Category Archives: Artists

Experiments in the Hot Shop with Bryan Kekst Brown

By Greg Owen, Manager of Audience Engagement and Hot Shop Heroes

Last week metals and jewelry artist Bryan Kekst Brown came to Museum of Glass with some very interesting projects. We began the week creating tanks for electro-forming metal. This was the first time that electrodes have been attached to glass at Museum of Glass, as far as I know. It provided a special challenge for the Team’s gaffer, Gabe Feenan, as the electrodes are encased in borosilicate glass, while ours is soda-lime glass. At first they didn’t want to stick together nicely, but Gabe persevered and made it work.

Things started heating up when Bryan decided to pour liquid metal into a cup of liquid glass. He began by melting strips of copper in a small crucible with an oxy-propane torch.

At the same time, Gabe made a cup of clear glass, and the Team’s starter, Sarah Gilbert, used the gathering ball to pull some liquid glass from the furnace. In quick succession, Gabe broke the cup off and placed it on the table, Sarah dumped her gathers in, and then Bryan poured the liquid metal inside. It was very exciting!

Next, Bryan began melting ingots of silver in the same manner, and the Team repeated the process. It was very interesting to see how the metals behaved in a bath of liquid glass.

We found this so interesting because copper and silver are common colorants for metal. Copper is known to make ruby, green, and blue glasses. Once the piece cooled down, we were happy to see that there was a lovely cloud of copper blue, where the metal had slid by the glass, and a big pile of copper at the bottom of the cup.

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Silver is known to make yellow glass and shades of blue as well. The first attempt resulted in shattered glass around the silver, but the second attempt was successful, and left a wonderful bit of opaque blue as a record of what happened.

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I look forward to seeing Bryan’s experiments in the future. If you would like to see more of his work, check out his website http://www.bryankekstbrown.com/. He will be posting images from his residency over the next few weeks.

Greg Owen is the Manager of Audience Engagement and Hot Shop Heroes at Museum of Glass. Greg can be seen working the mic as the Hot Shop studio emcee, assisting Visiting Artists, and teaching soldiers how to blow glass during Hot Shop Heroes: Healing with Fire classes. 

Five Minutes with Brendan Fernandes

First-time Visiting Artist Brendan Fernandes will work in the Museum of Glass Hot Shop from August 31 through September 4. The Canadian artist draws upon his Kenyan and Indian heritage, using his art to examine the nature of identity. In his newest body of work, Fernandes is returning to his training in dance and his interest in movement and choreography.

Learn about the Visiting Artist before he begins his residency this week!

Brendan Fernandes working; Photo courtesy of the artist.

Brendan Fernandes working; Photo courtesy of the artist.

I became interested in dance and movement when…

I was a young boy; there was always dancing and singing as part of every family party. It was second nature to me!    

During my Museum of Glass residency, I hope to…

Use glass in a way that mimics and represents the body in motion.

I chose to explore cultural identity in my work because…

This is my story. I come from a hybrid background and have lived in different places. These experiences make-up who I am; I am exploring my personal trajectory and telling my narrative. It is part of my own self discovery and one that I want to share with others in the hopes that they can find similarities with the questions I am working through.     

If I had to work with only one color, it would be…

Ohhhhh, Hmmmm I would say clear. The optical qualities of light filtering through it always amazing me.  So no color!

Being an artist has taught me…

To me humble and self reflective.

Plan a visit to Museum of Glass to see Visiting Artist Brendan Fernandes working in the Hot Shop from August 31 through September 4, or watch his residency online.

Five Minutes with Bryan Kekst Brown

Bryan Kekst Brown is the Visiting Artist at Museum of Glass this week. Brown comes to the Hot Shop through the Museum’s Visiting Artist Residency application program, which invites artists from all over the world to apply.

Photo courtesy of Bryan Kekst Brown.

Photo courtesy of Bryan Kekst Brown.

Catch up with Brown before his residency begins!

My favorite medium to work with is…

Metal, for quite some time. Even more so as I have been exploring its malleability and the variety of metals that can be worked with. The difference between these various materials and their inherent properties fascinates me. Recently, since I have had access to a torch for working with borosilicate glass, I have really enjoyed  how tactile the medium is. I have read about the physical properties of glass but understanding those properties through your hands is a different experience.

The body of work I will be developing during my residency is…

Some of my recent work and taking it to a different level, in regards to scale. The work will also be slightly different in process or media, such as blowing into 3D printed cages without an exterior mold, documenting the electro-forming process as a video, and working with different physical processes to create an abstract definition of time.

I am most inspired by…

The phenomena that we experience as the physical world and how it operates based on a set of information.

I incorporate 3D-printed structures into my work by…

Designing 3D-printed cages to blow glass into. In the past I have used a plaster printer to print the actual blow mold. The cages fit into the blow mold and the glass takes the form of the mold as well as becoming stuck in the cage. The cages for this residency are designed with multiple layers to manipulate the way that the glass flows through.

In my spare time I…

Am currently trying to learn how to work with borosilicate glass. I try to get out into nature when I can as well, going on hikes or backpacking trips.

Plan a visit to Museum of Glass to see Visiting Artist Bryan Kekst Brown working in the Hot Shop from August 24 through 28, or watch his residency online.

The Season of Hilltop Artists

By Bonnie Wright, Curator of Education and Community Engagement

There’s so much Hilltop Artists programming in the community this summer and fall, both at Museum of Glass and in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood!

Hilltop Artists students and the Museum of Glass Hot Shop Team.

Hilltop Artists students and the Museum of Glass Hot Shop Team.

Hilltop Artists Residency, August 10-14

Hilltop Artists worked in the Museum of Glass Hot Shop last week making centerpieces for their Better Futures Luncheon. Check out MOG’s Meet the Artist video featuring these young students!

Hilltop Street Fair, August 27

Come visit both the Museum of Glass booth and the Hilltop Artists booth at the Hilltop Street Fair from 11 am to 7 pm on Saturday, August 27! Celebrate art, music, and fun activities in the Hilltop neighborhood on Martin Luther King Way between 9th and 13th Streets.

Hilltop Artists Make Your Own Glass Floats at MOG, September 24-25

Try your hand at blowing glass, guided by a Hilltop Artist at Museum of Glass! Make your own glass float to celebrate the opening weekend of the Into the Deep exhibition!

Photo courtesy of Hilltop Artists.

Photo courtesy of Hilltop Artists.

Hilltop Artists Make Your Own Glass Pumpkins at MOG, October 1-2 & 29-30

You’ve tried blowing glass….now, how about sculpting it? Kick off your fall with this unique paperweight workshop, led by a Hilltop Artist!

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And don’t forget, you can catch Hilltop Artists working in the Museum of Glass Hot Shop on the Third Thursday of each month from 5 to 8 pm!

Bonnie Wright is the Curator of Education and Community Engagement at Museum of Glass. A newcomer to the west coast, Bonnie can often be found exploring Tacoma, Seattle, and the region’s natural wonders.

Add “Every Soil Bears Not Everything” to Your Home

By Haley Judson, Marketing and Communications Intern

No trip to Museum of Glass is complete without browsing the gift shop. Celebrate the final weeks of the Museum’s exhibition Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora C. Mace: Every Soil Bears Not Everything with a nature-themed token to remind you of your visit.

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For those who want to learn more about the exhibition, open through September 6, and other works created by these two Studio Glass artists, pick up a copy of the Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora C. Mace catalogue for $55. Readers will enjoy the book’s discussion of their pieces that reflect the natural world, such as the artists’ Botanicals series.

Visitors should also check out the Museum Store’s selection of fruit that showcases vibrant colors seen in the exhibition. Want to add some fruit to your home? The yellow apple is $90 and the red apple is $65. Both are pictured above.

Although the Botanicals portion of the exhibition has closed, visitors are still treated to the artists’ floral designs found on their Alphabet Cylinders. Feeling the flower power? Check out the Store’s selection of glass flowers for your home. Our flowers come in all shapes and sizes, but I think this yellow flower, pictured above, in particular will remind you why Kirkpatrick and Mace are inspired by nature. These flowers are $50 each. Smaller flower sets are available in-store and online for $30.

Lastly, birds also play a prominent role in the exhibition. Add a little nature décor to your home with the Store’s variety of Global Village Glass Studio creatures. Choose from mini birds for $10 and lady bugs for $1.

Become a Museum of Glass member and save 10% every time you shop at the Museum Store. You’ll also enjoy extra seasonal discounts throughout the year!