Pride month may be over, but for the month of July, Glass Break will be highlighting LGBTQ+ artists ALL MONTH LONG. If you don’t know what Glass Break is, here’s a little background. Glass Break is a new video series exploring topics related to all things glass. This series includes interviews with the MOG Hot Shop Team discussing their experience working with the featured Visiting Artists, past clips of live glassblowing, and much more.
This week MOG’s own Sarah Gilbert will be featured with some throwback footage from her most recent residency in the Hot Shop.
Tune in Friday, July 10 at 1pm and enjoy a Glass Break with MOG!
About the artist: Sarah Gilbert received her BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2005. Utilizing glass to communicate a narrative, Gilbert catalogs and documents the stories of daily life. Her work has been shown around the world and she was recently a Hauberg Fellow at Pilchuck Glass School. Gilbert was also chosen as part of Young Glass, the competitively juried international exhibition featuring the work of emerging artists working in glass, held once a decade at Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark.
By Katie Phelps, Curatorial Assistant/Visiting Artist Coordinator
In celebration of Kids Design Glass Too (open at Museum of Glass through July 12, 2015), we partnered with five local high schools to continue the original spirit of the Kids Design Glass program – celebrating the creativity and artistic abilities of young artists.
We received 28 project proposals from students at Federal Way High School, Lincoln High School, Tacoma School of the Arts, Thomas Jefferson High School and Wilson High School. Five of these proposals were selected by MOG curatorial staff to be made into full-scale dioramas for the exhibition.
Our five teams recently sent us some progress photos, and it looks like they are making amazing progress:
Federal Way High School:
Kids Design Glass piece: Hamburger Cowboy (James Barr, age 7)
Diorama Title: Hamburger Cowboy – The Good, the Bad and the Meaty
Lincoln High School:
Kids Design Glass piece: Blinky the Crab (Calvin Christoph, age 10)
Diorama Title: Blinky the Crab
Tacoma School of the Arts:
Kids Design Glass piece: Girls Night!!! (Madeline Teddy, age 10)
Diorama Title: Girls Night!!! This dolphin is ready for a girls night out!
Thomas Jefferson High School:
Kids Design Glass piece: Dino Guy (Mia Perfetti, age 7)
Diorama title: The Phantom of Katy’s Candy Store
Wilson High School:
Kids Design Glass piece: Sockness Monster (Hannah Wilson, age 11)
Diorama title: Welcome to my Crib!
These dioramas will be installed and on view at Museum of Glass April 22, 2015. Come check them out!
Katie Phelps is the Curatorial Assistant/Visiting Artist Coordinator at Museum of Glass. She is an alumnus of Whitman College (BA) and University of Washington (MA). In her life outside of the Museum she is outside as much as possible, wearing skis as often as she does hiking boots.
Often found dancing around the Hotshop while wailing along to ‘80s power ballads a member of our glassblowing team, Gabe Feenan, was last week’s Visiting Artist. The self-proclaimed jokester shifted focus during the week from creating pieces for the MOG’s wide breadth of artists to creating his own work.
According to Feenan, he happened upon glass art as a profession, but after 18 years it’s plain to see that he hasn’t taken his passion for granted. As a member for our team for the last 12 years, Feenan’s had a hand in creating pieces with world-class glassblowers such as Dante Marioni and Lino Tagliapietra. He’s a guy that likes to work hard while always continuing to be a student of his craft.
As a continuation of his previous body of work, Center of Gravity, Feenan created modern compositions comprised of blown cane and tightly assembled geometric shapes. His previous work in this series consisted of mostly blown forms colored in earth tones, inspired by the Pacific Northwest; however this week he’s going to experiment with adding more solid forms and new colors, “I’m going to work with a little bit different palate than I’ve worked with in a long time. I’m going to try to brighten it up a little bit,” said Feenan.
The parts of these sculptures were formed simultaneously using three different teams, then assembled item-by-item by Feenan in a delicate process. The work involved in creating these pieces was misleading, in relation to their design, because although they seemed simplistic in nature once finished they took about three hours to complete on the floor.
Feenan felt fortunate to be working with his co-workers and friends to complete these pieces. The blowers who assisted him during the week have a combined glass working knowledge of close to 100 years. Three of whom blow glass with Feenan five days a week and operate more as a family; we saw some great work out of Gabe Feenan and his team this week. To see more sculptures from Center of Gravity Feenan currently displays his work at the Vetri International Gallery in Seattle, WA.
By Walt Lieberman, Artist, Educator and Hot Shop Emcee
France has a long and proud tradition in glass. Throughout the ages, the French artists have made important contributions to the field. The French first come to prominence with the stained glass windows in great cathedrals of the Middle Ages. These magnificent windows were the jewels in the crown of these stately buildings. They were an expression of great art and great faith. You can still see them today in churches like Sainte-Chapelle, Chartres and Notre Dame.
There were also other lesser known, but equally impressive traditions such as the lampworked glass figures called “verre de Nevers”. Starting in the 1600s, French artisans made beautiful and highly detailed figures. The figures were made from glass rods melted on to a metal wire armature. The subjects spanned the gamut from lowly farm animals to Marie Antoinette.
The process for making large mirrors was invented in France in the late 1600s. This was done by casting large rough glass plates, which were then ground down and polished. You can see spectacular examples of this in the Hall of Mirrors at Louis XIV’s palace at Versailles.
In the 1700s France saw the beginnings of the great crystal factories of Baccarat and St. Louis (pronounced sahn-loo-ee). They made glass favored by royalty and elegant tableware and sparkling chandeliers. The pure brilliant lead glass was cut with perfection and skill. In the 1800s the St. Louis the oldest glass factory in France made intricate paperweights unsurpassed in their skillful execution.
Perhaps the greatest French influence on glassmaking was the artist Emile Gallé. Gallé started in his father’s factory and went on to become the most important glass artist of the Art Nouveau movement. His interests in botany, nature and poetry were major influences in his work. He is most famous for his cameo vases, which were made with multiple layers of different colored glasses. They were then carved back through those layers to create intricate multi-colored designs that often featured the flora and fauna of the Lorraine where he lived and worked. His work was an inspiration to many others like the Daum brothers of Nancy, France and even Orrefors, the famous Swedish glass factory
René Lalique was the French genius of glass for the industrial age. He was a major artist of the Art Deco period, but started his career as a jeweler. He shocked the aristocracy by using colored glass together with precious metals and jewels in his pieces. Later, he would build a business on glass alone. He produced beautiful art glass utilizing the means of mass production and was one of the few glass artists to build a very successful business. Lalique made everything under the sun out of glass, including clocks, fountains, vases and even hood ornaments for cars.
Today the French art glass is alive and well thanks to the outstanding artists of Biot. The Museum of Glass has been honored to welcome them to our Hot Shop in the past and hopes to continue developing this special glass art relationship.