre 2011, lors du gala officiel d’ouverture du nouveau campus Hazel McCallion  de Sheridan à Mississauga en Ontario, le rideau s’est levé pour révéler une installation chatoyante et interactive tout de verre, créée par un collectif de 32 étudiants et enseignants du programme Art et Designde Sheridan. Contenant plus de 2000 tubes de verre, l’œuvre éblouissante est suspendue de manière étonnante par presque huit kilomètres de câble aérien. Nommée Aurora Borealis, elle fut l’attraction de la soirée.

Art et Design de Sheridan – Etudiants et professeurs en Verre célèbrent l'inauguration d'Aurora Borealis pendant le gala officiel d'ouverture du nouveau Campus Hazel McCallion le 20 Novembre 2011. Crédit Photo: Collège Sheridan

Aurora Borealis tente de reproduire cette impression de légèreté à l’observation du phénomène lumineux naturel qui a lieu dans le ciel nordique. Les lumières nordiques sont dues au mélange de particules chargées, de vent solaire et de champs magnétiques qui proviennent de l’atmosphère de la terre. Pour obtenir un effet similaire et captiver l’audience, les talentueux créateurs de l’atelier de verre de Sheridan ont utilisé l’énergie humaine, des courbes ondulantes et cette capacité du verre à refléter et diffuser la lumière.

De jour, l’œuvre exploite la lumière naturelle provenant du grand nombre de fenêtres dans la pièce. La nuit, les images vidéo des personnes se déplaçant dans la pièce sont retransmises en temps réel sous forme d’impressions colorées et sont projetées sur les tubes en verre qui pendillent. Cette interaction en temps réel relie les individus qui visitent l’installation.

L’origine de l’installation part de la volonté du Collège Sheridan d’installer de nouveaux ateliers sur un concept de campus créatif. Au printemps 2011, on demanda aux quatre ateliers d’Art et de Design de Sheridan de faire des propositions pour une installation qui serait permanente sur le campus Hazel McCallion. Voyant là une rare occasion de pouvoir réaliser une installation publique à forte visibilité, les étudiants et professeurs se sont regroupés tandis que le bâtiment était encore inachevé. Il leur apparu rapidement que la zone triangulaire commune à la pointe sud du bâtiment serait l’endroit idéal pour baser une installation de verre à grande échelle, grâce à son impression unique et à ses grands pans de verre montant sur deux étages.

Alex Wilson, étudiant en 3e année et Jason Cornish, ingénieur de l'atelier utilisent une nacelle pour pendre les lignes de délicats tubes de verre. Crédit Photo: Collège Sheridan

Dans son article, Craft Versus Design: Moving Beyond a Tired Dichotomy (Art Versus Design: Sortir d’une Vielle Dichotomie), Rafael Cardoso défend l’idée que la valorisation potentielle d’un artiste n’a lieu que par l’existence d’une communauté d’utilisateurs et de penseurs sur la même longueur d’ondes. Du développement du concept initial jusqu’aux touches finales, tout fut assemblé au cours de trois jours marathoniens et le projet fut une grande collaboration.

Kurt Fisher, étudiant en verre de 3e année et l'ingénieur d'atelier Jason Cornish suspendent les composants au sol assemblés au préalable par des membres de l'équipe. Crédit Photo: Collège Sheridan.

Préparer l’installation nécessita des mois de travail aux membres de l’équipe, qui durent réaliser le projet en plus de leurs propres occupations académiques et créatives. Koen Vanderstukken, chef de l’atelier verrier et artiste accompli de plein droit, décrit l’œuvre terminée comme l’apothéose d’une expérience enrichissante unique et d’un fabuleux travail d’équipe.

Développement du concept

La conception d’Aurora Borealis utilise la lumière projetée comme support principal. Au cours de la première réunion créative, on projeta sur un tableau blanc l’architecture du bâtiment en dessin. Le groupe des étudiants dessina plusieurs concepts de design sur le tableau dans les limites de l’espace projeté, en effaçant et ajustant jusqu’à obtenir deux grandes lignes complémentaires.

L’étape suivante du design fut de prendre cet aperçu général simple en deux dimensions et de le transformer en trois dimensions. Il fut décidé que la pendaison de fins tubes en verre borosilicate, certains sablés pour absorber la lumière, d’autres transparents pour la réfracter, refléterait l’idée du groupe à son mieux. Pour passer du concept à la réalité, il fallut réfléchir à la conception d’une source de lumière colorée ainsi que trouver une façon sûre de suspendre la pièce dans l’espace.

Les étapes importantes jusqu’à l’éclairage du projet

1. Trouver des solutions matérielles

Ingénieur de l’atelier verrier de Sheridan, Jason Cornish profita de ses relations collaboratives dans la communauté artistique qui lui permirent d’entreprendre un partenariat avec Gerresheimer USA pour se procurer le verre. L’entreprise fournit alors une liste de matériaux “hors prix” (marchandises disponibles à un prix bien plus bas du fait d’une surproduction ou d’une mauvaise commande) qui comprenait un gros volume de verre borosilicate au coefficient d’expansion 51. En temps normal, un coefficient d’expansion 33 serait nécessaire à la sculpture du verre à chaud, mais dans notre cas, seuls les process à froid comme la découpe et le sablage étaient nécessaires. En fin de compte, Gerresheimer nous fit généreusement don de 3000 tubes en verre borosilicate pour notre projet.

Puis vint la question de l’armature. Sheridan employa un ingénieur en structure capable de déterminer les conditions nécessaires pour soutenir la pièce. On décida qu’un cadre aluminium attaché au cadre du bâtiment existant devrait être suffisant pour soutenir l’installation estimée à 680 kg. George Whitney d’Armo Tool Ltd à London en Ontario, sponsorisa l’armature en geste de soutien au projet, et fit don de temps de travail et des matériaux. L’armature fut assemblée par une petite équipe d’étudiants et d’enseignants. Durant l’installation, on projeta des rayons lasers au plafond pour mieux guider le montage des fixations.

Matt Crosby, Aurora Darwin, Silvia Taylor et Alex Wilson font partie de l'équipe de 10 personnes qui travaillent à l'assemblage des 120 m de circuit d'aluminium servant à faire la monture légère pour tenir le verre. Crédit Photo: Collège Sheridan.

Lors de la conception d’une installation publique, chaque élément doit être soigneusement sélectionné pour respecter à la fois le budget et les contraintes de sécurité. Par exemple, les bagues de nylon peuvent se dégrader au fil du temps à cause de leur exposition aux UV du soleil, donc des rondelles métalliques ont du être utilisées en renfort pour soutenir le bout de chaque tube.

Des fixations ajustables de  Griplock Systems furent utilisées pour éviter d’avoir à pré-pincer le câble aérien afin d’obtenir le design exact. Ce système a aussi permis de pouvoir décider au sol de la longueur des tubes une fois pendus, puis de les ajuster à l’œil nu dans l’air pour parvenir à la courbe et au levage désirés de la pièce. The Good Rope Company Inc.  coupa alors le câble en deux longueurs prédéterminées, et pré-plia les boucles servant à pendre l’installation, fournissant uniformité et précision du matériel à un coût minime.

L’obtention habile des éléments par Jason Cornish et les donations généreuses de Gerresheimer et d’Armo Tool permirent de pouvoir consacrer en grande partie le budget à la création d’un système de projection lumineuse spécifique permettant de réaliser pleinement le concept créatif. Trois caméras enregistrent le mouvement dans l’espace, un mixage vidéo extrait les images et 5000 projecteurs lumineux éclairent la pièce.

Jason Cornish, ingénieur d'atelier, ajuste un des 5000 projecteurs lumineux qui éclairent la pièce. Crédit Photo: Collège Sheridan.

2. Création d’une maquette grandeur nature

Les étudiants et professeurs ont fait des plans détaillés en créant une maquette grandeur nature de l’espace architectural et de la pièce elle-même. Ce type d’approche pratique est bénéfique pour ceux qui conçoivent et pour pouvoir présenter le projet aux sponsors et aux fournisseurs, la plupart préférant toujours un modèle tangible plutôt qu’un rendu 3D posé sur papier en 2D.

Des modèles calculés avec précision ont permis de déterminer l’emplacement final, la quantité et l’entremêlement des lignes de tubes pendantes. Ces modèles furent réutilisés pendant la mise en place pour déterminer la longueur et la position des tubes. Les tubes étaient sablés au préalable et coupés sur place pendant l’installation.

3. L’installation

Dans les installations publiques à grande échelle, il est très important de coordonner le timing  et l’ordre des tâches. Avant d’installer le verre, il a fallut rencontrer des personnes commerciales extérieures pour installer l’armature, le câble de sûreté et rajouter des prises électriques. Quatre membres de l’équipe du projet on du monter dans une nacelle et suivre une formation pour éviter les chutes. La pendaison des tubes a nécessité une chorégraphie permettant à la nacelle et à ses opérateurs de danser avec précision entre verre et fixations architecturales à certains endroits. Pour éviter des délais inutiles, tous les outils, équipements, et équipes de travail étudiantes devaient être sur place chaque jour pour remplir leur mission.

Andrew Beauchamp, Matt Crosby, Allysun Rysnik, Amanda Skalski et Roxanne Tochor font partie des étudiants et professeurs qui ont travaillé dans les équipes tournant pendant 3 jours pour mesurer, couper et enfiler les tubes en verre de l'installation. Crédit Photo: Collège Sheridan.

Les Must pour réussir

Aurora Borealis, telle que perçue la nuit dans le Campus Hazel McCallion de Mississauga en Ontario. Crédit Photo: Collège Sheridan.

  1. Un plan de projet avec des points de référence et des dates clés, des équipes de travail concentrées et compréhensives qui sont responsables de certains aspects spécifiques du projet.
  1. Un chef de projet enthousiaste comme Koen Vanderstukken l’a été pour les étudiants de Sheridan.
  1. Un sponsor avec suffisamment de pouvoir pour pouvoir faire avancer le projet et aider à contourner des obstacles menaçant sa concrétisation. Aurora Borealis a eu la chance d’avoir le soutien du Dr. Mary Preece, Vice-Présidente Senior de l’Académie et de la Recherche à plusieurs reprises.
  1. Le soutien et l’enthousiasme des parties prenantes. Ce nombre décisif de personnes ajoute une certaine motivation inconsciente, l’attitude “nous y sommes, vous y êtes, alors autant nous y mettre”, ainsi que des bénéfices concrets comme 600 heures de temps consacré, des solutions suggérées, la possibilité d’augmenter le budget et l’expertise pour concrétiser cette aventure.
  1. Enfin, les artistes travaillent le plus souvent pour la reconnaissance. Recevoir des encouragements tout du long, par écrit ou par oral lors du gala d’ouverture, pouvoir être reconnu à titre permanent sur une plaque sur les lieux est une compensation que cette équipe d’artistes dévouée a bien mérité.

Les étudiants et le corps professoral du programme d’Art et Design de Sheridan vous invitent à traverser cette pièce pour être part de l’installation. Pour voir des images supplémentaires de l’installation et de ses créateurs, ou pour y mettre vos propres encouragements, allez voir The Making of Aurora Borealis sur You Tube.

A propos de l’Auteur:

Kristi O’Connell est étudiante en deuxième année au programme d’Art et Design de Sheridan. Elle se sert d’images en mouvement et statiques dans son travail du verre pour exprimer l’exigence grandissante pour les femmes du post-féminisme. En fusionnant de la poudre de verre colorée avec des  panneaux de verre, Kristi préserve dans le temps des moments significatifs avec un style pictural unique. Après avoir obtenu un diplôme en Management des Ressources Humaines en 1998 à Ryerson, Kristi travailla en tant que conceptrice pédagogique, en attendant un concours de circonstances qui lui permette d’approfondir son attrait pour l’art du verre. Puisant dans sa formation en lettres en pour développer ses concepts, elle imprègne son travail d’un caractère émouvant et profond.

Share

L’atelier Les Trois Corbeaux

Par Christina Mayr and Jeff Ferrier

Christina Mayr et Jeff Ferrier – Les Trois Corbeaux

Je suis née et je réside actuellement dans la ville de Québec, où depuis les années 70, un important attrait touristique du Quartier Petit Champlain est un atelier de verre soufflé. Anciennement l’atelier de Jean Vallières, La Mailloche, ce lieu adoré de tous est maintenant l’atelier Les Trois Corbeaux, lieu de création de Christina Mayr et de Jeff Ferrier. Je leur ai demandé de nous parler de l’évolution de leur atelier de verre. Voici donc leur histoire.

-Nadine Busque

Nous avons commencé à construire nos équipements en 2003. Le lieu choisi était au bout de la route 131, dans Lanaudière, dans un village qui n’existe plus depuis les années 30.

Durant les débuts miséreux de l’entreprise, les équipements étaient construits avec un mélange de matériaux récupérés et de rejets de l’Espace Verre, le tout assemblé avec des pinces et du duct tape. (Même à moitié fondu, le duct tape tient quand même)

Christina Mayr et Jeff Ferrier

Christina Mayr

Notre kiosque, à notre premier salon américain de vente au gros, présentait un assortiment de ce à quoi on s’attendrait dans les circonstances : des bols, des coupes, des vases et des boules de noël. À quelques variations près, la plupart des kiosques de souffleurs de verre présentaient des produits semblables. Il ne faut donc pas s’étonner si nos meilleurs vendeurs ont été ces pièces un peu bizarres et ludiques qui avaient été exécutées à la fin de la journée, quand la fatigue et l’odeur du tape brûlé se faisaient sentir. Si la demande existait pour des cochonnets volants en verre, nous serions au rendez-vous. Les prochaines années ont été passées à développer un marché pour des objets ludiques, originaux, bien exécutés et abordables. Les paramètres étroits de cette niche nous ont permis d’évoluer techniquement et artistiquement tout en nous donnant une stabilité financière.

Maintenant :

Diane Ferland et Jeff Ferrier – Les Trois Corbeaux

 

Christina Mayr – Les Trois Corbeaux

Le Petit Champlain est reconnu comme le quartier des artisans du vieux Québec. Jusqu’à sa fermeture en 2009, l’atelier La Mailloche était un pilier de la vie touristique du quartier. Plutôt que de perdre cette attraction pour les visiteurs, les marchands du voisinage ont signé une pétition pour demander qu’un verrier soit invité à reprendre le local. Après un appel d’offre, sur la base de notre stabilité financière, de nos habiletés techniques,  de notre polyvalence artistique et de nos personnalités affables, Les Trois Corbeaux est sélectionné. Avec l’aide financière de la SODEC, et le support du CMAQ, l’atelier ouvre ses portes au public de la vieille capitale le 15 juillet 2011.

Le nouvel atelier :

Une fournaise électrique de 400 lbs

Un réchaud de 22 pouces

Un espace boutique

 

Jeff Ferrier dans le Glory Hole– Les Trois Corbeaux

Vue de l’atelier. Les Trois Corbeaux

Vue de la boutique et de l’atelier le matin avant l’ouverture

« Ça chauffe à combien de degrés? »

« Est-ce que tu te brûles souvent? »

« Est-ce que vous réussissez à en vivre? »

On sourit, on répond, on souffle, on emballe et on facture.

Notre philosophie est simple: ne pas trop se prendre au sérieux, faire des compromis lucides, travailler jusqu’à l’épuisement et cultiver l’incrédulité quand on se fait dire qu’une chose ne se fait pas.

À noter quand vous passerez à Québec, l’atelier est ouvert 7 jours par semaine l’été et du vendredi au lundi en hiver. Il nous fera plaisir de vous y voir

Les Trois Corbeaux / Three Crow Glass Studio sur Facebook ou www.troiscorbeaux.com
Les Trois Corbeaux

58, rue Sous-le-Fort

Québec (QC)

G1K 4G8

 

Sur les auteurs :

 

Christina Mayr est native de St-Lambert au Québec. Elle a un Baccalauréat en Art visuels de l’Université du Québec à Montréal. Elle a étudié le verre à l’Espace Verre où elle enseigne présentement.

 

Jeff Ferrier est natif de Guelph en Ontarion. Il a un Baccalauréat en Arts visuels de l’Université de Guelph. Il est autodidacte du verre soufflé.

 

Three Crow Glass Studio

By Christina Mayr and Jeff Ferrier

Three Crow Glass Studio – Québec

I was born and I actually live in Quebec city, where since the ‘70s, a major tourist attraction of the Quartier Petit Champlain is a glassblowing studio. Once the studio of Jean Vallières, La Mailloche, this place loved by everyone is now the Three Crow Glass studio, where Christina Mayr and Jeff Ferrier create. I asked them to tell us about the evolution of their studio. So here’s their story:

We started the studio in 2003. It was at the end of civilization, in the region of Lanaudière, on a dirt road, in a village that hasn’t existed since the 1930s.

During the business’ impoverished early years, the equipment was put together with scrapyard-found objects, castoffs from Espace Verre, c-clamps and a generous coat of duct tape. (Even melted through, duct tape will hold stuff together.)

Christina Mayr et Jeff Ferrier

Christina Mayr

 

Our booth, at our first wholesale show, held a mishmash of glassblowing standards, such as: bowls, goblets, vases and ornaments. The market being already saturated with such classical items, our best sellers were the offbeat, whimsical oddities that were produced late in the day, when the smell of burning tape was at its peak.  The demand clearly existed for glass flying pigs. In the next few years, we found ourselves developing a market for fun, original, complex and yet affordable items. The narrow parameters of this niche allowed us to develop technically and creatively while giving us some financial stability.

Now :

Diane Ferland et Jeff Ferrier – Three Crow Glass

 

Christina Mayr – Three Crow Glass

The Petit Champlain area is known as the artistic quarter of historic Quebec City. Until his sudden retirement in 2009, Jean Vallière’s studio had been a tourist attraction for many years.

Faced with the loss of this focal point for visitors, the neighbouring merchants of the area signed a petition demanding that a glassblowing business be founded to take over the space.

After a call for proposals, on the basis of our financial stability, technical ability, creative versatility and likeable personalities, Three Crow Glass Studio was selected. With some grants for expansion under the provincial arm of cultural business development (SODEC) and with the support of the Quebec craft council, the studio opened to the public July 15, 2011.

The studio :

400 lbs Stadelman furnace

22 inch Hub glory hole

Adjacent boutique and gallery

Jeff Ferrier in the Glory Hole– Three Crow Glass

Glass Studio – Québec photo credit : Nadine Busque

The boutique in the morning before opening.

« Is that hot? »

« Do you burn yourself often? »

« Do you make a living off of this? »

We smile, nod, blow glass, wrap, invoice and make change.

The way we see it, life is not that complicated: don’t take yourself too seriously. Compromise intelligently. Work yourself to exhaustion and don’t believe readily when told you can’t or shouldn’t do something. We can’t wait to see what the next eight years will bring.

When in Quebec City, you can visit the studio during office hours seven days a week in summer, and from Friday to Monday in winter. We will be pleased to see you!

Les Trois Corbeaux / Three Crow Glass Studio on Facebook, or   www.threecrowglass.com

Three Crow Glass Studio

58 Sous-le-Fort street

Quebec (QC)

G1K 4G8

About the authors :

Christina Mayr is a native of St-Lambert, Quebec. She has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal. She graduated from the glass program at l’Espace Verre in 2000 where she now teaches.

Jeff Ferrier is a native of Guelph, Ontario. He has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Guelph. Where glassblowing is concerned, he is mostly self-taught.

 

VIDEOS :

Comment souffler un cochonnet volant en verre soufflé, par Les Trois Corbeaux – Ancien atelier de Lanaudière.

How to blow a glass flying pig, by Three Crow Glass Studio- Old studio in Lanaudière.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOgYJ4jqjQg

 

Jeff Ferrier, de l’atelier les Trois Corbeaux, qui crée un de ses vases demoiselles.

Jeff Ferrier, of Three Crow Glass studio, creating his trademark Lady Bottle.Haut du formulaireBas du formulaire

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wdmxmd2xlWg

 

 

La creation du populaire “Guppy” de l’Atelier Les Trois Corbeaux.

The creation of Three Crow Glass’s famous “Guppy”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBsAOMEqHPc

Share

Berlin Bee Kingdom: An Interview with Phillip Bandura

By: Brad Copping

 

Berlin Glas e.V., the first public access hot glass studio in Berlin, celebrated their soft opening ceremony last December.  The non-profit organization has been gathering steam over the past two and a half years in no small part due to the dedicated support of the Canadian glass art collective, Bee Kingdom.  Bee Kingdom was created from members of Mecha Glass, which dissembled in 2007. This glass-based studio collective was originally conceived by Ryan Marsh Fairweather, Tim Belliveau and Phillip Bandura in 2004 and expanded in April 2011 to include Kai Georg Scholefield. All members graduated from the Alberta College of Art + Design glass program in 2005 and decided to pursue an artistic lifestyle/career and built a hot-glass studio in their backyard in the northwest of Calgary, Alberta.

Bee Kingdom studio poster designed by Ryan Marsh Fairweather

Recently, Contemporary Canadian Glass International Editor Brad Copping caught up with Phillip Bandura to check in on the kingdom’s European expansion.

 

Contemporary Canadian Glass (CCG): What makes Berlin such a Mecca for artists?

Phillip Bandura (PB): Berlin is an amazing city that is steeped in history and contradictions; there’s a lyric I like from the band Arcade Fire, “They build it up just to burn it back down”, which describes it for me. The history is comprised of liberal and radical thinking, art, creativity, war and destruction. It can be said that Berlin is the last major European city to recover from World War Two. The fall of the wall opened the city for an army of creative thinkers hungry to rebuild and recreate the city both physically and ideologically. With inexpensive spaces and new openness, Berlin has become an ideal art hub. This history and opportunity for artists is what got Bee Kingdom interested in Berlin. We wanted to see for ourselves what Berlin has to offer. When Nadania Idriss invited us to show in Berlin with her gallery in 2008 we were ecstatic, it led to discussions about the current project with Berlin Glas e.V. and the expansion of Bee Kingdom. Tim and myself have been on an exciting adventure in this the city and we are still getting to know what it has to offer for us as artists and collectively as Bee Kingdom.

CCG: Why develop a public access glass studio in Berlin especially now in this current economic climate?

PB: Despite its long history, Berlin has never had an artistic glass blowing studio and this is a resource we feel is needed in such an artistic center. As for the current economic climate, the Berlin Glas e.V. project is something we believe can work in tight economic times; by pooling our skills and resources with Nadania Idriss we will be able to achieve more than we could on our own. This is the way Bee Kingdom has structured itself from conception and as a result we have managed to accomplish a critical mass from pretty small beginnings. Our goal is that this pooling of resources will have a positive impact on the contemporary glass scene in Berlin and abroad.

Opening demonstration at Berlin Glas e.V. December 9, 2011. (right to left) Nadania Idriss, Timothy Belliveau, Phillip Bandura and Anne Petters. Photo credit: Lea Bucknell

CCG: Who is Nadania Idriss; where does her involvement in glass come from?

PB: Nadania Idriss grew up in California, then moved to Seattle to get her undergrad in art history. While she was there she became fascinated with the large glass art scene in Seattle. Introduced to the glass community by a friend, she fell in love with the material and the energy behind the studio glass movement. Within a short time she would find herself giving tours at the world-renowned Pilchuck Glass School. Glass became one of Nadania’s many passions. The passion stayed with her though a masters program in Islamic art history at UVic in Victoria. Next for Nadania was a move to Paris to work at UNESCO. While there, she kept an eye on the glass scene in the U.S. When she moved to Berlin in 2005, she fell in love with the vibrant art scene in the city but noticed that there was a lack of contemporary glass and so she created the Nadania Idriss Gallery to showcase contemporary glass art. With her connections in Seattle and hands-on knowledge of the contemporary glass movement, she knew she had something to offer to the Berlin art scene; if people could see glassblowing in person they would fall in love with the art. This was Nadania’s new goal and the ambition that led to the Berlin Glas e.V. project and the rest is history.

Video of the soft opening of Berlin Glas e.V. during a glass ‘ribbon cutting’ ceremony with special guests Tortsen Rotsch and Anne Petters.

CCG: How/why has the Bee Kingdom gotten involved in this project?

PB: Bee Kingdom got involved with Berlin Glas e.V. through the Nadania Idriss Gallery in Berlin. Nadania found out about Bee Kingdom in 2008 when we were the centerpiece designers for the Pilchuck Glass School’s annual auction and we have been showing with her since. In 2010, Bee Kingdom came to Berlin for a show organized by Nadania at the Pergamon Museum. During this trip, Nadania started talking to us about her plan to open a glass studio in Berlin and the idea was conceived that Bee Kingdom could help found the studio. We already had the experience of building a studio and running it full-time in Calgary. Plus, we had been looking for the next step to take as a collective that would allow us to expand our knowledge of glass, artistically as well as administratively. Berlin Glas e.V. was exactly the next step we were looking for. As founding members of Berlin Glas e.V., we can help to create a center for glass art that can provide German, international and professional artists as well as students the opportunity to work with hot glass. It also gives us the chance to learn how a non-profit organization operates (e.V. is the German acronym that signifies a not-for-profit institution) with the added challenge of doing so in a foreign country.

‘Oil Landscape’ installation by Timothy Belliveau. Photo credit: Erin Wallace

CCG: What is your involvement with Berlin Glas e.V. beyond getting the studio up and running? 

PB: Bee Kingdom is not only helping to facilitate the building and administration of the studio, we are also focused on building both short term and long term projects that will help launch Berlin Glas e.V. into the future. One of our biggest goals at the moment is to challenge the common perception that blown glass can only be kitsch. Unlike in North America where there is a strong tradition of studio glass arts, Europeans mainly think of blown glass in terms of factory production and/or glass trinkets. We are also working hard to make strong connections back to Canada, as we would love to see many Canadian artists involved in this project. One of our hopes in the coming years is to raise funds for a grant to bring Canadian artists to Berlin to make their work and experience the city. Artists interested in renting time here or writing grants to produce work here are also welcome.

CCG: Are you connecting with practicing artists in Berlin?  Anyone doing stuff that is getting you guys excited?  Or is it a public awareness kind of thing at this point – paperweights and c-balls?

PB: Tim and I have been fortunate to meet many other artists through Berlin Glas e.V. Public awareness is a big part of the studio. It is open as a space for learning, teaching and a contemporary art resource in the city. For example, after a successful soft opening for the studio, we hosted a holiday party for the USArt Berlin group with roughly 50 artists from different disciplines in attendance. At this event we gave a hot glass demonstration and as a result we met a number of artists who became interested in the prospect of incorporating glass into their practice. Another artist we have met is Julius Weiland, a prominent German glass artist. I am excited to be working with Julius Weiland on a pilot project for visiting artists in the studio. Tim and I will be making some work for him based on new drawings he has made.  The project consists of glass forms that look like they are exploding outward from a center point; it is good fun and a challenge. It fits the focus of the studio perfectly because it will be more experimental and sculptural than functional. We want to keep the door open to meet lots of other artists here. We truly believe in the idea of people and organizations working together to make things happen; there is power in numbers.

Installation of varied works by Phillip Bandura. In the centre is the ‘Gay Bomb’ recently acquired by a prominent collector. Photo credit: Erin Wallace

CCG: Are you and Tim able to make work for yourselves or for the collective in Berlin?

PB: Tim and I have both had some studio time to make our own work as well as work on some group designs for Bee Kingdom. We have already been inspired by Berlin and this move has created a novel paradigm in the Bee Kingdom collective. The studios in both Calgary and Berlin are working with COE 96 glass so we can still work collaboratively with Ryan and Kai by making compatible components on either side of the pond and sending them to each other. Being able to make collective work is important to the vibrancy of Bee Kingdom. Growing our ideas for personal artworks and Bee Kingdom’s collaborations is a big part of this move to expand Bee Kingdom in Berlin

CCG: Are you finding opportunities to exhibit/sell work beyond your Berlin? I’m thinking this may be a great base to reach a larger European audience, but maybe your efforts are still focused on the launch?

PB: As of yet, most of the focus in Berlin has been getting the Berlin Glas e.V. studio up and running, but Bee Kingdom will be looking for new representation and showing opportunities in Europe. We are excited about a project that started before coming to Berlin, which is a traveling exhibition of some of our most complex artworks accompanied by a catalogue written by Mary Beth Laviolette. When complete, it will be ready for exhibition and could end up in Europe; we’re still arranging the schedule for it.

Electrophauns installation by Ryan Marsh Fairweather. Photo credit: Erin Wallace

CCG: Is this a long-term commitment for you guys?

PB: We have committed to be in Berlin for the next year with the possibility to stay on a more long-term basis. Canada is still our home base and the foundation of our artistic careers; we have upcoming shows in Calgary this year as well. The way Bee Kingdom has always worked is as calculated risk-takers and we love to push ourselves to see what is possible. There are dozens of plans in the works and we will just keep working through them.

CCG: How are you managing to keep things going both here in Canada and in Germany?  The situation certainly must add a new dynamic to the collaborative nature of the collective.  The addition of Kai to the Kingdom must help, but I wonder how you are able to recreate the ‘hive’ when it’s split in two this way?

Studio demonstration night at Bee Kingdom in Calgary with special guest Mayor Naheed Nenshi. Photo credit: Erin Wallace

PB: The expansion of Bee Kingdom has definitely created a new dynamic. One of the things that is helping to bridge the gap is technology, with things like Facebook, Skype and email, it is not that hard to keep connected. Bee Kingdom still meets at least once a week on Skype and we exchange email most days. It is a new working model for us and we are still figuring it out. Any problems we have faced as a circumstance of the distance has also lead to novel solutions, ideas and growth. Having Kai as a relatively new member has also provided an injection of ideas that has been good to stir the pot of creativity within Bee Kingdom and he and Ryan have been developing a fresh dynamic in Calgary, which is really exciting to see. We have had to get some help in the Calgary studio from our assistant Leah Nowak; she helps out at least once a week in the studio. In Berlin, we work with both Nadania Idriss and Lea Bucknell, the studio intern. We see this move as an expansion and are talking a lot about new ways to collaborate.

Thanks and we welcome you all to visit us here, cheers.

“Hey guys just wanted to send a note along with the article, if you like the gallery photos in this article Bee Kingdom is showing there again in October 2012. Its at the Ruberto Ostberg Gallery in Calgary hope you can join us!
http://www.ruberto-ostberg.com/

Thanks if you can, cheers,
from Tim and the Bees”

About the Author:

Brad Copping, Past President and International Editor

Brad served as President of GAAC from 2008-2011. As Past President, he will serve in an advisory capacity to the new Board. He will also retain his role as International Editor of Contemporary Canadian Glass, GAAC’s online magazine.

Artist and glass blower, Brad Copping works from his home on the edge of the Canadian Shield, near Apsley, Ontario. His sculpture is included in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Speed Museum and the Fine Art Collection of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. His functional blown glasswork can be found in the permanent collections of the Royal Ontario Museum, the Design Exchange, and the Claridge Collection. The Corning Museum’s New Glass Review has acknowledged his work on six occasions and he has received much appreciated support from the Canada Council and the Ontario Arts Council.

Berlin Bee Kingdom: Entretien avec Phillip Bandura

 

Par: Brad Copping

Le Berlin Glas e.V., premier atelier de verre ouvert au public à Berlin, a célébré son pré-vernissage en décembre dernier. Cette association à but non lucratif doit son existence en grande partie grâce au soutien de Bee Kingdom (Le Royaume des Abeilles), un collectif d’art verrier canadien. Bee Kingdom fut créé par des membres de Mecha Glass, dissout en 2007. Ce collectif d’ateliers verriers qui regroupait à l’origine Ryan Marsh Fairweather, Tim Belliveau et Phillip Bandura en 2004, s’est élargit à Kai Georg Scholefield en avril 2011. Tous diplômés en 2005 du Collège des Arts et du Design d’Alberta dans la section Verre, ils décidèrent de poursuivre leur carrière et mode de vie dans les arts et fondèrent un atelier verrier au fond d’un jardin au nord-ouest de Calgary en Alberta.

Affiche pour l'atelier Bee Kingdom conçue par Ryan Marsh Fairweather.

Brad Copping, Editeur International du Contemporary Canadian Glass, a récemment, retrouvé Phillip Bandura pour enquérir sur la progression en Europe de Bee Kingdom.

Contemporary Canadian Glass (CGG): Pourquoi Berlin est-il devenu la Mecque des artistes?

Phillip Bandura (PB): Berlin est une ville fascinante, pleine d’histoire et de contradictions; j’aime beaucoup les paroles du groupe Arcade Fire: “They build it up just to burn it back down”, (ils l’ont construit pour pouvoir mieux le réduire en cendres) car elles résument vraiment bien je trouve. L’histoire se construit de pensées radicales et libérales, d’art, de créativité, de guerres et de destruction. On peut dire que Berlin est la dernière grosse ville d’Europe à se remettre de la seconde guerre mondiale. La chute du mur a été une ouverture pour une multitude de penseurs créatifs, avides de reconstruire et de recréer la ville, à la fois physiquement et idéologiquement. Avec de l’espace abordable et une nouvelle ouverture d’esprit, Berlin est devenu un centre artistique idéal. C’est son passé et cette ouverture aux artistes qui a attiré Bee Kingdom à Berlin.  Nous voulions voir par nous même ce que Berlin avait à nous offrir. Lorsque Nadania Idriss nous a invités à exposer dans sa galerie à Berlin en 2008, nous avons étés ravis. C’est ce qui nous a amené à parler du projet actuel de Berlin Glas e.V. et de l’agrandissement de Bee Kingdom. Tim et moi-même nous sommes lancés dans cette aventure excitante et découvrons encore maintenant tout ce que cette ville a à nous offrir individuellement en tant qu’artistes et collectivement pour Bee Kindgom.

Démonstration lors de l'ouverture du Berlin Glas e.V. le 9 décembre 2011. (de droite à gauche) Nadania Idriss, Timothy Belliveau, Phillip Bandura et Anne Petters. Credit photo: Lea Bucknell

CCG: Pourquoi vouloir développer à Berlin un atelier accessible au public, en moment avec la conjoncture économique actuelle?

PB: En dépit de son long passé, Berlin n’a jamais eu d’atelier verrier artistique et c’est une ressource que nous croyons nécessaire dans un tel centre artistique. En ce qui concerne le climat économique actuel, nous pensons que le projet Berlin Glas e.V. peut fonctionner en période économique difficile, en rassemblant nos compétences et nos ressources avec celles de Nadania Idriss, nous pouvons accomplir plus que juste par nous même. C’est la manière dont Bee Kingdom fonctionne depuis sa conception et nous avons déjà réussi à accomplir pas mal en partant de petits riens. En mettant nos ressources ensemble, on pourra avoir un impact positif sur la scène du verre contemporain de Berlin et d’ailleurs.

CCG: Qui est Nadania Idriss; d’où lui vient son intérêt pour le verre?

PB: Nadania Idriss a grandi en Californie, puis a déménagé à Seattle pour obtenir son diplôme d’Histoire de l’Art. Tandis qu’elle était là bas, elle fut impressionnée par la vaste scène artistique du verre à Seattle. Lorsqu’un ami l’introduisit dans le milieu du verre, elle tomba amoureuse du matériau et de l’énergie dégagée dans le mouvement atelier verrier. Elle se retrouva vite à donner des visites dans la très renommée Ecole du Verre de Pilchuck. Le verre devint une de ses nombreuses passions qui demeura tout au long de ses études pour son Master d’Histoire de l’Art Islamique à UVic dans le Victoria. Puis, Nadania partit travailler à l’UNESCO à Paris. Tandis qu’elle était là bas, elle continuait à guetter les mouvements de la scène artistique du verre aux Etats-Unis. Lorsqu’elle déménagea pour Berlin, elle tomba amoureuse de la scène artistique vivante de cette ville mais remarqua qu’il y avait un vide en verre contemporain et décida de créer la Galerie Nadania Idriss pour y exposer le mouvement du verre contemporain. Grâce à son réseau de Seattle et à sa participation active au mouvement verrier contemporain, elle savait d’avance ce qu’elle pourrait offrir à la scène artistique de Berlin; si les gens pouvaient voir souffler du verre sous leurs yeux, ils tomberaient amoureux de l’art. Ce fut le nouveau but de Nadania et c’est cette ambition qui nous mena au projet du Berlin Glas e.V, le reste, c’est de l’histoire.



CCG: Comment et pourquoi le Bee Kingdom s’est-il impliqué dans ce projet?

PB: Bee Kingdom s’est retrouvé lié au projet Berlin Glas e.V. par le biais de la Galerie Idriss Nadania à Berlin. Nadania entendit parler du Bee Kingdom en 2008 alors que nous étions les designers de la pièce maîtresse de la vente aux enchères annuelle de l’Ecole du Verre de Pilchuck. Nous avons exposés avec elle depuis. En 2010, Bee Kingdom s’est rendu à Berlin pour une exposition organisée par Nadania au musée Pergamon. Pendant ce voyage, Nadania commença à nous parler de son projet d’ouvrir un atelier de verre à Berlin et le projet était vu d’une telle manière qu’il permettait à Bee Kingdom de participer à sa fondation. Nous avions déjà de l’expérience à Calgary sur comment construire un atelier et le faire tourner à plein temps. Qui plus est, nous étions à la recherche d’un nouveau projet pour le collectif qui nous permettrait d’approfondir nos connaissances du verre, autant artistiquement qu’administrativement. Berlin Glas e.V. était exactement l’étape suivante que nous recherchions. En tant que membres fondateurs du Berlin Glas e.V., nous sommes dans la mesure d’aider à créer un centre consacré à l’art du verre capable de fournir aux artistes allemands, internationaux et professionnels ainsi qu’aux étudiants l’opportunité de travailler le verre à chaud. Cela nous permet en plus d’apprendre comment fonctionne une association à but non lucratif (e.V. est l’acronyme allemande signifiant ‘à but non lucratif’) dans un pays étranger qui plus est.

Installation 'Paysage d'huile' par Timothy Belliveau. Crédit Photo: Erin Wallace.

CCG: Quel est votre implication avec Berlin Glas e.V. au-delà de monter l’atelier et de le lancer?

PB: Bee Kingdom n’aide pas seulement à la construction du bâtiment et à l’administration de l’atelier, nous sommes avons aussi des projets à court et long terme qui aideront à lancer Berlin Glas e.V. à l’avenir. Un de nos plus grands buts pour le moment est de défier la perception commune du verre soufflé qui le considère comme kitsch. Contrairement à l’Amérique du Nord où la culture des ateliers verriers artistiques est forte, les européens voient principalement le verre soufflé comme production d’usine et/ou aux bibelots de verre. Nous travaillons aussi dur pour créer des liens forts avec le Canada car nous aimerions voir de nombreux artistes canadiens s’impliquer dans ce projet. Nous espérons pouvoir rassembler dans les années à venir les fonds nécessaires pour une bourse qui permettrait aux artistes canadiens de réaliser des œuvres à Berlin et de profiter de la ville. Les artistes intéressés pour y louer du temps ou avoir des subventions pour pouvoir produire des œuvres là bas sont les bienvenus aussi.

Installation d'oeuvres variées de Phillip Bandura. Au centre, la 'Bombe Gay' acquise récemment par un collecteur important. Crédit Photo: Erin Wallace

CCG: Rencontrez vous des artistes qui exercent à Berlin? Y a-t-il quelqu’un qui ferait des choses qui vous plaisent? Ou est-ce juste vraiment pour sensibiliser le grand public à ce stade?

PB: Tim et moi avons étés chanceux de rencontrer de nombreux autres artistes grâce à Berlin Glas e.V. Attirer l’attention du public est un des rôles principaux de l’atelier. Il est ouvert en tant qu’espace pour apprendre, enseigner et c’est une ressource d’art contemporain dans la ville. Par exemple, après le succès du pré-lancement, nous avons accueilli un groupe d’USArt Berlin composé d’une cinquantaine d’artistes différents. Au cours de cet événement, nous avons donné une démonstration de soufflage de verre et cela nous a donné l’occasion de rencontrer des artistes intéressés par l’idée d’incorporer le verre dans leurs pratiques. Nous avons aussi rencontré Julius Weiland, un artiste allemand très en vue. J’ai hâte de pouvoir travailler avec Julius Weiland sur un projet pilote pour les artistes intervenants dans l’atelier. Tim et moi réaliserons des œuvres pour lui basées sur des nouveaux croquis qu’il a fait: diverses formes de verre qui semblent être projetées vers l’extérieur en partant d’un point central. C’est amusant et c’un petit challenge. Cela correspond parfaitement aux intentions de l’atelier car ce sera plus expérimental et sculptural que fonctionnel. Nous souhaitons garder la porte ouverte aux rencontres d’autres artistes. Nous sommes convaincus qu’il faut des gens et des associations qui travaillent ensemble pour faire avancer les choses; l’union fait la force.

CCG: Est ce que Tim et vous trouvez encore le temps d’exercer votre propre art ou est-ce juste pour le collectif de Berlin?

PB: Tim et moi trouvons tous les deux le temps de faire nos propres œuvres dans notre atelier ainsi que de consacrer notre temps à des fins de groupe pour Bee Kingdom. Berlin nous a déjà inspiré et la démarche a créé un nouveau paradigme au sein de Bee Kingdom. Les ateliers de Calgary ainsi que de Berlin fonctionnent avec du verre COE 96, ce qui nous permet de travailler en collaboration avec Ryan et Kai en rendant les composants compatibles des deux côtés de la mare et en se les renvoyant. Il est important pour la résonance de Bee Kingdom de pouvoir continuer à faire des œuvres collectives. La démarche d’étendre Bee Kingdom à Berlin doit pouvoir nous faire avancer dans nos œuvres personnelles ainsi que dans celles en collaboration de Bee Kingdom.

CCG: Avez-vous eu des occasions d’exposer ou de vendre vos oeuvres au delà de Berlin? Cela doit être une bonne base pour atteindre un public européen plus large, mais vos efforts sont peut-être encore trop concentrés sur le lancement pour le moment?

PB: À l’heure actuelle, le plus gros travail à Berlin a été de monter l’atelier Berlin Glas e.V et de le lancer, mais Bee Kingdom sera bientôt à la recherche de nouvelles occasions de pouvoir exposer en Europe. Nous avons un autre projet excitant en cours, qui a débuté juste avant d’arriver à Berlin. C’est une exposition mobile de certaines de nos œuvres les plus complexes, accompagnées d’un catalogue écrit par Mary Beth Laviolette. Quand ce dernier sera prêt, le tout pourra être exposé et pourrait bien finir son parcours en Europe, on est encore sur la finalisation du programme pour le moment.

Installation Electrophauns par Ryan Marsh Fairweather. Crédit Photo: Erin Wallace.

CCG: Ceci est il un engagement à long terme pour vous?

PB: Nous nous sommes engagés pour rester à Berlin durant l’année à venir avec l’option de rester plus longtemps. Le Canada reste notre base et le départ de nos carrières artistiques et nous avons aussi des expositions prévues à Calgary cette année. Bee Kingdom prend des risques calculés et nous aimons nous pousser un peu pour voir ce qui est possible. Il y a des dizaines de projets en cours auxquels nous continuons de travailler.

Nuit de démonstration à l'atelier Bee Kingdom de Calgary avec pour invité spécial le maire Naheed Nenshi. Crédit photo: Erin Wallace.

CCG: Comment parvenez vous à gérer des projets à la fois au Canada et en Allemagne? La situation doit sûrement ajouter une nouvelle dynamique à la nature collaborative du collectif. L’ajout de Kai au Kingdom doit aider, mais je me demande comment vous arrivez à reconstituer la “ruche” quand elle est coupée en deux de cette façon?

L’agrandissement de Bee Kingdom a définitivement créé une nouvelle dynamique. La technologie nous aide à combler la distance, avec des moyens tels que Facebook, Skype et le mail, ce n’est pas difficile de garder contact. Bee Kingdom se réunit toujours au moins une fois par semaine sur Skype et nous échangeons par email presque tous les jours. C’est une nouvelle façon de fonctionner pour nous et nous en sommes encore aux mises au point. Chaque problème auquel nous avons pu être confronté pour des raisons de distance nous a aussi mené à de nouvelles solutions, des idées et des avancées. L’arrivée récente de Kai a aussi apporté son lot d’idées fraîches et a remué le pot créatif de Bee Kingdom. Ryan  et lui ont développé une dynamique neuve à Calgary, ce qui est vraiment bien. Nous avons du demander de l’aide au moins une fois par semaine à notre assistante Leah Nowak pour l’atelier de Calgary. A Berlin; nous travaillons à la fois avec Nadania Idriss et Lea Bucknell, l’apprentie de l’atelier. Nous considérons cela comme une progression et parlons de beaucoup de nouvelles façons de collaborer.

Merci, et vous êtes tous les bienvenus à Berlin si vous souhaitez venir nous voir. A bientôt.

 

A propos de l’auteur:

Brad Copping, Ancien Président et Editeur International

Brad fut président du GAAC de 2008 à 2011. En tant qu’ancien président, il sera dans la nouvelle commission consultative. Il conservera aussi son poste d’Editeur International au Contemporary Canadian Glass, le magazine en ligne du GAAC.

Artiste et souffleur de verre, Brad Copping travaille chez lui au bord du Bouclier Canadien, près d’Apsley en Ontario. Ses sculptures sont exposées dans le Musée des Arts Plastiques de Montréal, le Musée Speed et la Collection d’Arts Plastiques du Département des Affaires et Etrangères et du Commerce International. Son travail en soufflage de verre opérationnel peut être vu dans les collections permanentes du Musée Royal de l’Ontario, du Design Exchange et de la Collection Claridge. La Critique du Verre Contemporain du Musée Corning a reconnu son œuvre à six reprises et il a reçu un vif soutien de la part du Conseil Canadien et du Conseil des Arts de l’Ontario.

Share
//