Tell us about yourself!
Hi! My name is Carissa Baktay and I am a Canadian artist currently working in Reykjavik, Iceland. I started working with glass in 2008 and am constantly, and greedily, trying to accumulate new experiences that renew my relationship with the complex material. I’ve had the honor and pleasure of living and working in many countries; Canada, USA, Italy, Portugal, Norway and now Iceland, and the change of scenery always seems to inspire new paths and methodologies within my practice.
What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
What isn’t seductive about working with glass?! Originally I started blowing glass as an anecdote to my painting practice. I was looking for something more physical, something that I could feel through and understand spatially with my whole body. Early on I developed a bit of a fetish for technique that has since transformed into a preoccupation with testing the limits of the material and using processing techniques borrowed from other industries. Recently I have been creating makeshift spinning wheels and lathes and working with fibre optics.
What themes do you pursue in your work?
I am instinctual maker and my work is the residue of my process. The core of my recent body of work is an attempt to understand and to make material my memories of landscape (place) and home (body). Through a process of bodily knowledge and the understanding of a material through time and physical play, the ritual of making intensifies my emotional connection with the material.
What is your dream project?
Recently I have been working on large scale pieces using horse hair, and my dream project would be to experiment on this same scale with glass. I have been exploring forms and testing the limits of glass thread and I’d love to continue that with the possibility to work freely without size or equipment restriction. Having undivided access to a studio with a furnace, lathe, hoists and metal shop would be the ultimate space to create.
If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
I think I would return to the fitness industry so I could continue working with my body in creative and playful ways. I don’t think that I survive without creating in some way or another, whether it is sewing, drawing or dance.
Why are you a member of GAS?
I am a member of GAS because of the unique community of international peers that share their years of experience and wealth of information. I think it is magical in the hyper competitive virtual age we live in to find such inspiring and unbiased community with which to lift, and be lifted.
For more information about Carissa, or to see more of her work, go to her GAS Member Profile.