GAS Member Monday

MEMBER MONDAY: GAYLE FORMAN

posted on 8:05 AM, August 14, 2017
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Tell us about yourself! 
I am an artist, designer, administrator, and educator with an avid love of frozen treats. I currently live in Norfolk VA, where I am the Program Assistant at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio and a resident artist at Glass Wheel Studio. By a stroke of luck and being in the right place at the right time, I got started in glass at the Pittsburgh Glass Center in my hometown through their SiO2 High School program, and haven't looked back. 

 
What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work
I think that I am drawn to glass because it is a playful material- it talks back to me in frustrating and delightful ways. Glass has also given me a general fascination for any other material that can melt or wiggle, which often drives the process that I choose for a particular project.
 
What themes do you pursue in your work?
I am really intrigued by functionality and imagination/imaginary possibilities- I end up dancing around themes of luxury, desire, vacations, and play most often. 
 
What is your dream project?
If I could build a life size city out of jello that would be a dream. 
 
If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
When I was a kid I had some very specific dreams about what I would grown up to do- I am still hoping to be an olympic figure skater or swimmer (both preferably) and a costume designer. 
 
What's something about you that most people don't know?
I can do the worm. Also, I'm left handed. 
 
Why are you a member of GAS?
The opportunity to work with and share in glass and art with a global community of artists and makers is truly an incredible thing. I think its important to support and participate in dialogue about our field in order to continue learning and evolving. The many people or conversations I've met or had as a result of GAS is invaluable. Thanks for working to maintain and support this community! 
 
See more of Gayle's work here.
 

MEMBER MONDAY: WESLEY FLEMING

posted on 7:45 AM, August 7, 2017
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Tell us about yourself! (Background, name, location, work, how you began working with glass, etc.)
I live and work in the rural hills of western Massachusetts. I'm a flameworker using soda-lime aka “soft glass”. I became interested in glass after buying a handmade glass bead and took my first (furnace work) class through an adult education center. I switched to flameworking after becoming frustrated trying to make my own work, while working for others to get furnace time.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I love the immediacy of glass. I used to do jewelry fabrication and it would take days or even a month to make a finished piece, whereas I can make a nice finished piece of glass in under an hour. That said, some of my more intricate pieces take me a month to make all of the components and assemble them.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
I am inspired by the microcosm of insects and plants in the natural world. I hope to inspire a love in other for these small denizens of the earth, through my portrayal of them in glass.

What is your dream project?
I love making pieces which involve creating and assembling hundreds of tiny components. It’s a complicated and intriguing puzzle, figuring out how to make it all work!

Why are you a member of GAS?
I enjoy attending the GAS conferences when I can. It’s so nice catching up with all of my glassy friends from around the world, whom I rarely get to see. And of course, I usually wind up with a whole new set of friends as well. 

See more of Wesley's work here

 


 

MEMBER MONDAY: PAULA MANDEL

posted on 6:00 AM, July 31, 2017

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Tell us about yourself! 
My name is Paula Mandel and I live right outside my hometown of Philadelphia. I received degrees in Fine Arts (Painting) and Psychology from Temple University. I worked in oils/mixed media for 25 years, creating psychological portraits, never even thinking I would become a sculptor let alone utilize glass in my work. My kids left home and I became a docent at the National Liberty Museum to maintain contact with younger people. I became intrigued with the art form and realized I wanted to learn how to manipulate glass. It felt dangerous and completely different from anything I had done previously as I started taking classes at the age of 50. I got hooked on casting and then became determined to learn every glass technique studying with amazing teachers such as Anna Boothe, Judith Schaechter, Paul Stankard, Jess Julius, Liz Mears, Ken Leap, Lucartha Kohler, and Paul Demarco. I merged my love for trash-picking with my fascination with old defunct machinery and began combining these found objects with my glasswork to give them structure and movement.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work? 
I have always loved miniatures and toys. I started playing around with the glass parts I created (thank you Jess Julius!!) along with the mechanical parts I scavenged and they started to speak to each other and fit together. As I continue to play, the evolving idea drives the method of glass I use. I can decide to cast, flamework, fuse, cold-work or use stained glass techniques and even painting and drawing techniques as each piece develops depending on the direction it starts to take.

What themes do you pursue in your work? 
My themes tend to derive from personal experiences with the hope that they become universal connectors. My sculptures are mostly interactive and center around being a woman, a mother, and in relationships with titles such as “Push-Me, Pull-You”, “Keeping It together”, “Lookout” and “Prophesy”. My grandmother, mother, daughter and I all sew and that metaphor seems to show up in my work as well. My love of music has led me to utilize musical instruments and their cases as a foundation for the newest pieces.

What is your dream project? 
As far as my personal art goes, my dream project would be to have some of my sculptures enlarged bigger than life-size in bronze so that they became interactive in a monumental way. I would love to see people playing with and hanging all over my work!

In addition, I have always reached out into the community with my skills and that has led to another goal of utilizing art to help at-risk teens. I co-founded an after-school program for underserved high school students in Philadelphia called The Stained Glass Project: Windows That Open Doors with fellow artist Joan Myerson Shrager. We mentor students while teaching them to design and fabricate stained glass windows. The windows are donated to schools around the world that have had to overcome difficult circumstances (Philadelphia, South Africa, New Orleans, Ojibwe reservation). We are entering our 12th year and received the first annual “Inspiration Award” from the American Glass Guild. Not only have the students’ lives been enriched and transformed, but so have the mentors’. We have seen art enrich the maker and the viewer while bringing people together in understanding and appreciation of one another. My dream is for other artists around the world to become inspired by our work and start their own programs. Contact me, I will gladly mentor you!

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose? 
I consider myself a maker and would be in a different creative field.

What's something about you that most people don't know? 
I love music in all it’s iterations. I sing in a rock/blues band called the “Hip Replacements”.

Why are you a member of GAS?
I feel isolated working alone in my studio. GAS offers me a community with which to collaborate. In addition, it gives me connections to other artists, ideas and opportunities that enable me to move forward with my work in unexpected ways.

See more of Paula's work here

 


 

MEMBER MONDAY: DEBRA RUZINSKY

posted on 10:49 AM, July 24, 2017

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Tell us about yourself!
I am a glass artist and educator, living in the woods of Smithville, Tennessee.  I serve as Director of the Appalachian Center for Craft, part of Tennessee Tech University, which, for nearly 40 years, has been devoted to teaching fine craft in glass, metals, clay, wood, and fiber.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
When I was an undergrad at the University of California at Los Angeles, a friend encouraged me to take a glass class and I was instantly hooked. There it was my tremendous good fortune to learn to blow glass from Dick Marquis. He introduced us to many prominent artists in the field at a time when Bullseye Glass was creating its first tested-compatible glass formulas and when New Glass Review #1 was just coming out.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
At first I was drawn to the physicality of blowing glass—to the movement and challenge and immediacy of it all. Over time, my focus has shifted to kiln work, using lost wax and mold-making in slower, more deliberate ways, to carve out sculptural works that explore opacity and translucence, delving into ideas about belief, and the mutability of identity.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
My professional life is steeped in craft -- and living as a maker has led me to surprising places. I’ve built robots for music videos, carved landscapes and built cityscapes for commercials, met Harold Ramis while making a super-sized clock for the movie Groundhog Day. I worked with talented teams to create new lands and rides for theme parks in the US, Japan, Hong Kong, and Paris. I continued my education at RISD, Pilchuck, Penland, Corning, Pittsburgh Glass Center, and later at RIT, to ultimately earn an MFA in glass. I was fortunate to travel as an AIR to Seto Japan, and later, to Boda Glasbruk, Sweden, as part of a group of international glass artist members of the Glass Heap Challenge. The collaborative experience in Sweden was particularly inspiring and has motivated me to reach out to create future collaborative projects with fellow artists.

Why are you a member of GAS?
I am a member of GAS because, at this point in my life, GAS is like my extended family. I’ve been going to conferences for years, made wonderful friends, and have volunteered in a variety of capacities.  I am a past member of the media committee, having devoted time to conference calls and planning and interviewing and writing many articles for GASNews. Since the Norfolk conference, I am excited to be working with a wonderful new group comprised of glass art organizations devoted to serving youth and creating opportunities for underserved populations. We are developing this as a subset of the Education committee.  

GAS is the nexus for making and sharing great happenings in our field! My life is richer when I am an active and engaged as a member of this community.


See more of Debra's work here

 


 

MEMBER MONDAY: LIESL SCHUBEL

posted on 8:49 AM, July 17, 2017
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Moon Study II (Lamp Black) Photo courtesy of the artist

Tell us about yourself!
I am an artist, administrator of other peoples art, and material technician in my professional practice. I am also an amateur writer, runner, gardener, biker, reality singing competition aficionado, and dancer. I am currently working as the Education Coordinator at UrbanGlass, an arts non-profit in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, a position I took in September of last year. I was born in Scarborough, Ontario, and have lived largely in rural areas or small cities before my time in New York, and I expect this new, concrete landscape to have a significant impact on my work. 

What themes do you pursue in your work?
In my solo practice, I am constructing a body of work built upon romantic gesture, structural failure, and the necessity of instability. Centered around an acute awareness of gravity, my collage, sculpture, and performance proposes that a questionable foundation may be the best to build upon. I am also a member of Flock the Optic, a three-goose collective formed in 2014 with Abram Deslauriers and David King. Our explorations are focused on cyclical patterns, like those found in goose migration, optics, ferris wheels, life cycles, mazes, looping beats, seasons, the digestive system, the color wheel, and many more.

If you weren’t working in this field, what career would you choose?
I feel astoundingly lucky to have been a conscious enough 16 year old to recognize the importance and vitality of art in this world, and to decide to educate and devote myself to it. The historical precedent, back to the most ancient version of ourselves, tells us that art is engrained in humanity, and I do not see another path for myself. 15 year old Liesl, however, had potential futures as a massage therapist, butcher, nurse, or physicist.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I use whatever material/process/physical force/body needed in order to communicate my ideas. My practice, and the practice I have with Flock the Optic, rely heavily on brain storms, material investigation, understanding the properties of materials and the historical weight of using them, and the application of those thoughts and realities to my own uses. This is the way I use glass, as a medium that is ubiquitous in our culture, has architectural, domestic, and historical significance, and is an endless mystery to investigate in its molten state. 

What’s something about you that most people don’t know?
I have a freckle patch on my left thigh in the shape of the big dipper. Macro/micro/body investigations.

Why are you a member of GAS?
Glass has shaped the course of my life, as a student, artist, and arts professional. It has done so as a material, but also as a community builder. It is a medium that brings the most incredible, kind, strange and talented people to the forefront, and I continue to be a member of GAS to engage with this community, and for the opportunities to connect, such as this one. Thank you. 

 See more of Liesl's work here

 


  

MEMBER MONDAY: SAMAN KALANTARI

posted on 10:05 AM, July 10, 2017
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Tell us about yourself! (Background, name, location, work, how you began working with glass, etc.)
My name is Saman Kalantari and I was born and grew up in Shiraz ,the  sixth-most-populous city of my country and one of the oldest cities of ancient Persia now called Iran. In 2004, I moved to Italy and I have been living in Bolzano in south Tyrol at the northern part of Italy, a mix of Austrian-Italian culture. I work in Museion, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Bolzano.
 
What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
Honestly I work with different mediums and glass is one of them. I came across glass by accident. In 2005, I entered into a gallery to visit an exhibition which was organized and curated by Vetroricerca. Later I studied glass for two years and let's say it was a turning point for me because I re-discovered glass as an artistic medium. My country has a very rich tradition of glassmaking. If you have visited the Corning Museum of glass you know what I mean. They have pieces of Persian glass which date back to 500 B.C or more. I remember when I was child there was an small town near Shiraz called Meymand and there where lots of glassblowers who used to work there. I guess what keeps me working with glass is the fact that despite it's beauty and potentiality, this medium occupies a very marginal position in the art world. Even the process I use to create my works is nothing more than collecting found objects and recyclable material, such as paper in garbage and transforming them into glass and art work and placing them inside museums, private collections and galleries.
 
What themes do you pursue in your work?
I try to be a very attentive observer of society and what's happening around me. Themes such as discrimination, taboos from our childhood experiences, the cycle of life and what remains in the margin of a society attract me.
 
What is your dream project?
Since I use sand as molding material to make my glass works, my dream project would be traveling to different beaches around the world and using the sand from there to create my art works. Another dream project is going to Japan during the cherry blossom season and creating some projects that I have in mind there.
 
If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
I have a background as a ceramic artist and potter. I had my own home studio in Iran for almost 10 years. I would be more than happy to work with clay again. Other choices are working as an archeologist or having a job which allows me to be with horses.
 
Why are you a member of GAS?
For me making art is a very individualist practice. Creating artworks is an intimate activity. I don't like to create ghettos of artists or artisans inside the art world, but being a GAS member gave me the chance to connect myself to wonderful people inside that community. In 2014, I gave a Lec-Mo at the GAS Conference in Chicago. I also won the TAG Grant in 2015, thanks to being a member of GAS.
 
See more of Saman's work here.
 

MEMBER MONDAY: JAMES LABOLD

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Tell us about yourself! (Background, name, location, work, how you began working with glass, etc.)

I work in hot glass, neon, mixed media and others materials as well. I've been traveling a lot over the last year for residencies and teaching opportunities, but MY home base is Philadelphia, PA. I started working with glass at Tyler School of Art around 2000. I took the the class on a whim, because it fit into my schedule. About a month later, I changed my major to glass! I had a sort of on again off again relationship with glass for a few years after graduating while I explored other materials, but I kept coming back to glass so I committed and received my MFA in Glass from Ball State University in 2015
 
What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I work with glass because of its versatility and expressive potential, whether casting, blowing, sculpting, or neon, glass always presents exciting new challenges. The mold processes I've been focusing on for the last few years allow me to transform elements of found objects and assemblage into cohesive glass forms.
 
What themes do you pursue in your work?
My glass and mixed media work plays with the confused connections between patriotism, national identity, and mythology in both object based and installation formats. I'm interested in the malleable nature of history and often use architecture as a point of departure for explorations of physical and institutional power structures.
 
If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
I've never had much desire to be anything other than an artist, if I hadn't found glass I would've stuck with sculpture or printmaking, but I still do those too. Maybe I'd be another repressed sculptor working as architect!
 
Why are you a member of GAS?
I'm a member of GAS for the community! It's a great way to connect with other glass artists and keep up to date on what's happening all around the globe. GAS has been a great resource for me and very supportive. And besides the conference always being a blast, it has connected me to artists that have helped me find opportunities to exhibit, teach, and even a residency or two!
 
See more of James' work here
 
 

 

MEMBER MONDAY: JAMES AKERS

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Tell us about yourself! (Background, name, location, work, how you began working with glass, etc.)
I am an Adjunct faculty member at the Chrysler Museum of Art Glass Studio and a neon bender at Riehl Deal Neon in Norfolk, Virginia. I began working with Glass at Alfred University with Fred Tschida. I quickly fell from a love of ceramics into an addiction to glass, video, neon, and later to electricity.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
The amazing community around glass is my biggest push to continue using this magic, optical, gooey, pristine, and crazy material. I am an electrical hacker and neon nerd enthralled with electricity and its artistic potential. Neon allows me to create glass wires that glow bright colors and I tend to embrace the complex and chaotic nature of its display with an explosive "more is more" approach.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
I pursue subversive themes in my work exploring thoughts on consumerism, religion, the mind, and the wonderful phenomena of the electromagnetic, electrical, and acoustic, waves that surround us all by identifying myself with classification that I call a "Waver" (rather than a sculptor or painter). Chaotic, ridiculous, funny, colorful, electric, messy, dangerous and subversive things excite me and I push myself to create the art that I want to see created in the world.

What is your dream project?
My dream project is a large collaborative global group to create "Exhibitable Objects" that reject values of minimalism and professionalism commonly seen in conservative institutions. These crazy, electric, sculptures would flood exhibition spaces and studios globally, overthrowing the dominant conceptual glass art "massaged bubble" and "clear conceptual paperweight" aesthetics and ushering in a zeitgeist of fearless, ceaselessly curious, inventive, and wild, artists and wavers. I dream of hacking the art world, especially the glass art faction.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
All my life I have always wanted to be an artist (dreams do come true!), but if I was not an artist I would probably be working in the food service industry, an engineer, or traveling the world riding the wave of modern day imperialism by teaching English for cash everywhere that I can.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
Some people think of me as this crazy, reckless, mad scientist and that is really only half true. In reality, I have no social life and am constantly working, putting a tremendous amount of research and development into a constant stream of artistic inquiry. If only everything worked the first time!

Why are you a member of GAS?
I am a member of GAS because of that amazing Glass Art community! I cannot find such a supportive community with electrical hackers and the audio circuit bending scene really is not on the same level as the glass artist community is. Glass Art Society conferences are like star trek conventions for glass nerds. They are also like giant family reunions. To all my glassy family out there, see you later! See you at Pilchuck! See you in Norfolk! See you in Texas!
 
See more of James' work here
 
 

 

MEMBER MONDAY: RISE PEACOCK

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Tell us about yourself!
My name is Rïse Peacock and I grew up in Cuba NY. It's a small town in Western NY. I recently graduated with my MFA in Glass and Ceramics from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia PA. I also studied sculpture at both of my undergraduate institutions: Jamestown Community College and Alfred University. I came across glass accidentally when I wasn’t able to get into a painting class that was full at Alfred. The only class available was a glass class, I was totally skeptical and had no idea what I was in for. I was hooked after one day of class.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I am drawn to glass because of its ability to visually record what it has endured physically. This physicality that I notice is the result of how the glass has been handled through process and construction. It is arguable that all materials have this ability, but I truly believe there is a quality specific to glass that is especially intriguing.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
My studio practice will inevitably be influenced by the body. This includes its anatomy, movement, and psychology. Whether or not my audience notices this throughout the entirety of my work it is the foundation of my making and I stand firm within that. 

If you weren’t working in this field, what career would you choose?
I would have been an artist no matter what. Maybe I would have pursued a career in art history? Had I not been introduced to glass, I still would have been creating and / or thinking and writing about art. There really was no other option for me in my mind and in my heart.

What’s something about you that most people don’t know?
I was a competitive lifter for some time and I was a ballet dancer for over 13 years. That combination always seems to crack people up. 

Why are you a member of GAS?
I am a member of GAS because being a member is so much more than feeling like I am in a community. It is a community and it is very much my community. GAS has linked me to a number of artists, colleagues, and dear friends that have been and continue to be my greatest support structure. I am incredibly grateful! 

See more of Rise's work here


  

MEMBER MONDAY: NANCY GONG

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Tell us about yourself!
My name is Nancy Gong. I live and work in Rochester, NY. I came to crafts with early influences from my mother and Asian arts. I came to glass while at SUNY (State University of NY) Empire State College, a college for motivated individuals who in my case wanted a program that was not available. I wrote my own program of studies in various forms of art and craft that was approved after a lengthy period. It is not an easy process. I left after a year due to an accident. I chose not to return because I did not want to pay double tuition for a degree thinking a degree was most necessary in the arts if I was interested in teaching. I was not interested in teaching. I was more interested in creating art. It was double tuition because Empire State College was structured in a way that my course work could include classes within the SUNY for free, but classes else where were an additional cost. I was taking classes at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology), studying with other artists / mentors and exploring learning opportunities presented through introductions made at the Glass Art Society and other glass conferences. That was the beginning of my long affair with learning hands on through intensive workshops with accomplished artists. A design workshop with Narcissus Quagliata in San Francisco had a profound influence on the approach to my art at a young age.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I am attracted to light transmission, color and the textural qualities of glass that combined can reinforce both physical and emotional aspects of a design. I start with the design, then I choose the material and processes that will best express and reinforce my design.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
I tend to focus on energy and spirit of living things.

What is your dream project?
My dream project is one that has an open-ended budget and no parameters that allow me to create a work of art that will be all that it can be, have it be publically or privately embraced and appreciated in a big way for its artistic vision.

If you weren’t working in this field, what career would you choose?
I would explore other cultures and the art that they live with in their daily lives as well as arts indigenous to their culture. I love that art tells us about the people, their customs and their ways of life at a particular time.

What’s something about you that most people don’t know?
I was enrolled in an Executive Secretarial program at a two-year college. It lasted less than one quarter before I quickly realized that this was not a path that was meant for me. I stuck it out for a quarter.  I wanted to love what my chosen career was to be. I realized then that my career would consume well over one third of my life. Then I was close to becoming a printmaker or weaver before connecting with glass as an artistic medium. Little did I know that my profession as an artist would consume nearly two thirds of my daily allowance. No regrets. 

Why are you a member of GAS?
The first GAS conference I attended was at Asilomar State Park. Does anyone have pictures?! What year was that? I think there were only a couple hundred attending and true to form, it was a wild time. It was there I was introduced to Narcissus Quagliata, Paul Marioni, Rich Posner, Dan Fenton, Ed Carpenter, Ray King, Marvin Lipofsky, Henry Halem and Fritz Dreisbach. These folks and others, most of who have stuck with glass and life as artist; they welcomed me as a young artist and helped to open my mind to so many possibilities. I was a member then for those same reasons I am a member today. I am a member of GAS because from early on, I have considered myself open to approaches outside of my traditional base of “stained glass.” My interest is in creating art of my time rather than recreating art of a bygone era. While it is of great value to keep historical art alive; to have those who work in period and historical glass leveraging appreciation of the medium, it wasn’t for me. I have long avoided looking at other 2-d glass artists’ work to keep my work fresh and original. Only now, as the American Glass Guild’s 2017 Conference and Program Chair, am I looking to see what others doing in “flat, architectural art glass.” I am a member of GAS because it keeps me informed of new approaches and processes being applied to the making of glass artwork; there may be possibilities of morphing techniques of application to further build my own vocabulary in the designing of architectural art glass and fine art, or they may spur another thought. It keeps my work fresh. I come away inspired. Besides, I love my glass peeps – they understand me!

Visit Nancy Gong's GAS member profile here


  

MEMBER MONDAY: SHILO PARKER

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Tell us about yourself!
I started melting glass more than 16 years ago with a MAPP torch that orange glow has had me mesmerized by the material ever since. My passion for flameworking glass beads eventually led me to study glassblowing at the University of Nebraska, in my hometown of Kearney. I'm currently part of the Corning Museum of Glass for the Museum's Make Your Own Glass team at The Studio. Continuing my personal work as an independent artist, I sell unique creations throughout the country online also in various museums, shops and galleries.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I have always been somewhat of a pyromaniac. I found glass to be a socially acceptable way to play with fire and be productive. . I'm drawn to the fact that when you start to make something, it literally could be anything in the world that you want to make. The limitless possibilities are what excite me. The physicality of working a large piece out of the furnace. That gets my heart going every time I gather. I love creating on the pipe for it's intensity and immediacy. Working on the torch the intricacy and precision. 

What themes do you pursue in your work?
The continually ongoing theme of exploration and betterment, are the foundation of my work. I try to create work different and unique, compared to the work I have seen, adding various ideas to an established technique. Trying it out and learning what happens along the way. My failures have taught me more than my success has. I enjoy sandblasting my work in various ways to make something that more interesting. Various blasting techniques from brush-blasting a ornament, carving out a lip or area on a vessel, or my favorite; photo sandblaasting! 

What is your dream project?
My dream project would be to build my own studio, with a hot shop. I love to blow glass, melt rods and tubes on the torch, and throw pots on the potters wheel. A complete studio of my own, one that I could open up to the public. Being able to teach classes on what I know to people wanting to learn. While having time for advancement and evolution of my own creations. Filling custom and purchase orders for a growing customer base. In other words, be able to make a living off of my art, pay my bills from it. Wake up and do what I love to do, everyday. Do that and show as many people as I can along the way, the awesomeness of glass!

Why are you a member of GAS?
I am a member of GAS for many reasons, the community, exposure, resources, and opportunities all come to mind. The 2016 GAS Conference was here in Corning this year. Being able to be involved in the conference made being a member a lot more exciting to be able to interact with the whole amazing community that is amongst us here in the glass world.

Visit Shilo Parker's GAS member profile here


 

MEMBER MONDAY: KRISTA ISRAEL

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Tell us about yourself!
My name is Krista Israel. I was born in 1975 in Amersfoort, a historical city in the centre of the Netherlands. I was raised here, and this is where I have my studio.

It took some time before I discovered glass—after three unfinished studies and several office jobs. I always felt I did not belong somehow. Influenced by my gold/silversmith studies, I started making beaded jewelry in 2000. Soon I was interested in making the glass beads myself. I did not know any glass artists, so I searched on the internet and picked up the phone. I spoke to Moniek van Munster, a fusing and stained-glass artist, but she could not teach me how to make glass beads. However, she had a torch and some glass rods and invited me over for the weekend to her studio to experiment. Once I was at the torch melting glass, I knew I had found my material. The connection I had missed in my work with gold and silver I found that day in glass. I took several technique classes over the next few years. In 2007 I began my studies in the Glass Department at the State Institute for Art & Craft in Belgium. I graduated with honors with a BFA and MFA.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
The fascination I have with glass is the variety in techniques. I never get bored. With every project there is something new to learn. You need to know about other materials as well, before you can make a glass object. I enjoy the total focus this material requires. I am also drawn to the visual aspects of glass. But a piece does not have to be pretty. Glass gives me the possibility to tell a vulnerable, personal story, and to give a raw opinion on society. It is the nature of these opposites that draws me.

In China for the first time, with a group of glass artists from all over the world, I was struck by the fact that all of preconceptions disapeared. We were all connected because of glass. That made me even love it more.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
I am deeply interested in the impact of our hyper-complex world on each of us as modern human beings. Rapid societal change, corporate globalization, war, technology, social media, climate change, and the fragility of freedom affect us all. 

My work has two personalities in a way. One is making statements and comments on our society. The other side is connected to personal stories and emotions. Protection and concern about wellbeing are the essence of my works.

What is your dream project?
My dream project... I’ve been playing with this idea for several years, but recent possibilities have made the fire for this concept flame up again. The project is an on-site installation, measuring about 3 x 3 metres, with thousands of assembeled parts of glass.

Currently I am doing research on installations by other artists, making designs and looking into funding possibilities and exhibition space.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
If I had the financial possibilities, I would create affordable artist studios, with programs and a gallery. An initiative like Glass Wheel Studio, for example, is so inspiring.

My inspiration for this dream is the sale and demolition of old buildings being used as artists’ studios in my hometown. Thirty-five artists will be without a studio in the coming months, including myself. Another artists’ building will meet the same end in two years.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
When I was 8 years old I told my Mom ‘ I wouldn’t ever want to work in an office!!’. How prophetic were those words?

Why are you a member of GAS?
To me it is important to be connected to the glass world outside my studio. Being up to date and able to connect with colleagues and learn is part of my development as an artist. The Glass Art Society provides opportunities for innovation and the growth of glass art for artists around the globe.

Visit Krista Israel's GAS member profile here.


 

MEMBER MONDAY: CHRISTINE BARNEY

posted on May 1, 2017

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Tell us about yourself!
Hello! My name is Christine Barney and I have been a glassmaker for 40 years. Born and raised near Corning, New York, my sculpture draws from a deep immersion in the world of glass. With a studio in Jersey City, New Jersey for 23 years, I owe a debt of gratitude to the many teachers who have furthered my creative development; Bill Happel at Goddard College, Andre Billeci and Fred Tschida at Alfred Univ., Bertil Vallien, Lino Tagliapietra and Klaus Moje at Pilchuck, Livio Seguso on Murano, Susan Balshor in Seattle, Dan Clayman in Corning.

What draws you to the material you work with?
Glass is seemingly part of me. Light and color are magical in their continued revelation. I aim to always be curious, each sculpture inspires the evolution of one step further. By working in both cast glass and hot glass, my vocabulary of sculptural form finds a voice in light and color.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
My pieces are abstract organic form. My goal is to portray an unspoken feeling, to capture a fleeting glimpse, or reference a sensory experience.

What is your dream project?
To create large, even HUGE, sculptures! That would be amazing!

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
I can't truly imagine being separated from glass but, maybe restoration of historic homes and properties, maybe an architect. I like creating something from nothing, or creating from disparate elements that become something totally new.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
I once drove a pick up truck loaded with barrels of cullet for 50 miles without brakes. I drove about 30 mph and used the clutch and  transmission to slow down to a crawl, when needed.  Why, you ask? It was back in the day, on country roads, no cell phones, no money, no credit cards. Yup, I'm still here to talk about it.

Why are you a member of GAS?
GAS is a great community. It has always offered a welcome to everyone with an interest in glass. I've learned a lot over the years at different GAS conferences. Thank you GAS!


MEMBER MONDAY: CHARLIE MACPHERSON
posted on April 24, 2017

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Tell us about yourself!
Charlie Macpherson – I specialise in blown glass, but in recent years have been using casting processes to expand the work I can make. I work with my wife, and fellow glass artist, Amanda Notarianni. We have recently moved to Dorchester, in Dorset (UK), and set up a new studio to allow us to make larger and more bespoke pieces.

What draws you to the material you work with?
Nearly everything I make is cold worked and polished in some way, adding textures or revealing details within the glass. The initial draw to the material was the way the light passes through the material, and the vibrancy of the colors. More and more I am drawn to the movement and fluidity of glass, capturing a given moment during the making processes. The cold working adds to the finished pieces by adding reflections and refractions to the thick polished surfaces.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
Simplicity, Repetition, Clarity, Movement.

My glass has always looked to use strong, timeless forms, and incorporate details and cane work within the pieces. These are then highlighted and exposed by polishing, and introducing windows into the glass so the viewer doesn't immediately see the finer details.  As a student I read a beautiful story about a tea garden near Osaka, which was designed with a hedge obscuring the view of the distant sea. Only when a guest bent over to wash their hands as part of the ceremony, would they catch a glimpse through a break in the hedges. The beauty remains every time it is glimpsed, and properly observed, rather than becoming part of the background that is seen all the time.

My recent work, still alludes to these themes, but is less rigid and has become more sculptural, based on solid forms, and capturing a moment of movement.

What is your dream project?
I would love to do a large installation using components, linked to movement systems that allow the shape of the installation to change as an interactive piece.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
Music.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
If you're looking for a Didgeridoo player....

Why are you a member of GAS?
GAS represents a great opportunity to link with other artists and galleries outside of the UK. At this stage in my career, it has become more about sharing and looking outwards.

Visit Charlie Macpherson's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: GAYLE MATTHIAS
posted on April 17, 2017

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Tell us about yourself!
My name is Gayle Matthias, I am involved in education, research and the arts.  I am currently the 3D Design Crafts Programme Leader at Plymouth College of Art, UK.  I studied glass at Stourbridge College of Art under the tutelage of Keith Cummings.

What draws you to the material you work with?
I work with a variety of materials to communicate my concepts, I am interested in elevating the status of 'poor materials' such as plaster and wax, that are usually seen as intermediary materials of kiln-formed glass processes, using them in my finished work.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
In my most recent mixed media work I wish to make metaphorical associations between my father’s garage contrasted with my mother’s domestic existence and the wider environment of the Potteries where I grew up.  These intertwined autobiographical subjects provide a vehicle to discuss my interests in the deterioration of the body via inherited conditions and working environments.  Exploring waste/abjection from a variety of standpoints: as the unseen, the discarded material/found object, as a by-product of my artistic practice, as loss of the pottery and coal mining industries that provided an identity and value for a community, manifest as geographical waste.

Why are you a member of GAS?
Because I find the international connections and information that it provides to be very informative.

Visit Gayle Matthias' GAS member profile here.


 

 

MEMBER MONDAY: RICHARD PARRISH
posted on April 10, 2017

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Tell us about yourself!
Richard Parrish, Bozeman, Montana. I studied art and architecture at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and the University of Idaho, receiving degrees in Architecture from both. For many years I was in architectural practice and taught architecture at universities. I took a glass fusing workshop while living in Anchorage, Alaska in the 1980s and was hooked. It became a hobby that took over my life; I have had a practice based on making and teaching kilnformed glass for 15 years.

What draws you to the material you work with?
I could cite the qualities of glass that appeal to many of us (light, color, transparency/opacity, etc.) but I'm really drawn to the mysteries of glass. I've worked with it long enough to have a relationship with the material that allows me to investigate my ideas.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
I'm particularly fascinated by the landscape of the American Intermountain West - vastness, solitude, forms, history, and the collision between the natural and the human-made.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
Archeologist or geologist!

Why are you a member of GAS?
A strong professional organization is critical for the support and growth, and sharing of knowledge, of any profession, particularly in the arts.

Visit Richard Parrish's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: EUNSUH CHOI
posted on April 3, 2017

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Tell us about yourself!
I arrived in the U.S. having already completed a Master’s degree in glass from Kookmin University (Korea), but determined to pursue further glass education. I chose the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) as a place where I could both study English and earn a second MFA degree in glass. I live in Rochester, NY where I make my own sculptures and teach classes at The College at Brockport, State University of New York. I have been worked with glass since 1998 starting with glass designs.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I like the immediacy of control the shape, size, and color of glass and it is fascinating process that I can see in front of my own eyes while I work and control them by my hands.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
Although there is much attention and sensitivity towards the things that make us very different from one another, there is an undeniable connection in that we all desire something better for ourselves. This impulse is the impetus within my sculptural work, work that visually communicates the spiritual essence of human ambition.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
I would possibly be a fashion designer as it was my childhood dream or a jewelry designer. Before I got into glass, I studied fashion design, jewelry design, textile design, as well as interior design.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
I had severe burn on both hands when I was young, it made me handicapped. But ironically I am working with fire with hands.

Visit Eunsuh Choi's GAS member profile here.


 

MEMBER MONDAY: JUPITER NIELSEN
posted on March 27, 2017

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Tell us about yourself!
I'm originally from the San Juan Islands in Washington state. When a friend moved to Maui after high school, I followed. I learned flameworking on the job at a small gift shop where I was placed in a window display making colorful animals for tourists. 

What draws you to the material you work with?
Glass interests me on so many levels. I fell into it when I was 18 years old and it's been 20 years into it now! When my interests and hobbies outside of glass matured, my skill level in flameworking also matured to a point where I could incorporate those things into my design.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
I'm an amateur botanist and an all around "plant geek." I have a keen interest in Hawaiʻi's native species, which unfortunately make up 2/3 of the US endangered species list. I try to show their fragile beauty and glass can be the perfect material to represent these species. 

What is your dream project?
My dream project would be something like how the [Leopold and Rudolf] Blaschka's were funded. A permanent income stream to make a body of work that lasts for ages that represents nature that could be lost. I just want people to see my work and know that these fragile species exist.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
If I weren't a glass artist I would probably be working in conservation, helping to save native ecosystems.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
I don't think most people know my age or gender or that my work is made of borosilicate glass. Flameworking skews to a certain demographic and gender and people love to jump to conclusions. Making botanical sculpture, people get a different impression of who they will meet ahead of time. I'm happy to break that mold. 

Why are you a member of GAS?
I'm a member of GAS because for the longest time I thought there was no community for glass artists... There is nothing better than going to the GAS conference and finding out that there are so many of us! When we get together better work is created!

Visit Jupiter Nielsen's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: KARI MINNICK
posted on March 20, 2017

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Tell us about yourself!
My background is in fine art: mixed media, mostly painting. I established Kari Minnick Art Glass Studio in Silver Spring, Maryland in 2004. I recently relocated to my native coast, now residing and working in beautiful Southern Oregon.

What draws you to the material you work with?
As a painter, I find glass enables textures, transparency, and opacity with unparalleled options and richness. The sculptural aspects of glass working allow for combining 2D and 3D presentation.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
Abstraction, architecture, horizon lines in landscape, drawing, content - it’s always personal. Composition is key and the most challenging.

What is your dream project?
A large museum installation using ceiling floors and walls. The scope of the project would require collaboration. Any takers?

Why are you a member of GAS?
I’m a member of GAS to connect to the larger community of artists and educators working in but not limited to glass.

Visit Kari Minnick's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: LOTHAR BÖTTCHER
posted on March 13, 2017

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Tell us about yourself!
My name is Lothar Böttcher. I live and work in Pretoria, South Africa and run my own coldshop, Obsidian Glass. In 1994 I helped build our first furnace for the Glass Department of the Tshwane University of Technology - I was hooked! Thereafter I furthered my studies, specializing as cold worker/engraver in Germany at the Glasfachschule Hadamar, under masters such as Josef Welzel. 

What draws you to the material you work with?
As a cold worker I have become intimate with glass from another angle. I guess the discipline of grinding and polishing stems from my sculptural background, whereas the meditative process and material offer me new unexplored possibilities. Each piece is a personal journey. 

What themes do you pursue in your work?
Looking, seeing, explore, the universe and my place in it. I am increasing scale by including metal, stone and sometimes wood to give my sculptures a proportional presence as “animated characters" which in turn facilitates a visual conversation or interaction between spectator and object. 

What is your dream project?
To build a sun-powered furnace, melt scrap beer and wine bottles, collaborate and see where this idea leads to uplift communities and inspire future generations through the medium of glass. 

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
Architect or mechanic, maybe even astrophysicist or engineer. Something that will make this little blue dot we live on a better place. 

What's something about you that most people don't know?
I live on a smallholding on the outskirts of Pretoria with my family, having a few goats for meat and a vegetable garden. This is also where my studio is. We live across the road of an informal settlement with roughly 4000 people living in shacks. Maybe there is a way to make the future better, for all. 

Why are you a member of GAS?
I enjoy being part of a special group of people, highly dedicated to the same material I love and its future, having meaningful conversations and introducing oneself at a conference by your name and then your speciality, e.g. blower, engraver, etc. 

It's like having an extended family with cousins living all over the world.

Visit Lothar Böttcher's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: DELPHINE EWEN
posted on March 6, 2017

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Tell us about yourself!
I was born and raised in a tiny European country called Luxembourg, surrounded by artwork. I earned a master’s degree in architecture in 2003 in Paris, France and my passion for contemporary glass art began in 1997 during a workshop with Michael Taylor at Pilchuck Glass School.

What draws you to the material you work with?
I’m driven by the desire to understand, experiment, discover, and share. Glass is multidimensional material. I enjoy the challenge of the complexity and the rhythm of the pâte de verre process.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
I’ve always observed and questioned the world I’ve lived in. After exploring themes like family, meaning of life, self-construction, I’m currently working on a series integrating urbanism and architecture.

What is your dream project?
One project is to lead a workshop in an inspiring place like Pilchuck or Bullseye Glass. The second is to gather a team of artists to work on the cities’ narrative and prepare a common exhibition.

Why are you a member of GAS?
I think that the meeting and the exchange of information is crucial in our community. GAS is achieving incredible work to keep our network’s wheels turning.

Visit Delphine Ewen's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: JEFF BALLARD
posted on February 28, 2017

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Tell us about yourself!
My name is Jeff Ballard and I began working with glass at the University of Illinois around 1996. When I didn't get into the graphic design department, I had to choose another major and glass was the only medium on the list that I knew nothing about.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
When I first left school and was working for production studios, my aim was to be as proficient as possible with the material. As time went on, my work became more conceptually based and the ideas determined the processes. It's always idea first then figure out the most direct way to the end result.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
I have two concurrent bodies of work, one which focuses on the idiosyncratic nature of dreaming as it relates to Lucid dreaming specifically. The second body of work is more recent and addresses personal and universal issues related to Alzheimer's disease. Both bodies of work incorporate found objects and mixed media combined with either blown and sculpted glass pillows or colorful blown cylinders slumped into sheet glass.

What is your dream project?
My dream project would be if someone gave me a pile of money and an empty dilapidated building and said "go to town, do whatever you want."  I would create another world.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
If I couldn't be a glass artist I would either choose to be a musician or professional disc golfer (a recent obsession).

What's something about you that most people don't know?
Most people don't know that I received a D+ in one of my earlier glass classes in college.

Why are you a member of GAS?
I'm a member of GAS because it provides a large community of like minded individuals to learn and share information with. It helps keep me in the loop.

Visit Jeff Ballard's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: KEDRICK MCKENZIE
posted on October 17, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
I am an artist living and working in the San Jose, California. I am a Bay Area native, born and raised. I started working with glass at San Jose State University when I took a glassblowing class. I remember the minute I gathered glass for the first time because I knew I was instantly addicted.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
My work always revolves around human emotions, specifically the way we learn, remember, and forget. The current body of work I am pursuing is a series of cairns inspired by my desire to remember, and the reality of my forgetfulness. Memory and monuments are two themes I am currently exploring.

What is your dream project?
I really like working in multiples and so a dream project would be something massive, with hundreds of different pieces. I have always wondered what it would look like to completely cover the walls, floor, and ceiling with small glass pieces. I wish I could transform an entire room into my own little glass world.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
My dream job as a child was to be a tour guide at Jungle Cruise in Disneyland. So if being an artist doesn’t work out, you can find me in Adventureland.

What’s something about you that most people don't know?
I was homeschooled until I was 16 years old. I think I turned out pretty normal.

Visit Kedrick McKenzie's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: RHODA BAER
posted on October 10, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
With over 20 years in the photography business shooting everything from superstars to death row inmates, charming cobras and hanging out of helicopters to get the right shot, it seemed putting my hands in a 1,200 degree kiln filled with melting glass was the logical next step.

What draws you to the material you work with?
My new glass pieces are made using: original photography; digitally printed and kiln-fired minerals; multiple layers of Bullseye transparent and translucent sheet glass, and finely ground glass. Combining the two mediums, as I have done, communicates a message in a manner unavailable in each medium on its own. Working with layers of low-fired frit, I can recreate the dimensional light in the image in much the same way I see it just before I press the shutter on the camera.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
Challenging political and social ideas about how we are perceived and how we view each other is at the core of my recent work.

What is your dream project?
Provide a means for every child to experience the joys and benefits art can bring to their lives.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
Architect or funambulist.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
Warren Beatty kissed me on the set of his movie "Reds." AND, I have two extra ribs.

Why are you a member of GAS?
In addition to the educational opportunities, GAS offers a gateway to viewing the best glass being created around the world today and, at the same time, provides a stage for established and emerging glass artists.

Visit Rhoda Baer's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: BANDHU DUNHAM
posted on October 3, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
As a nerdy kid with an extensive chemistry lab in my parents' basement, I started teaching myself lampwork glass technique back in 1975, before it was cool. I currently have my studio in Prescott, AZ, where I work with a couple of part-time apprentices and a couple more unpaid interns, who handle most of our studio production—including some delightful Christmas ornaments and Chanukah menorahs, by the way.

What draws you to the material you work with?
The expressive nature of glass lends itself to rendering natural forms as well as more abstract shapes that reflect molecular or mathematical principles. Glass is a material that can be not only looked AT but looked INTO, which is not unlike the human condition itself, so I resonate with it as an artist. And frankly, working with glass is addictive.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
"Nature" might sum it up, but that includes technology and physics (in my steam engines and other kinetic sculptures) as well as natural forms that are quirky or modified by the passage of time. Whimsy and elegance are like yin and yang in my work, so I try to blend them and calibrate different balances between them. Innocence is also an important theme which asserts itself from time to time; the experience of watching my kinetic sculptures tends to pull viewers into a childlike state of wonder, which is something we need more of in the world today.

What is your dream project?
I'd love to make a large-scale kinetic glass-and-metal sculpture for a Children's Museum or large waiting area where people congregate. I've also got a couple more books in me that haven't gotten written yet…

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
I do a variety of things in this field: Writing and teaching as well as making glass in different styes, so I already have a lot of spice in my life. Otherwise, I might opt to be an Alchemist.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
I was born "Scott," but no one really calls me that anymore except my Mom! I was given the name Bandhu by a meditation teacher and I use it all the time; it means, "brother" or "friend."

Why are you a member of GAS?
GAS is a fantastic support system for all kinds of glass artists, and the annual Conferences are such a feast for the mind and senses! I feel fed and refreshed by the Conference each year and look forward to them with bated breath.

Visit Bandhu Dunham's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: SINI MAJURI
posted on September 26, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
I'm a contemporary glass artist creating surrealistic comic stories inside mouth blown glass by using 100 years graal-technique mixed with modern 3D design. I’m working in Helsinki, the capital of Finland, and in old historic glass town Riihimäki.

What draws you to the material you work with?
Glass is a fascinating material that gives opportunities to play with optical illusions, reflections and a sense of weightlessness. In my sculptures there are usually 3 to 6 separate image layers - so the process enables to create hidden levels inside the glass, such as messages and illustrations that can only be seen from the exact angle and in certain light.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
When I’m preparing an artwork I’m trying to catch a dream inside the glass, so it’s good to understand how the dream logic works. The process is like a puzzle: you collect interesting details, places, atmospheres and memories and mix them up inside the glass.

What is your dream project?
Collaboration with skillful people has always interested me. My dream project would unite experts from different fields and introduce glass into new arenas: maybe Lady Gaga would need a new dress made out of glass!

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
My background is in 3D design and fashion. If I wasn't working with glass, those would be the alternative paths of life.

What’s something about you that most people don't know?
I have always been fascinated with astronomy. Sometimes I spend my nights dragging the telescope to the best view to the moons of Jupiter.

Why are you a member of GAS?
Glass is my passion and GAS is a great place to keep up with all the interesting people, events and innovations around the material. It’s always inspiring to see what’s going on!

Visit Sini Majuri's GAS member profile here.


 

MEMBER MONDAY: MARY AYLING
posted on September 19, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
My name is Mary Ayling and I am an artist currently living and working in San Jose, CA. My relation to glass has been an intimate collaboration, and one that began when I was 7 years old, with my first pair of eyeglasses. It wasn’t until I was around 17 that I began working with glass in the studio, when I took my first classes with Leonard Marty at the Toledo Museum of Art in Toledo, OH.

What draws you to the material you work with?
This idea of having a lifelong partnership with a material that it is both metaphorically and literally vital to my perception and understanding of an environment, has been the cornerstone of my artistic development and is the basis of how I choose my materials and site for a project.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
My work strives to offer an alternative set of tools for dealing with common relational issues such as forgiveness, empathy, loss and communication. How often do we misunderstand collaboration; be it in romantic, familial or otherwise mundane interactions with people and objects in our environment. Through a variety of mediums, my final works live as sculptural performances whose documentation takes on the form of photographs, installations, and printed matter.

What is your dream project?
I have always altered spaces to be sites for parts of my projects. As an example, in one of my last works, Breathing Room, I emptied out my entire apartment, altered all the walls with paint, diffused the lighting in the windows, took out all the electricity except for one specific light, and cut a hole in the floor of my apartment for a sculptural interaction piece that participants engaged with one at a time. I would love to buy a building or home that I could use continually as an ongoing life project that evolves each year with me.

Why are you a member of GAS?
I am a member of GAS because it is an amazing and welcoming community with so many resources and opportunities for its members. I love the energy and creativity of everyone involved and have seen firsthand how much effort and planning go into everything that your organization does; having volunteered at the 2016 GAS conference in Corning, NY and been graced with the opportunity to work with President Cassandra Straubig, here in San Jose. It’s an exciting time to be an artist and a great opportunity for people to stretch their definitions of what it means to work with this material. 

Visit Mary Ayling's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: ROBIN ROGERS
posted on September 12, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
I am a compulsive creative type who will disintegrate if I go to long without making music or art. I live in Costal Virginia and have worked with glass since 1995. Like most glass artists, I saw the material, I tried it, I couldn’t stop.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I like the immediacy of working with glass and all of its magical properties. It is a vehicle to transport and change light, which is wild. As a sculptural material it is always challenging and rewarding.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
I make surreal anthropomorphic blown and hot sculpted work in collaboration with my wife Julia, and on my own I create installations with glass, light, sound and geometry.

What is your dream project?
One that when people encounter it their minds are opened and they are forever changed for the better.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
I’d probably be a street musician or a car mechanic.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
I’m actually part woodland elf.

Why are you a member of GAS?
GAS is a great, great organization that accepts anyone warmly and openly and creates a feeling of community.

Visit Robin Roger's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: STEVEN CIEZKI
posted on September 5, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
My name is Steven Ciezki (Chess-key). I was raised in Calumet City, Illinois and first began working with glass eight years ago at Illinois State University. I currently live in Phoenix, Arizona and work out of a local glass studio as a professional artist.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I have found the glassblowing process to be the most exciting and performative vehicle of artistic creation. Glassblowing demands one to think on their feet and become extremely versatile and sensitive to the present moment in multiple regards. My work utilizes three-dimensional patterning and color of the glass as representational components in forced perspective ‘paintings’.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
My themes and ideas are inspired by travel and experience. The selected imagery involves a prevalent light source, depth, layering, and required viewer interaction of memorialized scenes from my environment.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
I am writing and illustrating a glassblowing book called Life on the Rails: Intermediate and Advanced Glassblowing Techniques. It currently has 48 chapters with 270 pages containing detailed drawings and explanations of common glass blowing processes. Look for its release in 2017!

My fiance was the principle oboist for the Sarajevo Philharmonic in Bosnia and Hercegovina for four years and will soon be studying in Switzerland towards her masters in oboe performance. If all goes as planned, I will be travelling Europe to look for opportunities to teach and work at various studios.

Why are you a member of GAS?
I am a member of the Glass Art Society because of the incredible wealth of information and opportunity that the organization has to offer. Supporting GAS means preserving a future for all generations that work in the marvelous medium of glass.

Visit Steven Ciezki's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: GRANT GARMEZY
posted on August 15, 2016

Grant and Erin Garmezy, Equinox, 2015, hot sculpted furnace glass, lampworked borosilicate glass, electroplated copper, 30″ x 24″ x 13″, Photo credit: Brian Cannizzaro

Tell us about yourself!
My name is Grant Garmezy. I grew up on a farm outside of Nashville, Tennessee. I began working with glass in 2005 at Virginia Commonwealth University. I discovered glass by total accident. I actually went to school to study metalsmithing and jewelry, which led me to into the craft/material studies department. I remember walking down the hall one day and out of curiosity peering into the glass studio. I really had no idea what was going on in there. I had never seen an art form that was so loud and hot. Music was blasting and people were wearing shorts and sunglasses and working in teams, and I immediately fell in love with the atmosphere of it before ever touching it.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I’m drawn to glass for many reasons, but the main reason I love it is being able to work with a team. As an artist it’s very rare to work with a lot of people. Most artists work by themselves in the studio, but as a glass artist I get to work with a group of friends everyday. I feel there is a special connection between artists who work with glass. Even when I travel to teach or as a visiting artist abroad, I never have a problem working with others because we all speak the universal language of glass.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
My particular process is hot sculpting - meaning I sculpt the glass freehand while hot. My work focuses around realism, and I strive to capture those little details that can really bring a piece to life. My work tends to focus around southern animal imagery. Having grown up on a farm I’ve always felt very connected to this subject matter, and through it I tell stories and creative narratives. Recently my wife Erin and I have been doing collaborations where she makes beautiful realistic glass flowers on the torch and we adorn my sculptures with them.

What is your dream project?
A dream project for me would be to create a documentary about glass and being a working glass artist in today’s world. I would love for a film to capture the ups and downs, the day-to-day, the small victories and the camaraderie and love that runs through this community.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
If I weren’t working as a glass artist I would most likely have become a chef I think. I love cooking and being in the heat of the moment. I feel a lot about what I love in glass can also be found with the world’s best chefs. The teamwork it takes, the out of the box thinking, and the passion to make it great.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
Something most people don’t know about me is that I secretly would love to get a miniature pig as a pet. I’d probably name him “Herb” and he would just follow me around, helping me wherever I needed. Of course I would probably mess this up and get a baby pig that would grow up into a 300lb pot-bellied pig. So I just keep putting that on the back burner.

Why are you a member of GAS?
The reason I’m a member of GAS is because I love this community. I want to be involved as much as I can, and contribute to the constant growth and success of the glass movement.

Visit Grant Garmezy's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: SAMANTHA SCHMID
posted on August 8, 2016

Samantha Schmid, Abducted, 6 mm float glass, cut, polished, sandblasted, bonded

Tell us about yourself!
My name is Samantha Schmid. After 4 years of studies at the Federal Arts and Crafts College in Vevey (Switzerland), and a decorator diploma, I lived for 20 years in various countries in Africa and Asia, teaching art and practicing various local art techniques. In 1985, I opened my professional glass studio in southern France. I exclusively do cold work with float glass, using various techniques of etching, engraving, beveling, coloring, polishing and bonding. Some of these I have developed myself. Every sculpture is unique.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
Just about anything that moves me: I express anger and fear about injustice and war - irony about lousy politicians - the poetry of nature. Reflections about confinement, inside or outside, ease or unease, prison or cocoon. If my sculptures cannot change the world, they can at least change the way one looks at it.

What is your dream project?
Exhibitions of my work in other countries and on other continents.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
That I am the mother of six children and grandmother of ten!

Why are you a member of GAS?
Being mostly self-taught, it is a wonderful opportunity to learn about fellow glass artists from all over the world, their techniques, trends and creativity.

Visit Samantha Schmid's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: JEAN FERNANDES
posted on August 1, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
My name is Jean Fernandes and I'm a multimedia artist currently focusing in glass. I was born in India, raised in Dubai and California, and now reside in Texas. While earning my undergraduate degree at San Jose State University, I took my first glass class and unsurprisingly became mesmerized by the medium. I moved to Texas to pursue my MFA in glass at the University of Texas at Arlington to further study the material and explore its possibilities. I currently maintain an active studio practice and teach glass classes at the University of Texas in Arlington, Sinaca Studios in Fort Worth and the Creative Arts Center in Dallas.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I'm drawn to glass because of its flexibility. It has many contradicting properties (transparent/opaque, flexible/rigid, fragile/strong, etc.), so depending on how it is utilized, it is a medium that can satisfy almost any desire of the artist. While making my work, I usually set up parameters and then allow the glass to be itself within those conditions, so the processes I tend to use are often experimental and non-traditional but heavily rely on the natural properties of the material.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
I'm fascinated by the relationship between glass and science (physics in particular). My work focuses on the innate properties of the material; patterns that it creates when it is poured, how it breaks and shatters, the relationships between viscosity and heat, crystallization formation, etc.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
I can't fully imagine myself working outside the arts, but if I absolutely had to work outside the field, I would likely be in a field like psychology or mechanical engineering, since my other interests fall within these areas.

Why are you a member of GAS?
GAS is a wonderful organization that keeps me connected to the larger glass community. The conferences, in particular, help to fuel the rest of my year with inspiration. My peers are accomplishing such great things, so it is wonderful to be able to attend a yearly networking event that brings us all together to learn from each other.

Visit Jean Fernandes' GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: DEMETRA THEOFANOUS
posted on July 25, 2016

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Tell Us About Yourself!
I am a San Francisco based artist, working primarily in flameworked glass and pâte de verre. I got my start in glass through a bead workshop, and was quickly addicted to this medium. I also took an incredible class from pâte de verre masters, the Higuchis, who introduced me to casting, and the painstaking process of pâte de verre. I spent years experimenting and developing the techniques to create my work, with support from my other half, Dean Bensen. He is also a glass artist, and his encouragement and knowledge has been a big part of my growth as well. We have worked together in the hot shop for years, and I have always found the crossover from the hot shop to the torch very intuitive and helpful. I have also been very fortunate to TA for Robert Mickelsen, who has been instrumental in my growth as an artist as well. I spend most of my time developing my work, and exhibit internationally, with work in public and private collections. I also teach nationally, and serve as Board President of the Glass Alliance of Northern California.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I have been fascinated with molten glass since seeing a video of glassblowing in 2nd grade. The optical qualities of glass combined with immediacy of the material were mesmerizing. As I have experimented with different disciplines within glass (furnace glass, flameworking, pâte de verre ) I am intrigued by the endless possibilities in this medium. I enjoy working with borosilicate glass because I can achieve greater scale and/or detail through multiple firings over a period of months. I also am very drawn to the detail and realism that is attainable in the pâte de verre process.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
Technique merges with narratives in my work, to express metaphorical bridges between nature and human beings. I am inspired by the storytelling tradition of woven tapestry and basketry, and see myself as weaving with glass to connect the viewer with the story of the natural world. The cycles of nature give me a foundation to express themes such as rebirth, transformation, and renewal. I also explore themes of protection and personal growth, and the tension therein.

What is your dream project?
My dream project….is always evolving and changing so it is hard to say. I enjoy working with kids and seeing those moments of discovery. Any project that gives back and inspires others would be amazing!

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
Having already worked in another career, it is hard to imagine doing anything that does not involve art!

Why are you a member of GAS?
Flameworking is a very solitary art form. Being a member of GAS gives me the opportunity to be a part of an international network of artists, and most importantly to learn. I believe strongly in the importance of education, collaboration, and community, and GAS has these elements at its foundation.

Visit Demetra Theofanous' GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: RENE CULLER
posted on May 16, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
I'm from Cleveland, OH and moved 1,000 miles south to found, teach, and coordinate the glass program at the University of South Alabama. We live in Mobile only 45 minutes from the Gulf of Mexico and 10 minutes from Mobile Bay. I live with my husband Russ and my pooch, Lucky. We all enjoy the Gulf shrimp.

I began working with glass during high school, sandblasting designs on vessels. After two children, I returned to school at the Cleveland institute of Art for a BFA in 1992 and then on to Kent State for my MFA in glass; I haven't stopped making glass: at Kent State as interim head of glass, and then in my studio before arriving in South Alabama.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
What themes do you pursue in your work? I work with glass because it reveals light that can be refracted and absorbed, giving a sculpture a "personality." I make work in the kiln and I blow glass. I have combined the two since 1992 to create blown and kiln-transformed glass. This allows me to combine objects to create scale and work with interesting color applications. These sculptures are based on the journey to find perfection, influenced by the cards of the Tarot, and are called the Grail Variations. I really like pattern and influences from ancient glass as can be seen in my Painted Pot series that are blown forms and multi-colored with applied trailings. I have created work for the wall that satisfies my tendencies to want to paint and draw. I prefer adapting these techniques to work in glass rather than canvas or paper, as in glass, pattern and line can actually be layered to create depth. Because I am interested in multi-cultural medieval history centered around the Mediterranean, I am fascinated with the order of Islamic design as it is rooted in both the spiritual and the natural world including the orbits of the planets.

What is your dream project?
I will be embarking on a dream project that allows me to work in large scale! It is an installation for the Mobile Museum of Art this summer with the subject of the Diverse Delta and its natural forms. The space is 28 feet wide and more than 20 feet high.I will be making panels with delta imagery that will be arranged in a grid. I hope this is the beginning of more large scale work and installations.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
I can't think of anything I would prefer to do than to work with glass. My career as a professor allows me to initiate students into the wonderful world of glass by sharing with my teaching and my writing, Glass Art for the Kiln. Although the students keep me busy, I am writing my second book, Imagery in Glass.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
Most people don't know that I love old retro wooden roller coasters. If given the opportunity during my travels, I am always happy to take a ride.

Why are you a member of GAS?
I first joined GAS in about 1990 and have found it rewarding in the friends I have made, the information about glass that I have learned, and my opportunity to present. I look forward to attending the conference and introducing my students to GAS, its members, and the excellent Corning Museum of Glass.

Visit Rene Culler's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: SU-YEON KIM
posted on May 2, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
I am from Seoul, Korea and I did my undergrad studying ceramics and glass, and printmaking in Hongik University. I learned glassblowing during my junior year, and that was the time when I started to get really excited and fall in love [with] working with glass. After undergrad I decided to go to the states to study glass in-depth, and I have been pursuing a master's degree in glass at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I like that glass has so many possibilities to work with. That's why I have been trying to learn and explore various techniques to create my own unique voice in glass. Working with glass is like exploring an unknown world for me. I enjoy experimenting with glass and try different ways to create a body of work that indicates my own voice.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
I get ideas from my daily life, and drawings have been my main resources for my work. My most current work is about the drawings I did daily, and the drawings are transferred to 'inflated' glass papers to create double-sided images, and also it is visible when the light creates the shadow.

What is your dream project?
I am also interested in moving images and proto-cinematic devices, and I would like to combine glass and moving image and create animated film.

Why are you a member of GAS?
I first heard about GAS when I was in Korea and became a member when I started studying at SIU. It is great being a part of the community that is passionate about glass. The GAS conference is a wonderful opportunity to meet people who love to work with glass, share thoughts and experiences.

Visit Su-Yeon Kim's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: ALEJANDRO HERRERA GUIÑAZÚ
posted on April 18, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
I was brought up in the art world inspired by my parents who bred me with the spirit of glass. I worked at my father's stained glass studio from 1994 to 2004. Since 2010, I have been attending courses in The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass and I have been working in kilncasting and coldworking glass.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
The main themes in my works are based on nature. The mountains and forms inspire me daily. In my recent work, my inspiration is in the organic shapes of the stones in the rivers of the Andes. These stones guide me in the creative process of the glass. I'm always trying to harmonize both materials to find magical shapes full of inner light.

Why are you a member of GAS?
When I started taking classes in Corning I met many artists who are part of GAS. I immediately wanted to know more about this extraordinary organization and did not hesitate to be part of it. I think it's the best way to grow the glass arts worldwide and to share learning and discovery of new artists.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
I have two jobs indeed. Both balance my creative energy. When I'm not working in my studio, I am a paragliding instructor. This profession has made my dream to have a glass sculpture workshop a reality. The professional paragliding not only amuses me, but also renews my creative energy and gives me stable financial support to work as an artist peacefully.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
Usually what people do not know about me is I'm an adrenaline junkie. I love extreme sports, especially paragliding. I'm a competition paragliding pilot and I like to travel with the wind for hours with these crazy flying machines over the mountains of the Andes.

Visit Alejandro Herrera Guiñazú's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: NINA CASSON MCGARVA
posted on April 11, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
My name is Nina Casson McGarva. I was born in England and grew up in rural central France in the middle of the Burgundy countryside. I started learning the basic technical skills of glass blowing in the National French Glass School. Then I attended The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Bornholm, where I started to learn and use other glass techniques. Since I graduated in June 2014, I have been a part of two artist residency programs in the USA, one at Starworks in North Carolina, and the other as an EAiR at Pilchuck Glass School.

Why are you a member of GAS?
I first became a GAS member in 2015 because I wanted to be part of a community that both works with and has a passion for the medium of glass.

Why do you work with glass as a medium?
I work with glass because I have always been fascinated by the mineral-like qualities and transmission of light through glass. Also, the unique specialized skills that are required to work with glass combined with the complexities that the medium presents, pushes my work to evolve everyday.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
I grew up in my father's pottery studio and have always created things with my hands. At the age of 15, I trained to become a cabinet maker, and then two years later decided to try glass and [realized] it was the medium for me. My whole life I've been immersed in craft and fine art. I can't imagine myself doing anything else.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
I use nature as an inspirational base to create my own abstraction that I then build into a complex sculpture. My inspiration is from cycles of nature that I associate with glass because to me, the material is at its most alive state when hot and being transformed. The end result is solid and doesn’t move any longer; it is at the fragile time before disintegration, maintaining its shape and rich structure.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Visit Nina Casson McGarva's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: HYE SOOK CHOI
posted on April 4, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
I was born and raised in South Korea, where I earned a BFA in ceramics and glass and an MFA in glass from Hongik University. Two years later, I went on to learn about glass more in-depth in the USA. I am currently pursuing a Master’s degree in the glass department at Rochester Institute of Technology, NY.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
I investigate the concepts of modern beauty and how it has an influence on people, particularly women in their 20s and 30s, in contemporary society. With a strong focus on consumerism and society’s standard of female beauty, women have turned to materialistic goods to satisfy the artificial ideal beauty. A purse and high heels are merely products, but have had a symbolic meaning of female desires that are a reflection of modern culture. Most of my works are based on said objects of status and female desire. My intention is to make people reflect upon how personal identity develops through consumerism and how they define themselves.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
I would have chosen to work in the design field such as car or industrial design.

Why are you a member of GAS?
I am a member of GAS to connect to a large worldwide community of artists who work with glass. It is a great network that brings all those who share a variety of artworks made in a different ways together, which is a good resource.

What is your dream project?
I would love to collaborate with luxury fashion brands, as it would be a new opportunity to be displayed. Retail window displays are very creative and eye catching.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Visit Hye Sook Choi's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: TANJA PAK
posted on March 28, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
I graduated from the Academy of Fine Art of the University of Ljubljana, then earned a master’s degree at the Royal College of Art in London (1996). In Ljubljana, Slovenia, where I live and work in my studio, I am full-time professor, heading the glass and ceramics course in the Academy of Fine Art. I am creatively committed to the design of functional glass objects and artistic spatial installations.

Why are you a member of GAS?
I am glad I joined GAS soon after receiving my master’s degree at the Royal College of Art. I collaborated in an exhibition in Tampa in 1998, which was my first GAS conference. Ever since, it has been the most important source of communication with colleagues from around the world and an extremely important link to everything and everyone new in this field. It has opened doors to new areas and provided numerous contacts. If it weren’t for GAS, I would be very lonely with my work in my home environment.

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
Did I dream of growing up to become a ballerina ...? Seriously, I can’t imagine doing anything else. My work is rife with challenges as it is: it crosses over to fields of design, applied art, sculptures, large spacial installations, and architectural installations, where I collaborate with many different profiles of people. I include elements of music, architecture, light, theatre, and literature in my work; I flirt with other materials. All these make the field as wide as I could ever want.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
My work has recently become an expression of “reveries”, much influenced by the readings of Bachelard, Arvo Pärt’s music, my own writing, and a search for immensity and silence in the vastness of different landscapes, mirroring those inside a being. I think a lot about absence in the sense of non-presence, alienation, and yearning. I am questioning the line; not only the disappearing horizon line, but also the line as a border between being and not-being. Where does here stop and there begin? How defined / undefined is this line? How solid, how real? This vastness, longing, breathing, is what I have been striving to express in my work for the past couple of years. Its essence. An essence that leaves the viewer space to dream. My installations are never there to illustrate a certain atmosphere or feeling. They are there to provoke them, to produce them. They are intimate stories, sensations, and the search for sensations. I struggle to capture the moment and form of emergence in the nuances between whiteness and shadow.

For me, an idea never comes as a momentary inspiration. It always arises from external impressions; translations of visual, audio, or tactile stimuli into an inner world of emotions and feelings. This is my great challenge: to capture the idea, the feeling, in the material, which then becomes non-material, so that it almost disappears as a material thing.... to capture the essence of a thought, a dream, a yearning.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
I like to retreat into silence completely. The kind of silence that challenges the brinks of being, much in the same way the whiteness in my works does. Together we dive deep down into the endless blue, we travel to the desert, which can be eerily silent. Or, I invite my son to join me in climbing a glacier’s wall.

Another thing might be my enthusiasm for my work at the Academy of Fine Art and Design. Through dialogue, I mold the most living material of them all: my students. They are in love with the medium, which was never before perceived in this way in our environment. This is where I can be individual, creative, everything I am as a person - while also passing on knowledge and dreams, and being a part of joint plans that evolve into unpredictable fruits of the future.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Visit Tanja Pak's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: KAREN REID
posted on March 21, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
Karen Reid is a studio artist and a lifelong resident of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Reid’s glass work has been included in two Corning Museum of Glass international competition publications, New Glass Review 30, and New Glass Review 34, and her glass piece “Creek” received the honor of “Best in Show” in the international exhibition, BIGG: Breakthrough Ideas in Global Glass, sponsored by Steuben Glass.

Why are you a member of GAS?
GAS keeps me in touch with the glass world. It’s the perfect organization to stay connected with the state-of-the-art!

If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
I have been around design and building all my life. I am most happy when problem solving construction issues or working with my hands.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
My life and work are inspired by the rich culture and natural environment of Pennsylvania. Simple and unpretentious elements seem to hold the most potential to engender fresh discoveries within my work.

What's something about you that most people don't know?
I love to dance. My husband and I take lessons and try to take advantage of any opportunity to dance together.

Visit Karen Reid's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: ELIZABETH DEVEREAUX
posted on March 7, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
I am Elizabeth Devereaux of Devereaux Architectural Glass in Chico, CA. Founded in 1969, we are a large architectural glass art studio for churches and public buildings in the US and Canada, with 3-7 employees.

Why do you work with glass as a medium?
I originally loved watercolor and silkscreen because of their transparent, subtle layered effects. Then I discovered glass! I studied 2 years in Europe and soaked up both antiquity and interesting contemporary architecture. Architectural glass was a natural alliance.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
My work is always site-specific and collaborative, so there is much diversity from one to the next. The qualities of light itself - projection, prismatic effects, and particularly the day/night, positive/negative effects of reflective materials and lusters - have always intrigued me. And the use of pattern too, allows for layers of meaning to be discovered.

What is your dream project?
A commission with a highly creative architect, and a client who respects the artist's expertise, and who encourages conversation between the building, the glass, and the design intent. (Like the project I just finished)

Why are you a member of GAS?
When I started, flat glass and blown glass were allied and equally known, but through Pilchuck and and the exchange of glass artists throughout the world, and the success of GAS as an organization, hot glass has very successfully grown and formed a global glass community. I like being part of that larger community. The one area it has not focused on much is liturgical art glass. For a long time liturgical glass had its own community, but much of both liturgical and public art glass related to architecture is in a big shift now because of new possibilities in technology.

Visit Elizabeth Devereaux's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: TEGAN HAMILTON
posted on February 29, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
I am an Australian artist who moved to Seattle in 2014 to pursue glass in the United States. My main medium is hot glass, but I enjoy working in other glass techniques and other mediums.

Why do you work with glass as a medium?
Glass is a medium that captured my heart. I fell in love with the aesthetics and was captivated by the processes.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
My work tends to teeter between art and science. My master's thesis explored the juncture between medicine and art. My more recent work touches on the broader realm of natural history.

What is your dream project?
One day I would love to create an environment where I could display work that explores the manner in which we preserve, collect, and categorise the world around us.

Why are you a member of GAS?
I am a member of GAS to be involved in the wonderful community of artists and collectors who are as passionate about glass as I am.

Visit Tegan Hamilton's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: MAURO BONAVENTURA
posted on February 22, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
I was born in Venice in the 1965 and when I was 18, after earning my diploma in electronics at the high school, I went to Murano looking for a job as a helper in one of the classical Murano glass factories. Since then, I never stopped working with glass. In 1992, I quit the glass factory because I wanted to learn the lampwork technique. After a while, I went back to the art school to improve my knowledge in sculpture. Nowadays I have my own studio in the mainland, where I work on my own and I teach lampworking techniques to students.

Why do you work with glass as a medium?
I am a creator and executor of my own works, which are the result of a combination of different concepts, techniques, and materials. The combination of these elements is the glass, transparent and bright, ready to be shaped into a complicated web that reflects and plays with the light. To create these complicated structures, there is always a big request for patience, time, and technical efforts. I spend many hours studying the glass as a chemical material, to experiment how it reacts in different situations, when is heated by the fire and when it cools down in the healing oven.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
I like to explore the depths of the unconscious. Believe it or not, we are all prisoners of our personal mental cages. I like very much to explore the special relationship that every human being has within his own brain, so the results are these human figures "fighting" with many contradictions of their own nature.

What is your dream project?
I have many ideas and projects that I put down on paper every time I can. One of my dreams is to realize a special installation that will represent our modern and multi-ethnic society to be as fragile as the material that the installation is made of.

Why are you a member of GAS?
I have been a GAS member for a few years already. I had the chance to be invited for an artist demonstration at the 32nd edition in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2002), and at the 36th edition in St. Louis, Missouri (2006). I consider GAS to be a fundamental opportunity for emerging artists to show their abilities to a large audience and to share their different experiences.

Visit Mauro Bonaventura's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: KIRSTI TAIVIOLA
posted on February 15, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
My name is Kirsti Taiviola. I'm a Helsinki-based designer and glass artist. I took my master's degree in ceramics and glass from The University of Art and Design Helsinki (currently known as Aalto University ARTS) in 2001. Since then I've worked as an independent designer and artist with glass as my main medium in projects varying from lighting designs to jewelry, and from studio production to unique artworks. I also work as a lecturer in Aalto University ARTS in Helsinki where I've been teaching several glass-related design and material research courses since 2003. At the moment I'm working on a three-year working grant supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.

Why do you work with glass as a medium?
The versatility of glass in its aesthetics, material characteristics, and working techniques never ceases to inspire me. I'm especially charmed about the optics and transparency of the material. For me glass has been a fantastic medium to work with light. With hand-blown glass lenses, I've been able to draw images and patterns out of light beams and thus lead my work towards themes [that are] important to me.

I got to try working with glass when studying ceramics and felt that glass suited my temper. Working on hot glass needs fast reactions and intense concentration on the ongoing work that I enjoy a lot. It's great that in most cases you get your pieces out of the annealer the very next day. With ceramics one has to wait days, if not weeks, before the work is finished. However, over the years I've also come to enjoy the slower processes of glassmaking like kiln-casting and slumping, and it has made me admire the material even more. There is always something new to learn with glass.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
Immateriality, time, memory, and value have been important concepts in my artistic work.

What is your dream project?
I'm expanding my field of work to creating public artworks/installations. I'm searching for the right place to realize a large-scale installation that consists of tailored glass lenses and reflections of light to an architectural site. I've had the idea of the work in my mind for many years and it's waiting for the right place and moment to come out. One of my dreams ever since I was a student has been to get a chance to work in Murano with master glassblowers and create something spectacular with the Venetian glassblowing techniques. I admire skilled and experienced craftspeople and working with them is always inspiring.

Why are you a member of GAS?
Coming from Finland that is a small country with only a handful of artists working with glass, I wanted to connect to a larger community of glass artists and makers.

Visit Kirsti Taiviola's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: KATE BAKER
posted on February 8, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
My name is Kate Baker and I studied my undergraduate at the ANU Glass Workshop in Canberra under Stephen Proctor and Jane Bruce, graduating in 1999. Since then I have been based in Sydney and have recently built a new studio in Sydenham (very close to the city) called ‘Studio4’. I am primarily focused on developing my artwork which involves a blend of photography, printmaking and digital media with fused and cold worked glass. I also offer internships and classes through my studio and produce a commercial product line of high end designer platters under the branding: ‘Paint & Sand’. I love my studio and enjoy sharing it with people and certainly any GAS member would always be very welcome to visit if in town!

Why do you work with glass as a medium?
I have a relentless fascination with the potential of fused glass as an artistic medium. Unlike many other mediums, there is still so much to be discovered about the material and how it can be used creatively. The transparency of glass and the fact that it is in essence a liquid fills me with a sense of endless possibilities. I know that regardless of an idea, I don’t have to feel restricted by the material only by my mastery of it, which always feels challenging but also exciting.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
My work is primarily focused on the ethereal nature of human existence and the emotional and psychological strata we each exist within. Themes of impermanence, transience, and the intangible are central to the work, as well as an ongoing interest in how our physicality, although fragile and ever-changing, is intrinsic to our human experience.

What is your dream project?
I am becoming increasingly interested in large scale installation and its potential to submerge audiences in an all encompassing artistic experience. I would love to collaborate with a progressive group of architects to integrate an installation work into the built environment - not as an ‘add-on’ but to be centrally aligned with the overarching architectural vision.

Why are you a member of GAS?
GAS is a fantastic opportunity for any artist working in glass to get involved and connect with an active and inspired international community of practitioners and supporters. One of the first things on my 2016 ’to-do’ list has been to contact the GAS administration to see how I can contribute more to the organisation in a voluntary capacity as I think it plays a very important role in bringing the international glass community together.

Visit Kate Baker's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: ALI FEENEY
posted on February 1, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Ali Feeney and I grew up in the mountains of Colorado, and I am currently a studio assistant at the Chrysler Museum of Art Glass Studio in Norfolk, Virginia. I am also part of a studio collective at Glass Wheel Studio, which is a brand new space that provides a unique studio environment.

Why do you work with glass as a medium?
I choose to work with glass because it acts as a wonderful metaphor of a barrier, like a skin that protects what lays inside. I love the transparent quality and how you can use glass to create different types of objects through various processes.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
The themes I pursue in my work are personal memory and the perspective of an adopted child. I create images that reflect my memory in a surreal way.

What is your dream project?
My dream project is to be able to cast my birth parents hands, my adoptive parents hands, and the hands of the people that organized my adoption to create an installation reflecting the series of events that went into my life.

Why are you a member of GAS?
I am a member of GAS because it is a unique organization that brings all types of artists together to create a collaborative and informational group. It connects the collective inspiration that all members share for glass which is so amazing.

Visit Ali Feeney's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: DAVID LICATA
posted on January 25, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
My name is David Licata. I'm from White Plains, NY and have always wanted to be an artist and teacher. I attended SUNY New Paltz for sculpture and art education. I began working with glass my sophomore year during a metals class and fell in love with the medium. I worked as an apprentice in various studios and took classes to learn everything I could about glass. I fell in love specifically with torch working because it allowed me to create small and detailed sculptures at home. I began creating chainmaille jewelry and attended graduate school for metalsmithing at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. I currently teach sculpture and ceramics at Scarsdale High School.

Why do you work with glass as a medium?
The medium of glass works well the concepts and ideas that I am interested in. I also enjoy the process. I am fascinated by the idea of taking a fragile material and creating large sections of chain that were once meant for protection. I enjoy challenging myself and the material by creating complex patterns in color and shapes using various techniques all based off of traditional metalsmithing. With this technique I create everything from installations to wearable pieces that play with light and shadows. I am also interested in how the viewer's relationship to the material.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
My work references the fragile human connections to nature and each other. I am inspired by hikes and nature walks, studying our relationship to the world around us and how we all are constantly trying to find balance in this world. My first large exhibition for my BFA in sculpture featured a forest of 22 clear borosilicate glass trees that were interactive and lit up when people walked around the sculptures. Conceptually, this sculpture portrayed how people walk in an out of our lives and can sometimes leave lasting effects without even knowing it. That theme of connections has become more literal with the my current body of work. Chainmaille was used as a form of protection and by creating it out of glass plays with the fragility of our relationship to our environment. I have been creating large wall pieces inspired by frozen waterfalls and icebergs. I love the process of creating my sculpture that is very much like knitting, but just with a flame. It is very complex, repetitive and I challenge myself with the patterns and contradicting the idea of protection.

What is your dream project?
I have a lot of dream projects but the major one I am currently working on is for the GAS conference in June. For the past few years, Laura Donefer has asked me to create something for the Glass Fashion Show and I finally feel up for the challenge. I am planning to create a large glass dress and another outfit to wear for the fashion show which I began working on a few months ago. The process is very laborious and this will be my first time creating something using such complex patterns and scale.

Why are you a member of GAS?
I am a member of GAS because I enjoy being a part of groups that support the arts and focus on glass art. The resources and connections help my work both as a teacher and glass artist.

Visit David Licata's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: CAROL MILNE
posted on January 11, 2016

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Tell us about yourself!
I have a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture, which led me to sculpture. After four semesters working towards an MFA, I dropped out and began work on my own with mixed media sculpture using metal, concrete, fiberglass, wood, and whatever else I could get my hands on. Then, in 2000, I “found” glass.

Why do you work with glass as a medium?
It looks “cool” when it’s hot, and “hot” when it’s cold. It’s a material that forces the two sides of my brain to work together, requiring a balance of opposing strengths: artist vs engineer; physicist vs craftsperson.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
My work is social commentary. For example, my knitted glass, in this time of global warming, shows my obsession with our need to make connections and to work together to solve big problems.

What is your dream project?
A landscape of “folly”, composed of glass structures, is up there on my list. My inspiration for scale and delight (although not subject matter) is The Tarot Garden by Niki de Saint Phalle.

Why are you a member of GAS?
Because we need each other; which is to say, it’s critical to make connections with people working in my field and to be aware of technological advances in the field of glass. And despite the internet and all our social media, the best way to make these connections is in person.

Visit Carol Milne's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: CHRISTOPHER UNGER
posted on December 28, 2015

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Tell us about yourself!
I'm primarily a glassblower. I studied glass and received my bachelors degree at San Jose State University and I am currently working and assisting in teaching glass at Shasta Community College in Redding, CA.

Why do you work with glass as a medium?
I choose to work with hot glass because of the excitement and spontaneity of the process. The medium can be quite unpredictable but at the same time, quite controllable, and I really enjoy the constant juggle and interaction across that spectrum. It forces you to be very much in the moment and take everything in stride.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
I enjoy playing with the simultaneously fragile and durable characteristics of the glass in the armor that I make and challenging the nature of glass by creating these objects that, functionally, shouldn't be made of glass. I also enjoy pursuing very geometric, simple, modular themes, where I assemble larger compositions with smaller, repeated forms and parts.

What is your dream project?
I would love to create a series of wearable, full-body, glass armor that is based on the armors made thorough history and across different world cultures.

Why are you a member of GAS?
I'm a member of GAS so that I can stay up to date on glass art, to share my work, and to participate/network with other individuals who work with glass.

Visit Christopher Unger's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: JON REES
posted on December 21, 2015

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Tell us about yourself!
I was born and raised in western New York State, where I received an undergraduate degree in architecture and an MFA in glass. I'm currently an artist in residence and adjunct professor in the glass program at Salisbury University in Maryland.

Why do you work with glass as a medium?
Glass as a material has a strong dialogue with light and shadow, major components in my work. It also has a historic association with architecture, which is where I derive inspiration from.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
My work revolves around architecture and its vocabulary of form, space, and light. I see these components as a strong connection between architecture and sculpture.

What is your dream project?
I'm not really sure what my dream project would be.....something grand, perhaps a full scale city of glass, combining everything that I know of modern architecture and glass art processes. Or maybe a solo show at Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim in New York, with free reign over the entire museum for site-specific sculpture responding to the architecture.

Why are you a member of GAS?
My involvement with GAS started when I was fortunate enough to be selected as the Student Representative on the Board of Directors. Through serving on the Board I learned a lot about the organization and how much it does for glass art, its members, and especially students. I continue to serve on the Education and Print Media Committees as well as writing for GASnews.

Visit Jon Rees' GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAY: DOLORES BARRETT
posted on December 14, 2015

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Tell us about yourself!
I began my career as Dolores Barrett, Glass Artistry in 1999 having left the world of teaching and orchestral/choral conducting. I create my work in fused, slumped, and laminated glass adornment in my home studio in Southern California.

Why do you work with glass as a medium?
I started my foray into art as a porcelain portrait painter and the transition to glass occurred quite naturally after that. The use of glass as a medium of personal adornment had too many unexplored options to resist. It's always been about doing what could be done, what hasn't been done, what must be done....and on occasion, what shouldn't be done.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
I'm particularly drawn to the Bauhaus movement, Mid-Century modern architecture and design, and modernism in general. I am, however, mostly driven by ideas that pop into my mind until they obsess themselves into existence.

What is your dream project?
Funny you should ask, I'm currently exploring one such idea. I want to create in much larger dimensions than I have to date. Let's just say in involves 3D printing, lost wax casting, and small to larger sculptural/architectural blocks.

Why are you a member of GAS?
Mostly, so I can participate in the conferences and all the networking that occurs there. I still draw information from the past conferences I attended, and am looking forward to learning even more at Corning in June.

Visit Dolores Barrett's GAS member profile here.


MEMBER MONDAYS: DAVID MAGÁN
posted on December 7, 2015

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Tell us about yourself!
I was born in Madrid (Spain) in 1979. Today I work and live in a very peaceful place in Guadalajara, Spain. After several years of studying applied arts in Madrid, I started my career as a sculptor in 2003. Since 2011, I have been represented internationally by Galería Cayón (Madrid). I have exhibited my work internationally in remarkable art fairs (ARCOmadrid, PINTA London and Miami, ArtBo, Zona Maco) and group exhibitions (Spain, Denmark, France, USA, South Korea, Italy), and have organized 8 solo exhibitions around Spain.

Why do you work with glass as a medium?
I started using glass in a workshop about artistic stained glass in 2012. Since then, I have become fascinated with the possibilities of primary color glass sheets. As a geometry lover, I realized that I found, at last, a material with an incredible potential for discovering new ways of expression in contemporary sculpture. It allowed me to develop a new language in which the three dimensional artwork became a more open object, and in which the different primary colour glass layers overlap each other to create new colors.

What themes do you pursue in your work?
The main motivation of my work is the pursuit of beauty through harmony, equilibrium, and proportion. This involves a conceptual process aiming to generate a matter of interest from the spectators, as well as giving them the opportunity to exalt different aspects of the artwork through their contemplation.

Geometry, color, transparency, and light are the “core” themes in my work. But, the attention to size proportions among the spectator, the sculpture, and the space it inhabits is also one of the focal points of my work. In fact, it is the challenge of adapting my work to unique and distinctive surroundings that I find most satisfying and inspiring; it is the aim to contrive a site-specific piece that is capable of communicating with its setting in an outstanding and beautiful way.

What is your dream project?
To be commissioned to create a site-specific artwork, possibly an interactive one, in a public space. To be able to approach art with the general public and that the artwork becomes an icon for the community. I know it is an ambitious one...

Why are you a member of GAS?
I think being part of a society that promotes glass artists is a must for an artist that uses glass as a main medium. Both, for self-promotion and for helping promote glass art in the society.

Visit David Magán's GAS member profile here.

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