Tell us about yourself!
My name is Emily Williams and I am currently located in Chesapeake, Virginia. As an educator and sculptor, I have taught and used many different types of sculpture materials such as metal casting, metal welding, and wood assemblage. In 2007, I began glass casting and refractory mold making, but eventually moved on to a more spontaneous form of work using small glass hand torches.
What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I love drawing in space with borosilicate glass rods and small hand torches. This process of using glass hand torches was an easy fit since I have a background using metal torches.
The huge difference for me was the luminous glow of the glass itself! The hand torch combined with borosilicate glass allows for a free form approach to glass form that is limitless in its possibilities.
What themes do you pursue in your work?
The last several years I have been drawn to forms and structures found in the natural world. My glass sculptures might reveal the chaotic branch patterns of a nest, the veining in a petal form or the streaming flow of water. The most challenging glass forms I have made explore the structural patterns found in brain corals, plate corals and fan corals. The clear borosilicate glass lends a ghostly presence to these endangered reef forms.
What is your dream project?
My dream art project would be a glass installation that might take several months to complete. For several years, I have wanted to build glass environments especially ones incorporating suspended glass lit forms. Ideally I would like to work as a resident artist. This would allow me the opportunity to work with all types of students and engage them in an exciting collaborative glass process.
If you weren’t working in this field, what career would you choose?
If I had to choose another career outside of fine arts, I would be involved in historical preservation and architectural restoration. As an undergrad at V.C.U I took a number of art conservation courses. We learned about the restoration of painting, sculpture and architecture.
Most people don’t know it but I am a painter. I started out in the Painting and Printmaking Department at V.C.U. (then went into V.C.U. Sculpture)! I love the spontaneous process of drawing and the building up of line patterns. I see my hand torched glass sculptures as a form of drawing in space.
Why are you a member of GAS?
I belong to the Glass Art Society because I think it’s the best darn thing out there! In one GAS conference you can take a way a lifetime of knowledge from the most experienced people working in glass today. GAS is dedicated to the art of glass, supporting educational programs and connecting glass people around the world-that’s important to me!
To learn more about Emily Williams, or to see more of her work, go here.