Humour and Addiction in Stained Glass: An Interview with Joseph Cavalieri

June 15, 2014

by Erinn Donnelly

 

 

I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing Joseph Cavalieri about his life and his work.  He is a distinguished native New York artist and educator, whose unique glass art techniques combine modern elements with the time-honoured processes used by medieval stained glass artists.

ED:  Why did you start using the Simpson’s in your work?

JC:  It all started in 2009 with a serious idea to work on a stained glass design illustrating the fall of the US economy.  I planned on having a tattered Uncle Sam dead on the cross, but the Uncle Sam image was simply too over-exposed, so I searched for other “international icons” that would represent the United States.  Ronald McDonald, Betty Boop, and Barrack Obama came to mind, but they brought on their own particular conceptual problems.  I finally chose the one contemporary symbol that was known around the world that somehow felt at peace on the cross: the lovable cartoon bad boy, Bart Simpson.  In early sketches of “Il Momento Della Morte” (The Moment of Death), Bart was hung on the cross, alone, with a pile of broken TV sets at his feet.  As the design developed, I added Lisa Simpson to balance the composition and in the final piece, both Bart and Lisa share nails in their hands and feet

 

 

Cavalieri, Joseph. Il Momento Della Morte (2009), hand-painted kiln fired enamel on glass, 24 x 35

Cavalieri, Joseph. Il Momento Della Morte (2009), hand-painted kiln fired enamel on glass, 24 x 35

 

 

ED:  Do you fear repercussion around the violent or graphic imagery portrayed in your artwork?

JC:  No.  There is no death in the cartoon world.  Violence has no repercussions and nobody ever gets old. I call these works featuring the Simpsons the “Missing Episodes” series because, if Bart and Lisa did die, they couldn’t return in the following episode. A great mix of drama and mortality that people associate with Renaissance-era stained glass images mixed with our contemporary pop culture.

A great reaction to my work came from my frame maker, Robert Shapiro, who stopped by for a delivery one day.  He was the very first outsider to see Il Momento Della Morte, and the second he laid eyes on it, he shouted, “You are going straight to Hell!”  I loved this emotional, visceral reaction, and I quickly decided to make a second panel, Funerale Di Un’Amica (Funeral for a Friend).

 

 

Cavalieri, Joseph. Funerale di Un’Amica (2009), hand-painted kiln fired enamel on glass, 24 x 35

Cavalieri, Joseph. Funerale di Un’Amica (2009), hand-painted kiln fired enamel on glass, 24 x 35

 

 

ED:  There’s a story behind each piece you create.  Tell us about the narratives of your work and from where they stem.

JC:  I twist the familiar Simpsons characters and place them in scenarios based on the fables of 17th Century French poet, Jean de La Fontaine.  The Maid is a story about a woman’s vanity and how she can never find a man to match her beauty.  When her mirror shows her first wrinkle, she runs out and marries the town cripple.  My vision portrays a wall full of reflections of Marge Simpson, while the chained cripple is her every-schlub husband, Homer. Another chapter is shown where Mr. Burns takes control as the Maid, while leaving remains of Marge hidden below

 

 

Cavalieri, Joseph. The Maid (2011), hand-painted kiln fired enamel on glass, 24 x 25

Cavalieri, Joseph. The Maid (2011), hand-painted kiln fired enamel on glass, 24 x 25

 

 

The Countryman and the Serpent details how a country boy finds a frozen snake and brings it home to defrost in front of the fire.  The snake comes to life, coils and attacks the boy – a fine way to treat someone who just saved your life!  So the boy grabs an axe and chops the snake into three pieces.  Here, the country boy (played by Bart) wields two axes, and the serpent (played by Ned Flanders) is chopped into three pieces, while layers of astro-Maggies float quietly towards heaven.

 

 

Cavalieri, Joseph. The Countryman and the Serpent (2009), hand-painted kiln fired enamel on glass, 24.5 x 34 x 2

Cavalieri, Joseph. The Countryman and the Serpent (2009), hand-painted kiln fired enamel on glass, 24.5 x 34 x 2

 

 

ED:  Can you tell us a bit about your style and how you like to work?

JC:  Works in the “Missing Episodes” series consist of up to six layers of glass, sometimes incorporating over ninety individual pieces.  My techniques include hand painting and air-brushing enamel paints onto glass.  Once painted, the glass is kiln fired, foiled, layered, soldered, and presented in a wall-mounted light box which, when lit, has an eerie similarity to a TV set’s glow.

ED:  I have to ask, have the Simpsons creators seen your work and if so, what do they think?

JC:  People always ask about getting permission to use the Simpsons characters, but I took my chances and was pleasantly rewarded.  Two of the series writers tracked me down and bought some of my work. One panel hangs in the LA offices where the Simpsons series is written.

ED:  During an interview for WNYC radio in New York, the host asked about your dream as an artist.  You replied you wanted to be shown in a church.  That dream recently came true for you, correct?

JC:  It did.  In 2013, I was exhibited at La Masion d’Art gallery in Harlem, where I met artist Joyce Yamada.  She was excited to see my work and immediately saw a match with having contemporary stained glass shown in a Catholic church.  With her advice, I put together a proposal for an installation made specifically for the St. Teresa altar at St. Paul of the Apostle in Manhattan, and earlier this year, Deliver Us from Our Addictions was installed there.  This is a collection ten works that form a meditative and somewhat comical series of 21st century dependencies in stained glass.  The series illustrates a grouping of mental and physical addictions to which we moderns are prone, such as consumerism, hallucinatory drugs, smoking, over-eating, plastic surgery, and everything from fashion victims and to outright evil.

 

 

Cavalieri, Joseph. Coffee Addiction (2014), hand-painted kiln fired enamel on glass, 5.25 x 9.5 x 2

Cavalieri, Joseph. Coffee Addiction (2014), hand-painted kiln fired enamel on glass, 5.25 x 9.5 x 2

 

 

These works are the smallest stained glass windows I have made to date, and one of the smallest is based on coffee addiction Coffee Addiction.  It is made up of seventeen pieces of glass and, like a typical cup o’ Joe, fits into the palm of your hand.  Sex/Love Addiction uses terms flowing from a pair of floating eyeglasses, illustrating an abundance of traditional, erotic, and kinky words.  The work displays these elements physically supporting the glasses while simultaneously obstructing vision.  It is a reflection on the modern day profusion of love and sexual relationship choices we make.

 

 

Cavalieri, Joseph. Sex/Love Addiction (2014), hand-painted kiln fired enamel on glass, 8.5 x 14.5 x 2

Cavalieri, Joseph. Sex/Love Addiction (2014), hand-painted kiln fired enamel on glass, 8.5 x 14.5 x 2

 

 

My two favorite works in the addiction series are the Muscle Addiction and Evil. In Muscle Addiction, the stud featured is Bill Pearl, a former American bodybuilder from the 1950s and ‘60s. He was named “World’s Best-Built Man of the Century.”  This was a pre-steroid era, so he had no help from synthetic hormones.  This work places Mr. Pearl posing on a platform made of weight lifting jargon.  Evil touches on politics while featuring a portrait of the actress Agnes Moorehead, who played the role of a comically evil witch, Endora, in the American television series Bewitched.

 

 

Cavalieri, Joseph. Muscle Addiction (2014), hand-painted and silk screened kiln fired enamel on glass, 12 x 21.5 x 2

Cavalieri, Joseph. Muscle Addiction (2014), hand-painted and silk screened kiln fired enamel on glass, 12 x 21.5 x 2

 

 

Cavalieri, Joseph. Evil (2014), hand-painted and silk-screened kiln fired enamel on glass, 6.5 x 12 x 2

Cavalieri, Joseph. Evil (2014), hand-painted and silk-screened kiln fired enamel on glass, 6.5 x 12 x 2

 

 

ED:  You were a graphic designer before becoming a full time glass artist.  How did you decide to make this transition?

 

JC:  Before glass entered my world, I was very content working as an art director at People magazine.  One of my duties included debating and voting on who the sexiest man was that year.  Photos were hung in the conference room, while hours of intense discussions among the staff went on and on about why Mel Gibson outweighed George Clooney.  Although it was an entertaining event, I felt there should be more to life.

 

In 1997, still working as an art director, I began taking classes at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn.  It was at this point that the graphic designer in me metamorphosed into the fine glass artist.  I learned how to paint on glass, sandblast, flame work, and fuse glass.  Slowly, I started to exhibit and sell my work, and as my stained glass business grew, I made the transition from graphic design to working as a full-time glass artist.  In 2008, I was accepted into a two-month residency at North Lands Creative Glass in Scotland, which was the first critical step in defining myself as a fine artist.  In early 2009, I took that step and made a leap, and opened CAVAglass, my glass studio in lower Manhattan.

 

 ED:  What can we look forward to as the next steps in your career?

JC:  I was just nominated to be in the NYC Makers very first Biennial exhibition, in Manhattan, in July of this year.  This exhibition will showcase the work of approximately 100 artists from the five boroughs.  All the artists chosen for the exhibition were nominated by a pool of over 300 New York City based cultural leaders and civic figures.  My favourite work, Jackie O. in White, will be on display for the Makers show.  This edition is much larger than previous versions, measuring twenty-seven inches squared.

 

 

Cavalieri, Joseph. Jackie O. in White (2014), silk-screened kiln fired enamel on stained glass, 26 ¾ x 27 x 2

Cavalieri, Joseph. Jackie O. in White (2014), silk-screened kiln fired enamel on stained glass, 26 ¾ x 27 x 2

 

 

Cavalieri, Joseph. Jackie O. in White (2014), detail

Cavalieri, Joseph. Jackie O. in White (2014), detail

 

 

Currently we find Cavalieri’s work acquired for the permanent collection of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and in the permanent collection of the Leslie-Lohman Museum in Manhattan.  Cavalieri shares his knowledge of painting on glass in week-long workshops he teaches internationally.  This summer, he will be teaching his second painting-on-glass workshop at Red Deer College, from July 14-18.  Registration for the class can be made online at http://rdc.ab.ca/continuing-education/course/ESER/6202.

Artist’s Bio: Joseph Cavalieri is a native New Yorker, based in the East Village, where he spends 100% of his life as an artist and educator.  Joseph started exhibiting in 1997 and in 2013 had four one-man shows including The Society of Arts and Crafts (Boston), Duncan McClellan Gallery (Florida), Theater for the New City Gallery (NYC) and twice at Dixon Place (NYC).  In the same year, he also took part in a two-person exhibit at TS Art Projects (Berlin) and “Madonna & Prada” was acquired for the permanent collection of the Museum of Arts and Design.  Cavalieri also has work in the permanent collection of the Leslie-Lohman Museum in Manhattan, and his MTA Arts for Transit public art commission can be viewed at the Philipse Manor Train Station in Westchester, New York.  Cavalieri’s unique glass art techniques combine modern elements with time-honoured processes used by medieval stained glass artists. To view more of Cavalieri’s work, and learn about upcoming exhibits, and classes, visit www.CAVAglass.com.

 

Author Bio: Erinn Donnelly graduated from the Alberta College of Art + Design`s Glass Department, in 2011, and is currently one of the Prairies Representatives for the Glass Art Association of Canada.  Since graduating, Erinn has focused her attention on writing about art and looks forward to a career as an author and journalist.

 

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In a State of Exploration: An Interview with Dana McLean

by Erinn Donnelly

Images courtesy of Kristian Jones

 

 

I recently had the great pleasure of sitting down with Dana McLean over coffee and tea at Denny’s, to chat candidly about her current work and international glass education.

 

ED:  You were recently awarded this year’s Pilchuck scholarship – congratulations!  Tell us a little about what class, or classes, you are registered for, and what you plan to make.

 

DM:  I was certainly surprised to be picked.  I have never been a Plichuck student before and I am excited to spend two weeks honing my skills and developing my ideas.  In January of this year, I submitted a piece entitled Logical to the GAAC Pilchuck Scholarship and was successful.  I was then selected by Pilchuck for the class by Jessica Jane Julius and Erica Rosenfeld called Multiplying Multiples = One.  I would like to focus my attention on ideas surrounding mental illness.  I haven’t yet had the time to fully explore that subject matter and I feel spending those two weeks with experimental work will help bring some ideas to fruition.

 

 

McLean, Dana. Logical (2013), blown glass and hot bit work, w 45 cm x h 14 cm x d 12 cm. (Kristian Jones)

McLean, Dana. Logical (2013), blown glass and hot bit work, w 45 cm x h 14 cm x d 12 cm. (Kristian Jones)

 

 

ED: Can you tell us a bit about your style and how you like to work?

 

DM:  My work is heavily influenced by Scandinavian design; clean and minimal.  I like making work that is simple and effective.  Whether it be a bowl, drinking vessel, or an abstract sculptural form, I work the piece with just enough of a touch to get my point across while trying to avoid bombarding the viewer with too much symbolism and metaphor.  I want the viewer to enjoy what he or she sees, and hold and easily understand the context and basis for its design.

 

 

McLean, Dana. Rock Bottom (2013), blown and hot cast glass, w 15.2 cm x h 7.6 cm. (Kristian Jones)

McLean, Dana. Rock Bottom (2013), blown and hot cast glass, w 15.2 cm x h 7.6 cm. (Kristian Jones)

 

 

ED: You’ve studied glass abroad, both while attending ACAD and following graduation. Can you tell us about those experiences and how your work has grown since?

 

DM:  Being able to travel and work is an opportunity that not everyone gets to experience, but with our small but strong glass community, we are more often afforded the chance to experience new places, learn from others, and generate unique experiences.  Traveling to Sweden, where I did a semester of glass design, expanded my ability to create in another way.  It broadened my skills for creating and developing ideas because I had to focus solely on design, and not whether or not I could make the piece.  This helped me stay on top of details that may otherwise have been overlooked during the fabrication.  I had to learn to take a breath and step back, ask myself many questions, make models, and to try and develop something on paper first.  It was a challenging experience but extremely beneficial because while in school I was so used to creating work that didn’t focus on the steps leading up to creation.  Now that I am out of school, this has helped my planning and developing, because I don’t have as much time in a glass studio, as I did in school, to develop the ideas.  I have tools and specific processes that I use to create my work outside of the hot shop, and I take advantage of my home studio now more than ever.

 

While in Scotland, I did a short residency at North Lands Creative Glass.  While there, I met a number of other students and teachers whose abilities in glass ranged from beginner to advanced, as well as being introduced to many artists whose main practice wasn’t centred on glass at all.  This exposure gave me an opportunity to not only learn new technical skills, but to also develop new ideas I would not otherwise have had.  I am inspired by meeting people and new environments, and this has an immediate effect on my work just by simply immersing myself within those new experiences.

 

Travelling opens my eyes and offers different opportunities to push myself in a myriad of directions.  I feel I can take an idea further because of an artist talk, or a conversation, or something I saw.  I get excited when I get to go somewhere new and try something different, so whatever it is that inspires me or clicks, that is that perfect moment of creativity.  It’s an adrenaline rush for me.

 

ED: What drove you to glass as a medium? 

 

DM:  Glass is an addictive material.  I am always challenged by it and am constantly learning and pushing myself.  Not many things in life can do that more often than not.  How lucky am I to have found something that sparks such passion in me.

 

Working with glass offers many avenues in which to experiment because I have more than just the material itself to work with.  The possibilities are endless.  I can use light and space, which can be the focal point of the work, or it can be used as an illustrative tool, making it an ideal material for my explorations.

 

ED: What current projects do you have on the go?

 

DM:  I have begun to explore the idea of mental illness and what it is like to have something that affects you while not having noticeable physical attributes.  I am trying to create work that can depict or demonstrate that which someone with an illness may go through.  I want to create objects that allow others to experience or have reference to something that isn’t seen right away, such as thought process or physical side effects, and by using hot bit work to sculpt the piece, it really brings these ideas to life.  I want to educate viewers and help them become curious about what it is I’m talking about in my work.  Mental illness is something that is only now being talked about more openly and is becoming more accepted as something that requires medical attention.  I want to do my part in opening people’s eyes to what it is that others live with on a daily basis.

 

 

McLean, Dana. Overwhelmed (2013), blown glass and hot bit work, w 32 cm x h 18 cm x d 19 cm. (Kristian Jones)

McLean, Dana. Overwhelmed (2013), blown glass and hot bit work, w 32 cm x h 18 cm x d 19 cm. (Kristian Jones)

 

 

Artist Bio: Dana McLean is a graduate of the Alberta College of Art + Design, class of 2012, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts with a major in glass.  Dana has had the opportunity to study glass design in Sweden, as well as take part in a residency at North Lands Creative Glass center, located on the east coast of Scotland.  She is a full time practicing glass artist who has maintained her practice through working independently at a local studio in Calgary, Alberta, while also working as a studio assistant for Julia Reimer and TylerRrock, at their personal studio, in Black Diamond, Alberta.

 

Author Bio: Erinn Donnelly graduated from the Alberta College of Art + Design`s Glass Department, in 2011, and is currently one of the Prairies Representatives for the Glass Art Association of Canada.  Since graduating, Erinn has focused her attention on writing about art and looks forward to a career as an author and journalist.

 

 

En Quête d’Exploration : Entretien avec Dana McLean

 

Par Erinn Donnelly

Images de Kristian Jones

 

J’ai récemment eu le plaisir de prendre le thé chez Denny’s avec Dana McLean, pour parler de son travail actuel et de l’enseignement du verre au niveau international.

 

 

ED: On vous a récemment attribué une bourse pour effectuer un cursus à Pilchuck, félicitations! Parlez-nous un peu des classes auxquelles vous allez assister et ce que vous comptez y faire.

 

DM: J’ai été très surprise d’être choisie. Je n’ai encore jamais étudié à Pilchuck et je suis impatiente de passer deux semaines à affuter mes connaissances et à nourrir mes idées. En janvier de cet année, j’ai présenté à la ‘GAAC Pilchuck Scholarship ‘une pièce intitulée Logical et cela a plu. J’ai ensuite été sélectionnée par Pilchuck pour assister aux cours donnés par Jessica Jane Julius et Erica Rosenfeld intitulés Multiplying Multiples = One. J’aimerais profiter de cette occasion pour réfléchir au concept des maladies mentales. Je n’ai pas encore eu le temps d’explorer complètement ce thème et je sens que ces semaines de travail expérimental vont me permettre de méditer sur mes idées.

 

 

McLean, Dana. Logical (2013), verre soufflé et verre en fusion, w 45 cm x h 14 cm x d 12 cm. (Kristian Jones)

McLean, Dana. Logical (2013), verre soufflé et verre en fusion, w 45 cm x h 14 cm x d 12 cm. (Kristian Jones)

 

 

ED: Pouvez-vous nous en dire plus sur votre style et la façon dont vous aimez travailler?

 

DM: Mon travail est fortement influencé par le design scandinave, propre et minimaliste. J’aime faire des œuvres simples et efficaces. Que ce soit un bol, de la vaisselle ou une sculpture abstraite, je travaille la pièce juste assez pour transmettre mon message sans bombarder l’observateur de trop de symboles et de métaphores. Je veux que l’observateur apprécie ce qu’il voit tout en comprenant facilement le contexte et le design de l’objet.

 

 

McLean, Dana. Rock Bottom (2013), verre soufflé et verre moulé, w 15.2 cm x h 7.6 cm. (Kristian Jones)

McLean, Dana. Rock Bottom (2013), verre soufflé et verre moulé, w 15.2 cm x h 7.6 cm. (Kristian Jones)

 

 

ED: Vous avez étudié le verre à l’étranger, à la fois pendant vos études à l’ACAD et suite à l’obtention de votre diplôme. Pouvez-vous nous parler de ces expériences et en quoi elles ont influencé votre travail depuis ?

 

DM: Avoir la possibilité de voyager et de travailler est une opportunité dont nous ne pouvons pas tous bénéficier, mais notre petite communauté du verre gagne en force et nous permet déjà de découvrir de nouveaux endroits, d’apprendre des autres et de générer des expériences uniques. Mon voyage en Suède, où j’ai étudié le design du verre pendant un semestre, a développé ma capacité à créer d’une autre façon. Cela a élargi mes facultés à concevoir des idées, car je devais  me concentrer uniquement sur le design et non sur mon aptitude à réaliser la pièce. Cela m’a aidé à prendre du recul face à certains détails qui peuvent être traités durant la fabrication. J’ai dû me poser beaucoup de questions, apprendre à faire des modèles et à développer sur papier mes idées.L’exercice n’était pas évident mais extrêmement bénéfique, car du temps de l’école, j’avais l’habitude de créer des œuvres sans me focaliser sur les étapes de leur création. A présent diplômée, cela m’aide dans l’organisation et le développement de mon travail car je n’ai plus tout le temps en atelier dont je bénéficiais à l’école pour développer mes idées . Je possède des outils et des techniques précises que j’utilise pour concevoir mon travail en dehors du temps d’atelier et je profite à présent de mon atelier personnel plus que jamais.

 

Lorsque j’étais en Ecosse, j’ai fait une courte résidence au North Lands Creative Glass. J’ai rencontré sur place d’autres étudiants et enseignants en verre, débutants et avancés, ainsi que des artistes dont la pratique du verre n’était que secondaire. Ce point de vue m’a permis, non seulement de découvrir de nouvelles techniques, mais aussi de développer de nouvelles idées que je n’aurai pas eu sans cette expérience. Je me suis inspirée de ces rencontres et de ces lieux. Le simple fait de m’immerger dans ces nouvelles expériences a eu un effet direct sur mon travail.

 

Le voyage ouvre les yeux et présente l’opportunité de prendre de multiples orientations. Suite au discours d’un artiste, à une conversation ou à quelque chose que j’ai vu, je sens maintenant que je peux explorer d’avantage une idée.  Je m’enthousiasme chaque fois que j’ai la possibilité d’aller voir ailleurs et d’essayer quelque chose de différent. Quelque soit ce qui m’inspire ou me fait vibrer, ce moment de créativité est une montée d’adrénaline.

 

ED: Qu’est-ce qui vous a poussé à travailler le verre? 

 

DM: Le verre est un matériau prenant. Je suis en défit constant face à lui et je me dépasse chaque fois en apprenant un peu plus. Peu de choses dans la vie me donne autant. Je suis réellement heureuse d’avoir trouvé quelque chose qui suscite un moi une telle passion.

 

Le travail du verre permet d’explorer beaucoup de voies différentes car il y a bien plus à découvrir que le matériau en lui-même. Les possibilités sont infinies. Je peux faire de la lumière et de l’espace les points principaux de mon travail, ou bien m’en servir comme des vecteurs de démonstration, ce qui rend ce matériau idéal pour mes explorations.

 

ED: Quels sont vos projets en cours en ce moment ?

 

DM: J’explore actuellement le sujet des maladies mentales pour traiter des choses qui peuvent affecter un personne mais ne sont pas visibles de l’extérieur. Je tente de démontrer par ce travail ce qu’on peut ressentir lorsqu’on est  atteint d’une maladie mentale. J’ai eu l’idée de créer des objets qui permettent aux autres d’expérimenter quelque chose de non visible au départ, par le procédé ou les effets secondaires physiques, en utilisant des impacts rapides à chaud pour sculpter les pièces. Cela illustre bien mes idées. Je souhaite éduquer l’observateur et l’amener à développer sa curiosité pour le thème que j’ai choisi de traiter. La maladie mentale est quelque chose dont on parle plus ouvertement depuis peu et qui est mieux reconnue comme nécessitant un soin médical spécifique. Je veux avoir un rôle à jouer dans l’ouvrir d’esprit des gens au quotidien sur ce sujet.

 

 

 McLean, Dana. Overwhelmed (2013), verre soufflé et verre en fusion, w 32 cm x h 18 cm x d 19 cm. (Kristian Jones)

McLean, Dana. Overwhelmed (2013), verre soufflé et verre en fusion, w 32 cm x h 18 cm x d 19 cm. (Kristian Jones)

 

 

Biographie de l’artiste: Dana McLean est diplômée 2012 de l’ Alberta College of Art + Design et possède un diplôme des beaux-arts avec spécialisation en verre. Dana a eu l’opportunité d’étudier le design du verre en Suède, ainsi que de participer à une résidence au North Lands Creative Glass center situé sur la côte est de l’Ecosse. Elle pratique à plein temps l’art du verre et travaille  de façon indépendante dans un atelier de Calgary en Alberta tout en assistant Julia Reimer et TylerRrock dans leur atelier personnel de Black Diamond en Alberta.

 

Biographie de l’auteure: Erinn Donnelly est diplômée 2011 du département verre de l’Alberta College of Art + Design et est représentante pour la Glass Art Association of Canada. Depuis l’obtention de son diplôme, Erinn s’est consacrée à l’écriture sur l’art et se réjouit de faire carrière en tant qu’auteure et journaliste. 

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FUSION Glass Mentorship

February 18, 2014

Written by the artists, collected by Jerre Davidson

 

In October 2012, a group of glass and clay artists – Camilla Clarizio, Jerre Davidson, Valerie Anne Dennis, Marlene Kawalez, Debbie Ebanks Schlums, Laurie Spieker, George Whitney, Cheryl Wilson Smith, and Bridget Wilson – met for the first time at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. They were the chosen participants of the first Glass Mentorship Program sponsored by FUSION – The Ontario Clay and Glass Association. The aim of the program is to help practicing artists take their work in new directions.  Some of the group travelled from as far away as Northern Ontario and Montreal to participate in this exciting opportunity.

 

Fusion Mentorship. L to R: Camilla Clarizio, Marlene Kawalez, Laurie Spieker, Cheryl Wilson Smith, Koen Vanderstukken, Valerie Dennis, Bridget Wilson, Jerre Davidson, George Whitney, and Debbie Ebanks Schlums

Fusion Mentorship.
L to R: Camilla Clarizio, Marlene Kawalez, Laurie Spieker, Cheryl Wilson Smith, Koen Vanderstukken, Valerie Dennis, Bridget Wilson, Jerre Davidson, George Whitney, and Debbie Ebanks Schlums

 

During the next twelve months, under the steady guidance of Koen Vanderstukken, Glass Studio Head at Sheridan College and a renowned international artist, we worked separately in our own studios, meeting monthly to discuss ideas and progress.  Initially, the focus was on finding out

about each participant, with individual presentations about current and previous work, sources of inspiration and future plans. As we became comfortable together, we were given individually-tailored assignments that related to our own work.  We would then present these assignments and discuss the feedback that arose from the group. This was an extremely valuable exercise as we not only benefitted from the experience and knowledge of our mentor, Koen, but also from our eight fellow “mentees” as well, all of whom had different life experiences and ideas to share. We were encouraged to take chances and to move out of our comfort zones to work towards a greater exploration of our chosen materials in order to gain a strong grasp on concept, perception and the lasting significance of our work.

 

Koen, with generosity and dedication, encouraged us to think deeply about what we were doing and to question why we were using glass. At each step, he encouraged us to step back and examine our intent with the work and to question if it was successful in conveying that intent.

 

Exhibition at Living Arts Centre. Postcard shows work by Laurie Spieker.

Exhibition at Living Arts Centre.
Postcard shows work by Laurie Spieker.

 

The culmination of the mentorship was a group show.  “Push” was presented at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga from November 28 to January 18th.  We chose the name “Push” as it felt appropriate for what we have gone through this past year – we were “pushed” by Koen, by ourselves and by each other to try new things and to work harder. In the show, there were two works or groups of work from each artist and the exhibit showcased a startling diversity of form which resulted in a cohesive and interesting display.

 

The Work:

 

Camilla Clarizio presented groups of clay figures that symbolized a moment, a thought frozen in time through the heat of the kiln.  Her sculptures were a culmination of tempests survived, dreams achieved, futures imagined.

 

Jerre Davidson’s two swirling sculptural works, entitled “Opus”, resembled geological landscape formations and achieved her underlying goal to communicate the movements and rhythms within that landscape.

 

Davidson, Jerre. Opus II Kiln Formed Glass, 18” (h) x 31” (w) x 8” (d)

Davidson, Jerre.
Opus II
Kiln Formed Glass, 18” (h) x 31” (w) x 8” (d)

 

Valerie Dennis created cast pieces that represented the guiding principles of geometry and symmetry.

 

Marlene Kawalez’s sculptures, amalgamating glass and clay, created both a haunting and dimensional image for the viewer to interpret.

 

Debbie Ebanks Schlums, in collaboration with Don Miller, transported the glass outhouse from their site-specific installation, “On the Fence”, as a comment on private and public space.

 

Laurie Spieker used kiln-formed murinni and millefiori in her effort to capture those small but unnoticed marvels of nature. By laying down swathes of pulled murinne colour or encasing millefiore in clear glass, the full beauty of the miniature was revealed.

 

George Whitney created glass sculptures based on the shapes of classic cars. His goal to work on larger castings was achieved with an impressive casting named “Ghost” that stands two feet tall and weighs 150 pounds.  Through the variations in glass thicknesses, his castings offered intriguing views of light and shadow.

 

Cheryl Wilson Smith’s delicate complex sculptures were created by forming countless individual layers of glass frit. They seemed light as a feather and looked as though they were barely held together.

 

Wilson Smith, Cheryl Winters Broch Cast Frit, 4” (h) x 4” (w) x 4” (d)

Wilson Smith, Cheryl
Winters Broch
Cast Frit, 4” (h) x 4” (w) x 4” (d)

 

Bridget Wilson created delicately woven sculptural pieces, one of was a vibrant red weave draped over a frosted glass casting.  The resulting combination demonstrated an intriguing and captivating contrast of techniques.

 

Wilson, Bridget Flow Cast and Kiln Formed Glass, 8” (h) x 16” (w) x 1.5” (d)

Wilson, Bridget
Flow
Cast and Kiln Formed Glass, 8” (h) x 16” (w) x 1.5” (d)

 

Koen Vanderstukken’s interactive piece, presenting images about how we see ourselves, was very popular. Looking in the small lens, you could see yourself on the screen at the back (on television, as it were).

 

Though the Mentorship Program has come to an end, these artists have forged a lasting relationship both professionally and personally. They plan to continue meeting and collaborating, and will have a second group show this summer at The Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

 

Given such an inspiring and productive program, it was clear that this was a wonderful opportunity. These artists collectively encourage other artists to seek out and participate in similar future programs.  Consider yourself PUSHED!

 

 

 

Séminaire FUSION, mentorat pour verriers

Ecrit par les artistes, propos recueillis par Jerre Davidson

 

En octobre 2012, les artistes verriers et céramistes – Camilla Clarizio, Jerre Davidson, Valerie Anne Dennis, Marlene Kawalez, Debbie Ebanks Schlums, Laurie Spieker, George Whitney, Cheryl Wilson Smith et Bridget Wilson – se rencontraient pour la première fois au Sheridan College à Oakville en Ontario. Ils ont été sélectionnés pour participer au premier séminaire Glass Mentorship Program parrainé par FUSIONThe Ontario Clay and Glass Association. Le but de ce programme est d’aider les artistes à aborder de nouveaux axes de travail. Certains sont venus du nord de l’Ontario et même de Montréal pour participer à cette magnifique opportunité.

 

Fusion Mentorship. L to R: Camilla Clarizio, Marlene Kawalez, Laurie Spieker, Cheryl Wilson Smith, Koen Vanderstukken, Valerie Dennis, Bridget Wilson, Jerre Davidson, George Whitney, and Debbie Ebanks Schlums

Fusion Mentorship.
L to R: Camilla Clarizio, Marlene Kawalez, Laurie Spieker, Cheryl Wilson Smith, Koen Vanderstukken, Valerie Dennis, Bridget Wilson, Jerre Davidson, George Whitney, and Debbie Ebanks Schlums

 

Pendant un an, et sous la supervision de l’artiste de renommée internationale Koen Vanderstukken, en charge de l’atelier verrier du Sheridan College, nous avons travaillé chacun dans nos ateliers respectifs, en nous réunissant tous les mois pour parler de nos idées et de notre progression. Au départ, le but était d’apprendre à connaître chaque participant par le biais de présentations individuelles sur nos projets actuels et passés, nos sources d’inspiration et nos projets futurs. Une fois familiarisés aux autres, on nous a donné des exercices individuels en lien avec notre travail. Puis nous les avons présentés et le groupe a pu donner son avis. Cet exercice a été très bénéfique et nous a permis de profiter de l’expérience et des connaissances de notre mentor Koen, ainsi que des huit autres participants, forts d’idées et d’expériences à partager. Cela nous a incités à sortir de nos zones de confort pour aller vers une exploration plus large de nos matériaux et gagner une solide compréhension du contexte, de la perception et de la symbolique à long terme de notre activité.

 

Généreux et dévoué, Koen nous a encouragés à réfléchir à nos activités et nous a demandé pourquoi nous utilisions le verre. À chaque étape, il nous a encouragé à prendre du recul pour comprendre notre intention et voir si nous parvenions à transmettre cette intention dans notre travail.

 

Exhibition at Living Arts Centre. Postcard shows work by Laurie Spieker.

Exhibition at Living Arts Centre.
Postcard shows work by Laurie Spieker.

 

Pour clore le séminaire en beauté, le groupe a présenté l’exposition « Push » au Living Arts Centre de Mississauga du 28 novembre 2013 au 18 janvier 2014. Le choix du titre de l’exposition « Push » nous a semblé approprié afin d’exprimer notre sentiment de cette année passée à être propulsé en avant par Koen, par nous-même et par chacun du groupe pour explorer de nouvelles choses et pour travailler plus fort. Chaque artiste a présenté deux œuvres pour composer une exposition étonnante par la diversité des formes, à la fois intéressantes et unifiées.

 

Les oeuvres :

 

Camilla Clarizio a présenté des groupes de figurines en argile symbolisant un moment ou une pensée figée dans le temps grâce à la cuisson du four. Ses sculptures étaient l’aboutissement de tempêtes bravées, de rêves accomplis et de futurs imaginés.

 

Jerre Davidson a présenté deux sculptures tourbillonnantes intitulées « Opus ». Rappelant les formations géologiques des paysages, leur objectif de communiquer les mouvements et les rythmes du paysage fut une réussite.

 

Davidson, Jerre. Opus II Kiln Formed Glass, 18” (h) x 31” (w) x 8” (d)

Davidson, Jerre.
Opus II
Kiln Formed Glass, 18” (h) x 31” (w) x 8” (d)

 

Valerie Anne Dennis a créé des pièces en pâte de verre démontrant les principes essentiels de la géométrie et de la symétrie.

 

Les sculptures de Marlene Kawalez mêlant le verre et l’argile donnaient au spectateur une image à la fois troublante et multidimensionnelle.

 

Debbie Ebanks Schlums en collaboration avec Don Miller a transporté le verre « On the Fence » en dehors des installations prévues pour souligner la ligne entre l’espace public et l’espace privé.

 

Laurie Spieker a employé des murinne et des millefiori thermoformés pour capter les petites merveilles de la nature qui passent inaperçues. En agençant des bandes de murinne de couleur ou en intégrant des millefiore dans du verre translucide, elles révèlent toute la beauté du monde miniature.

 

George Whitney a créé des sculptures en verre en s’inspirant des formes des voitures anciennes. Il a atteint son objectif en créant une pièce imposante en pâte de verre appelée « Ghost », mesurant 53 cm de hauteur et pesant 68 kilos. À travers les variations d’épaisseur du verre, ses pièces offrent des visions intrigantes d’ombre et de lumière.

 

Les sculptures délicates et complexes de Cheryl Wilson Smith ont été réalisées en superposant de nombreuses couches de fritte de verre. Semblant légères comme des plumes, on pourrait penser qu’elles tiennent à peine ensemble.

 

Wilson Smith, Cheryl Winters Broch Cast Frit, 4” (h) x 4” (w) x 4” (d)

Wilson Smith, Cheryl
Winters Broch
Cast Frit, 4” (h) x 4” (w) x 4” (d)

 

Bridget Wilson a créé des sculptures délicates, drapées d’un tissage rouge vif sur une pâte de verre dépolie. Cette combinaison de techniques permet un contraste à la fois captivant et intriguant.

 

Wilson, Bridget Flow Cast and Kiln Formed Glass, 8” (h) x 16” (w) x 1.5” (d)

Wilson, Bridget
Flow
Cast and Kiln Formed Glass, 8” (h) x 16” (w) x 1.5” (d)

 

L’œuvre interactive de Koen Vanderstukken a eu beaucoup de succès puisqu’elle présentait des images sur la façon dont nous nous percevons. En regardant dans une petite lentille, nous pouvions s’observer sur un écran de télévision.

 

Bien que le séminaire Glass Mentorship Program soit terminé, les artistes ont tissé des liens professionnels et personnels durables. Ils ont d’ailleurs prévu de se rencontrer pour collaborer et pour présenter une deuxième exposition de groupe cet été à la Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

 

Avec un programme si productif et si inspirant, l’expérience a vraiment été fabuleuse. À l’avenir, les artistes participants encourageront certainement d’autres artistes à chercher et à participer à des séminaires semblables. Vous serez propulsés en avant, PUSHED !

 

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GAAC Member Interview Retrospective, November 2013

By Diana Fox

 

These interviews were originally published on the Glass Art Association of Canada’s Facebook group page, November 30, 2013. https://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/november-member-interview-retrospective/603143609723187In honor of GAAC member interviews moving into their third year, we wanted to take a look back at how many of our members got their start with glass.  This is how some of our members responded to the question:  What was it that drew you to glass as your artistic material of choice?

 

Steve Tippin, current GAAC President: I was drawn to glass because of my background in printmaking and sculpture. For me, glass is the perfect balance of both. It also is a material that reacts consistently and that allows me to isolate and experiment with specific variables in my process.

 

Steve was our interviewee June 2013:  http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/june- member-interview-incoming-gaac-president-steven-tippin/527989217238627

 

Tippin, Steven. Steven Tippin loading a large kiln.

Tippin, Steven. Steven Tippin loading a large kiln.

 

 

Jamie Gray, former GAAC president:  Well, initially, it was what draws pretty much all of us in, which is the way that light works in relation to it.  I was entranced by the different effects that could be gotten by looking at moonlight, candlelight, daylight, fluorescent light, any and all light, through and against the glass.  It’s like glass is alive.  It seems to evolve visually depending on an infinite number of factors.  And that was and is intriguing to me.  Now, what I’ve also learned to love about glass, since I started using it some 20 years ago, is that it also works great as a support in conceptual pieces.  Its various characteristics – fragility, malleability, luminosity, etc. – can be well-used in helping say what you want to say in work based on ideas.

 

Jamie was our interviewee July 2011:  http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/july-member-interview-new-gaac-president-jamie-gray/214307905273428

 

Gray, Jamie. Redeemed (2011), applied glass; thrift shop chair, mirror, silicon, 3’ x 2’ x 2.5’

Gray, Jamie. Redeemed (2011), applied glass; thrift shop chair, mirror, silicon, 3’ x 2’ x 2.5’

 

Brad Copping, former GAAC president: Many of us who ended up in the glass studio at the old Sheridan College School of Crafts and Design in the late 1980s talked about being seduced by hot glass.  It sounds like a trite notion now, as so many things from the 80’s do, but it was something we seriously felt.  I went to SOCAD to escape from what my friends had dubbed the green screen scene, working for a software R&D company after finishing my degree at the University of Waterloo.  At the end of every day I would shut down that monitor connected to the WANG mainframe and wonder what my hands had accomplished for the day.  With nothing tangible to show for my time I started to daydream about becoming a furniture maker.  Fortunately, a SOCAD student could try out two different studios in the first semester, and after learning that I had no patience for the premeditated thousandth of an inch of wood, and that glass seemed a living, breathing spontaneous material that exuded passion and wore that passion on its sleeve, I was smitten.  Not to mention the slightly forbidden late night hot shop sessions, the loud music, and well you get the idea.  Seduction was how it played out and our intrepid leader Daniel Crichton did nothing to dissuade us of this notion.

 

Brad was our interviewee June 2011:  http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/june-member-interview-outgoing-gaac-president-brad-copping/206457369391815

 

Copping, Brad.  Carved Candlesticks (2008), blown, carved, sand etched glass.  Tallest H 15 x D 3.25 inches. (photo by artist)

Copping, Brad.  Carved Candlesticks (2008), blown, carved, sand etched glass. Tallest H 15 x D 3.25 inches. (photo by artist)

 

 

Julia Reimer, former GAAC president, 2008 RBC Award for Glass Recipient: Noticing the way light played on the ice on the river. I remember as a youth walking over the Louise Bridge in Calgary on some semi-frosty day and just being in awe of the layers of ice and how shadow and light played on them and the beauty of the reflections of this in the water.

 

Julia was our interviewee July 2013:  http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/july-member-interview-julia-reimer/544230958947786

 

Reimer, Julia. Cocoon (2012), blown glass

Reimer, Julia. Cocoon (2012), blown glass

 

Cali Balles, 2009 RBC Award for Glass Recipient: I was initially drawn to glass because of its sculptural diversity. I still love that glass can be molded into very rigid forms or used loosely and organically.  I was also excited by how well it mixed with other materials. When I began working with glass at OCAD, I was also working in the textile and jewelry studios, so my first pieces combined these materials. With my limited glass skills, I was able to create work with very simple clear glass elements (I still do this today).

 

Cali was our interviewee April 2012:  http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/april- member-interview-cali-balles/353897851314432

 

Balles, Cali. Infrastructure 3 – detail (2010), acrylic on canvas and blown glass, 24.5” x 27.95”. (photo credit: Kevin Hedley)

Balles, Cali. Infrastructure 3 – detail (2010), acrylic on canvas and blown glass, 24.5” x 27.95”. (photo credit: Kevin Hedley)

 

 

Brad Turner, 2013 RBC Award for Glass Recipient:  Y’know, I imagine I got into glass the same way a lot of others have – by going to school for something else.  At ACAD, I planned on entering into Illustration and Visual Communications, but it was a first year Intro to Glass class with Tyler Rock that sealed my fate.  Having come from an earlier background in kinesiology, it was most likely the physicality and challenge of the process that hooked me initially.  Not that I want to discount the creative potential of the material, but all mediums hold equal potential.  Some are just less tapped.

Brad was our interviewee September 2011: http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of- canada/september-member-interview-brad-turner/243535349017350

 

Turner, Brad. Elevated Balance #5 (2011), assembled hand blown glass, polished stainless steel, 40.94” x 14.17” x 7.88”

Turner, Brad. Elevated Balance #5 (2011), assembled hand blown glass, polished stainless steel, 40.94” x 14.17” x 7.88”

 

 

Teresa Burrows, 2010 RBC Award for Glass Finalist: As an artist, I always believe things happen for a reason. Glass is simply one of the media that allows me to express my particular vision and interests. I trained as a printmaker, worked as a painter for years, but have always done works of what I call a pastiche process. I have images and sometimes they are expressed as photographs, paintings, mixed media. Glass has become a part of my way, my expressions.

 

Teresa was our interviewee May, 2012:  http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of- canada/may-member-interview-teresa-burrows/374901265880757

 

Burrows, Teresa. Mystery Lake Siren -in progress detail (2012), glass beadwork, 9"x13", created with assistance of MAC grant

Burrows, Teresa. Mystery Lake Siren -in progress detail (2012), glass beadwork, 9″x13″, created with assistance of MAC grant

 

 

Sarah Hall: I fell in love with stained glass when I was a kid.  I was enchanted by how the patterns of light and colour inside a building created an other-worldly, magical place set apart from ordinary life. I decided at nine years of age to “make windows” when I grew up.

 

Sarah was our interviewee February 2011:  http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of- canada/february-member-interview-sarah-hall/180009155369970

 

Hall, Sarah. Golden Letter (2006), airbrushed and painted glass with gold and copper leaf, 25’ x 22’, Embassy of Kuwait, Ottawa, Ontario

Hall, Sarah. Golden Letter (2006), airbrushed and painted glass with gold and copper leaf, 25’ x 22’, Embassy of Kuwait, Ottawa, Ontario

 

 

Bling Squared Glass:

Neacol: Watching hot glass work has always intrigued and excited me.  Once I got my hands on it, I knew no other material would ever be so magical, challenging and satisfying ever again.

Stanley: When I was around 24, I fell in love with colour. When I was young, I liked mechanics, writing and music but working in set decorating and prop building for film opened my eyes to the beauty of colour. It also opened my eyes to materials in general because of that exposure.

 

Bling Squared Glass was our interviewee September 2012:  http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/september-member-interview-bling-squared-glass/425797920791091

 

Bling Squared, date unknown

Bling Squared, date unknown

 

 

Ben Goodman:  Partly a chance course selection when I started my studies at the Ontario College of Art in the early1980s, and partly influenced by my “day job” at the time, which was working for a large Canadian glass manufacturer. So I already had exposure to the magic of the glass forming process, albeit on a very large, commercial scale. Working at a micro studio level, where the aesthetics of the process were all important, was a fascinating transition.

 

Ben was our interviewee August 2013:  http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/august-member-interview-ben-goodman/558790307491851

 

Goodman, Ben. Homage to the Land (2010), slumped/blown glass, found wood, lumber, cutlery, chairs, 30"H x 30"W x 88"L

Goodman, Ben. Homage to the Land (2010), slumped/blown glass, found wood, lumber, cutlery, chairs, 30″H x 30″W x 88″L

 

To view more of our monthly member interviews, visit the Glass Art Association of Canada’s Facebook group page under the notes section:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Glass-Art-Association-of-Canada/89639673869?id=89639673869&sk=notes

 

 

Rétrospective de novembre 2013 : interview des membres de la GAAC

Par Diana Fox

 

À l’origine, ces interviews ont été publiées sur la page Facebook de l’Association du verre d’art du Canada, le 30 novembre 2013 : https://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/november-member-interview-retrospective/603143609723187.

En l’honneur de la 3e année d’existence de ces interviews de la GAAC,  nous nous sommes penchés sur la façon dont la plupart de nos membres ont débuté leur carrière de verrier. Voici donc la réponse des membres à la question : 

Qu’est-ce qui vous a  porté à choisir le verre comme matériau artistique principal ? 

 

Steve Tippin, président actuel de la GAAC : J’ai été attiré par le verre grâce à mon expérience en imprimerie et en sculpture. Pour moi, le verre représentait l’équilibre parfait entre les deux. C’est aussi un matériau qui réagit avec constance et qui me permet d’isoler et d’expérimenter des variables spécifiques dans mon processus de travail.

 

Interview de Steve en juin 2013: http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/june- member-interview-incoming-gaac-president-steven-tippin/527989217238627

 

Tippin, Steven. Steven Tippin loading a large kiln.

Tippin, Steven. Steven Tippin loading a large kiln.

 

 

Jamie Gray, ancienne présidente de la GAAC : Eh bien au départ, c’était ce qui nous attire tous au moins, c’est à dire la façon dont la lumière entre en contact avec le verre. J’ai été séduite par les différents effets qu’on pouvait obtenir selon que le verre soit éclairé par un clair de lune, la lueur d’une bougie, la lumière du jour, un néon ou n’importe quelle autre source de lumière. C’est comme si le verre était vivant. On dirait qu’il évolue visuellement en fonction d’un nombre de facteurs infini. Cela m’a toujours intriguée. Dans mes quelques 20 années d’expérience, j’ai aussi appris à apprécier le fait que le verre soit un très bon moyen pour réaliser des pièces conceptuelles. Ses différentes caractéristiques : fragilité, malléabilité, luminosité, etc.,  peuvent être employées à bon escient pour nous aider à communiquer une idée.

 

Interview de Jamie en juillet 2011: http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/july-member-interview-new-gaac-president-jamie-gray/214307905273428

 

Gray, Jamie. Redeemed (2011), applied glass; thrift shop chair, mirror, silicon, 3’ x 2’ x 2.5’

Gray, Jamie. Redeemed (2011), applied glass; thrift shop chair, mirror, silicon, 3’ x 2’ x 2.5’

 

 

Brad Copping, ancien président de la GAAC : Plusieurs personnes qui sont allées à l’atelier verrier de l’ancien Sheridan College School of Crafts and Design, à la fin des années 80, parlaient de leur attrait pour le verre à chaud. Cela paraît surement assez banal maintenant, comme bien des choses provenant des années 80, mais c’était quelque chose que nous voulions vraiment pratiquer. Je me suis inscrit à la SOCAD pour échapper à ce que mes amis surnommaient le monde de l’écran vert, qui consistait à travailler pour une entreprise de développement informatique et obtenir mon diplôme de l’University of Waterloo. Chaque jour, j’éteignais mon écran relié à l’unité centrale WANG et je me demandais ce que j’avais bien pu accomplir de mes dix doigts dans la journée. Rien n’était suffisamment concret pour justifier tout ce temps et j’ai commencé à fantasmer sur l’idée de devenir menuisier. Fort heureusement, les étudiants entrant à la SOCAD pouvaient essayer au premier semestre deux ateliers différents. Après m’être rendu compte que je n’avais aucune patience pour le calcul anticipé du bois au millième de cm près, et en voyant le côté vivant du verre, ce matériau spontané, respirant la passion jusque dans son nom, j’ai eu un coup de cœur. Sans oublier les sessions d’atelier nocturnes interdites, la musique forte, bref, vous aurez compris. Cette impression de séduction constante flottait en permanence et notre guide intrépide, Daniel Crichton, n’a rien fait pour nous en détourner.

 

Interview de Brad en juin 2011: http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/june-member-interview-outgoing-gaac-president-brad-copping/206457369391815

 

Copping, Brad.  Carved Candlesticks (2008), blown, carved, sand etched glass.  Tallest H 15 x D 3.25 inches. (photo by artist)

Copping, Brad.  Carved Candlesticks (2008), blown, carved, sand etched glass. Tallest H 15 x D 3.25 inches. (photo by artist)

 

 

Julia Reimer, ancienne présidente de la GAAC, lauréate RBC 2008, récipients de verre : En remarquant la façon dont la lumière jouait avec la glace sur la rivière. Je me revois, étant jeune, marcher sur le Louise Bridge à Calgary par un jour de givre et d’être en admiration devant les couches de glace, la façon dont les ombres et la lumière jouaient avec elles et la beauté de leur reflet dans l’eau.

 

Interview de Julia en juillet 2013: http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/july-member-interview-julia-reimer/544230958947786

 

Reimer, Julia. Cocoon (2012), blown glass

Reimer, Julia. Cocoon (2012), blown glass

 

Cali Balles, lauréate RBC 2009, récipients de verre : Au début, j’ai été attirée par le verre à cause de sa multitude de possibilités d’être sculpté. J’aime toujours autant sa capacité à être façonné dans des formes très rigides ou bien à être employé de manière totalement libre et naturelle. J’ai aussi été attirée par la façon dont il se mêlait à merveille à d’autres matériaux. Lorsque j’ai commencé à travailler le verre à l’OCAD, je travaillais aussi dans des ateliers de textiles et de fabrication de bijoux. Ainsi, j’ai pu combiner tous ces matériaux dans mes premières pièces. Avec mes compétences limitées en verre, j’ai pu réaliser des pièces à base d’éléments très simples en verre translucide (et je le fais encore aujourd’hui).

 

Interview de Cali en avril 2012: http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/april- member-interview-cali-balles/353897851314432

 

Balles, Cali. Infrastructure 3 – detail (2010), acrylic on canvas and blown glass, 24.5” x 27.95”. (photo credit: Kevin Hedley)

Balles, Cali. Infrastructure 3 – detail (2010), acrylic on canvas and blown glass, 24.5” x 27.95”. (photo credit: Kevin Hedley)

 

Brad Turner, lauréat RBC 2013, récipients de verre : Vous savez, je pense que j’en suis venu au verre de la même façon que beaucoup d’entre nous, en voulant étudier et pratiquer autre chose. À l’ACAD, je voulais étudier en Communications visuelles et illustrations, mais il y a eu ce cours d’introduction au verre en première année avec Tyler Rock qui a scellé mon destin. De par mon ancienne formation en kinésiologie, c’est très probablement l’aspect physique ainsi que la complexité des procédés qui m’ont séduit au départ. Non que le potentiel créatif du matériau ne soit pas important, mais il est équivalent dans le travail de tous les matériaux. Certains sont justes un peu moins percutants.

 

Interview de Brad en septembre 2011: http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of- canada/september-member-interview-brad-turner/243535349017350

 

Turner, Brad. Elevated Balance #5 (2011), assembled hand blown glass, polished stainless steel, 40.94” x 14.17” x 7.88”

Turner, Brad. Elevated Balance #5 (2011), assembled hand blown glass, polished stainless steel, 40.94” x 14.17” x 7.88”

 

 

Teresa Burrows, lauréate RBC 2010, finaliste verre : En tant qu’artiste, j’ai toujours pensé que tout arrive pour une raison. Le verre est simplement l’un de ces matériaux qui me permet d’exprimer ma propre vision des choses et de mes centres d’intérêts. J’ai étudié l’imprimerie et j’ai travaillé en tant que peintre pendant des années, mais j’ai toujours eu cette impression de réaliser des œuvres par processus d’imitation. Parfois j’exprime mes visions à l’aide de photos, de peintures ou d’autres matériaux. Le verre est devenu une partie de ma façon d’être, mon moyen d’expression.

 

Interview de Teresa en mai 2012 : http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/may-member-interview-teresa-burrows/374901265880757

 

Burrows, Teresa. Mystery Lake Siren -in progress detail (2012), glass beadwork, 9"x13", created with assistance of MAC grant

Burrows, Teresa. Mystery Lake Siren -in progress detail (2012), glass beadwork, 9″x13″, created with assistance of MAC grant

 

 

Sarah Hall : Je suis tombée amoureuse du vitrail quand j’étais petite. J’étais envoutée par la façon dont les motifs colorés et lumineux parvenaient à créer dans le bâtiment une atmosphère magique, un monde à part, loin de la vie ordinaire. À l’âge de neuf ans, j’ai décidé que, plus tard, « je fabriquerai des fenêtres ».

 

Interview de Sarah en février 2011 http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of- canada/february-member-interview-sarah-hall/180009155369970

 

Hall, Sarah. Golden Letter (2006), airbrushed and painted glass with gold and copper leaf, 25’ x 22’, Embassy of Kuwait, Ottawa, Ontario

Hall, Sarah. Golden Letter (2006), airbrushed and painted glass with gold and copper leaf, 25’ x 22’, Embassy of Kuwait, Ottawa, Ontario

 

Bling Squared Glass :

Neacol : Observer le travail de souffleur de verre m’a toujours intrigué et fasciné. Quand j’ai enfin pu essayer, j’ai compris qu’aucun autre matériau ne serait jamais aussi magique et ne m’apporterait autant de défis et de satisfaction que celui-là.

Stanley : À 24 ans, je suis tombé amoureux de la couleur. Quand j’étais jeune, j’aimais la mécanique, l’écriture et la musique, mais en travaillant dans les décors et accessoires pour le cinéma, j’ai pris conscience de la beauté de la couleur. Par le biais de cette révélation, cela m’a aussi ouvert les yeux sur les différents matériaux.

 

Interview de Bling Squared Glass en septembre 2012 : http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/september-member-interview-bling-squared-glass/425797920791091

 

Bling Squared, date unknown

Bling Squared, date unknown

 

 

Ben Goodman : C’est en partie dû à une affaire de chance lorsque j’ai commencé à étudier à l’Ontario College of Arts au début des années 80, et également en partie grâce à l’influence de mon petit boulot de l’époque où je travaillais pour un grand fabriquant de verre canadien. J’étais donc déjà sensible à la magie du processus de création du verre, quoiqu’à une échelle beaucoup plus large et commerciale. Le fait de travailler dans un atelier à bien plus petite échelle a été une transition fascinante, où la réalisation esthétique de toutes les étapes était d’importance égale.

 

Interview de Ben en août 2013 : http://www.facebook.com/notes/glass-art-association-of-canada/august-member-interview-ben-goodman/558790307491851

 

Goodman, Ben. Homage to the Land (2010), slumped/blown glass, found wood, lumber, cutlery, chairs, 30"H x 30"W x 88"L

Goodman, Ben. Homage to the Land (2010), slumped/blown glass, found wood, lumber, cutlery, chairs, 30″H x 30″W x 88″L

 

 

Pour lire d’autre interviews des membres, rendez-vous sur la page Facebook de l’Association du verre d’art du Canada sous le lien : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Glass-Art-Association-of-Canada/89639673869?id=89639673869&sk=notes

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Five Questions for Every Maker

November 14, 2013

By Matthew Dalton

 

I’ve long held the view that we’re all Makers; some of us just choose different labels. With that basic idea, I decided to interview the exhibitors at the most recent Mini Maker Faire in Vancouver (2013).

I spoke with makers, crafters, quilters, coders, hackers, animators, glass blowers, stone workers, growers, and an assortment of other self-described individuals. I asked each of them five very general, very open-ended questions with the hope that they would all have useful advice for anyone inside or outside of their discipline.

 

The following are two links:  one to the short versions of the interviews (about 4 minutes each), and one to the long versions (about 16 minutes each).

 

Short versions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnIQM4hTdNU&list=PLSwASWX1KwYyEXehP0k0pX2q4keoDY5E5

Long versions:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jths5uhWito&list=PLSwASWX1KwYzNBF1VdR-tfMYUZ2p08Yv5

 

Matthew A. Dalton is currently working on his Masters degree in the School of Interactive Arts and Design at Simon Fraser University.  His previous jobs include avionics technician with the USAF, engineering intern at “Make: Magazine”, community manager with Instructables, and diver for San Francisco’s Aquarium of the Bay.  Matthew received a Bachelors of Arts from San Francisco State University in Conceptual/Information Arts.  With Jacob A. Rogers, Dalton created http://rndmedialabs.com/.

 

 

Cinq questions à tous les Créateurs
Par Matthew Dalton

 

J’ai depuis longtemps la conviction que nous sommes tous des créateurs même si certains le décrivent en d’autres termes. Partant de cette idée, j’ai décidé d’aller interroger les exposants de la dernière Mini Maker Fair de Vancouver (2013).

 

J’y ai rencontré créateurs, artisans, brodeurs, programmeurs, informaticiens, animateurs, souffleurs de verre, tailleurs, producteurs et autres individus autoproclamés diverses. A chacun d’entre eux, j’ai posé cinq questions très générales et très ouvertes dans l’espoir qu’ils m’apportent des conseils utiles à quiconque étranger à leur domaine.

 

Voici ci-dessous deux liens : l’un pour une version courte des interviews (environ 4 minutes chacun) et l’autre pour une version longue (environ 16 minutes chacun)

 

Versions courtes :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnIQM4hTdNU&list=PLSwASWX1KwYyEXehP0k0pX2q4keoDY5E5

Versions longues :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jths5uhWito&list=PLSwASWX1KwYzNBF1VdR-tfMYUZ2p08Yv5

 

Matthew A.Dalton prépare actuellement un diplôme Master à la School of Interactive Arts and Design de Simon Fraser University. Dans ses  emplois précédents, il a été  technicien aérien pour l’USAF, apprenti ingénieur à « Make Magazine », administrateur réseaux chez Instructables et plongeur à l’Aquarium of the Bay de San Francisco. Matthieu est diplômé d’un Bachelor of Arts de la San Francisco State University en Conceptual/Information Arts. Avec Jacob A. Rogers, Dalton a créé http://rndmedialabs.com/.

 

 

 

 

 

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FOREIGN OBJECTS 来客 – A Solo Exhibition of Blown and Sculpted Glass

June 15, 2013

by Malcolm Macfadyen

Tittot Glass Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

October 18 2012 to April 18 2013

The year 2012 was a big one for me.  With the end of the world imminent, I finally pulled off my first solo exhibition after 23 years of practice.

I took an ESL teaching certificate in 2002, and visited China and Taiwan for the first time in 2004.  In Taiwan I received a warm welcome from my teaching colleagues.

We checked out the tittot Glass Museum in Taipei.  The tittot Company (www.tittot.com) is a major player in the production of “Liuli” lost wax Chinese Style glass sculpture.  Based in Taipei, their production facility is now in Shanghai.  Their former factory in Taipei was re-invented in 1997 as a Museum for their work and for their considerable permanent collection from artists worldwide.

I continued to correspond with the staff at the museum but it was not until 2011 that things really began to heat up!  My friend Patrick Liao invited me to his hometown of Hsinchu, the historical “Glass City” of Taiwan.  He contacted local artist Joy Huang who, in turn, invited me to give a lecture and demonstration at the Hsinchu Glass Museum.  Ryan Staub of Seattle also presented his exquisite Venetian style work, which he then exhibited at tittot in 2011/12.  Through the Glass Art Association of Taiwan (GAAT), one overseas artist is invited to exhibit at the tittot Museum for six months every year.  I was honoured to be invited as the first Canadian visiting artist for 2012/13.

So my creative spirit was challenged!  This was to be my first ever solo exhibition, in a non-English speaking country.  Fortunately I have learnt some survival Mandarin in Vancouver, enough to break the ice in public speaking before an interpreter bales me out.  I looked back over my years of glassblowing and picked three series of work that I felt had not been pushed far enough.  I have always been process driven and one series had to stay on the back burner after weeks of experimentation.  But I returned to my “Tree Form” series, which uses sandblasting and fire polishing.

01.Tree Form Chalice #1    32 x 21 x 21 cm  2012  Photo Credit: Doug Jeffery

Tree Form Chalice #1 32 x 21 x 21 cm 2012
Photo Credit: Doug Jeffery

I also developed my “Friendlialiens,” derived from my “Crop Circle” series of the nineties.

I also joined forces with Vancouver artist Tara Pawson, and we had great fun realizing our joint vision of  hot air balloons floating above our heads.

Friendlialiens #14 and #4 with balloon # 11  2012 Photo Credit: Doug Jeffery

Friendlialiens #14 and #4 with balloon # 11 2012
Photo Credit: Doug Jeffery

The whole show “Foreign Objects” slowly took shape as did the friendly interplay between the aliens and balloons.

We blew many of these balloons in a larger studio – Robert Held Art Glass – on weekends when it was peaceful there. We hope to find a space to exhibit this series in Canada one day.

Doug Jeffery designed a printed circuit-based LED lighting system and the whole display was suspended by a custom built aluminum frame.

Malcolm among the balloons Photo Credit: Frank Kung

Malcolm among the balloons
Photo Credit: Frank Kung

Both Doug and Patrick contributed their photographic skills to record the 53 pieces.

The show was flown to Taipei in late September, packed in two huge wooden crates. Again, I had assistance at every step, with packing (thank you Morgan Willowgate), shipping (Locher International) and from the staff at tittot (200 emails to get the details right!) I stepped off the plane on October 5 and it was all safely unpacked and ready to display.

Taipei is a city of constant activity.  I always feel quite energized there, which is fortunate because I taught 25 short glassblowing workshops.

Workshopping at tittot Photo Credit: Frank Kung

Workshopping at tittot
Photo Credit: Frank Kung

I gave a demo, set up the show with tittot staff, and gave presentations at the Museum, and at the tittot head office.

Lai Ke Plate  5 x 31 x 31 cm  2012 Photo Credit: Doug Jeffery

Lai Ke Plate 5 x 31 x 31 cm 2012
Photo Credit: Doug Jeffery

December has now passed, the world did not end, and so I can return as a “Friendlialien” to the official opening hosted by Dr. Heinrich Wang, the Founder of tittot.  The Mandarin title for the show is “Lai Ke” meaning “welcome guest from outside”.  It dissolves away any feelings of alienation that we are all prone to from time to time.  The fire polished title plate I hope gives permanence to this vision.

Many thanks to those already mentioned, as well as the tittot staff for their wholehearted support of this exhibition: Mr Wang, Winnie, Willa, Chloe, Hu Na, Frank, Imo, and Gary.

Malcolm and Tara at RHAG Photo Credit: Anonymous

Malcolm and Tara at RHAG
Photo Credit: Anonymous

 

Artist Bio:

In 1973, I emigrated from England as an Engineering Geologist, before settling in Vancouver with my wife, Valerie, in 1977.  I started with stained glass in 1985, and became enamoured with glassblowing in 1989.  My first career wound down in the nineties as I slowly learnt the art from my friends at New-Small and Sterling Studio Glass, and Andrighetti Glassworks.  I built a mobile studio in 1997 and, when not on the road with my “Totally Amazing Glass” show, I make work and teach one-day workshops from my backyard space.  http://www.glasscraft.param.mobi/

07. Foreign Objects

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Le verre, c’est…

« Qu’est-ce que c’est le verre, pour vous? »

Chaque année, notre professeur d’histoire du verre nous pose la question.  Et chaque année, les réponses obtenues sont très personnelles, très différentes les unes des autres.  Nous avons eu envie d’en partager quelques unes avec vous.

Le verre pour nous, étudiants d’Espace VERRE, c’est…

« C’est un grand luxe – le luxe de s’offrir ce qu’on a vraiment envie de faire.  Le verre me fascine.  Je veux m’approcher de sa complexité comme on s’approche d’un bébé qui dort.  Sur la pointe des pieds et avec une douce palpitation devant tant de beauté.  Le luxe, à l’état pur. »  – Maryse Chartrand

« C’t’une affaire ben compliquée, mais que pourtant j’adore par-dessus tout.  Tu t’brûles, tu stresses, tu capotes, c’est juste n’importe quoi.  C’est à la fois frustrant et passionnant, rempli d’émotions qui mutent constamment. » – Émie Deguire

« C’est l’avenue que j’ai choisie pour exprimer ma marginalité face à la société bureaucratique dans laquelle on baigne.  Derrière toute la beauté et la transparence du verre, il y a un côté rebelle à vouloir dompter une matière aussi entêtée. »  – David Frigon-Lavoie

« C’est une grande allégorie de l’expérience humaine.  La tendre enfance telle une première cueillette, libre encore.  La chaleur maternelle du réchaud, la mailloche paternelle.  Et puis tous les aléas de la vie qui vous façonnent petit à petit, chacun laissant au passage sa trace d’outil. »  – Amélie Girard

« C’est comme de l’eau qui coule et s’arrête pour l’éternité. »  – Renata Hruskova

« C’est la magie : magie de la transformation du matériau, magie de la création, magie de la découverte.  Avec le verre, je peux créer des histoires qui n’avaient encore jamais été racontées. »  – Elena Udvud

Les étudiants et professeurs d'Espace VERRE rassemblés pour les présentations de fin de session, 19 décembre 2012. (English) :The students and teachers of Espace VERRE gathered for the end of term presentation day, December 19th 2012.

Les étudiants et professeurs d’Espace VERRE rassemblés pour les présentations de fin de session, 19 décembre 2012.
(English) : The students and teachers of Espace VERRE gathered for the end of term presentation day, December 19th 2012.

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