GLASS BREAK: Sarah Gilbert

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!

View the live stream at: museumofglass.org/the-hot-shop

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.

Learn more about Gilbert and follow her work at:

Glassorama: Environments for Kids Design Glass Too

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

This diorama is set in the town of Greasy Gulch, where Hamburger Cowboy and his sheriff Frank Furt defend the saloon from some seriously evil extraterrestrial veggies
This diorama is set in the town of Greasy Gulch, where Hamburger Cowboy and his sheriff Frank Furt defend the saloon from some seriously evil extraterrestrial veggies.
 A close-up of one of the aliens threatening the peace of Greasy Gulch
A close-up of one of the aliens threatening the peace of Greasy Gulch.

Lincoln High School:

Kids Design Glass piece: Blinky the Crab (Calvin Christoph, age 10)

Diorama Title: Blinky the Crab

The diorama (represented here by a scale drawing) will feature the “scene of the crime” from Blinky the Crab’s original artist statement – the fridge where Blinky consumes the radioactive donut.
The diorama (represented here by a scale drawing) will feature the “scene of the crime” from Blinky the Crab’s original artist statement – the fridge where Blinky consumes the radioactive donut.
Students Belen Contreras, Angel Zuniga and Jorge Zuniga from Lincoln High School are developing new skills in sewing and textiles to make parts of their diorama.
Students Belen Contreras, Angel Zuniga and Jorge Zuniga from Lincoln High School are developing new skills in sewing and textiles to make parts of their diorama.

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!

Student Emma Jury is designing an underwater city, including the Dancing Bowl, where renowned underwater fashion designer Penelope the dolphin spends many evenings out dancing with the girls.
Student Emma Jury is designing an underwater city, including the Dancing Bowl, where renowned underwater fashion designer Penelope the dolphin spends many evenings out dancing with the girls.
SOTA students work on constructing buildings for their diorama.
SOTA students work on constructing buildings for their diorama.

Thomas Jefferson High School:

Kids Design Glass piece: Dino Guy (Mia Perfetti, age 7)

Diorama title: The Phantom of Katy’s Candy Store

A mockup of the diorama from Thomas Jefferson High School. It features Dino Guy as the Phantom, a character who lives underground in the sewer system and comes up at night to raid the candy store.
A mockup of the diorama from Thomas Jefferson High School. It features Dino Guy as the Phantom, a character who lives underground in the sewer system and comes up at night to raid the candy store.
Students at Thomas Jefferson High School have successfully finished building the wood frame for their diorama. They are using a foam replica of Dino Guy to make sure they are building everything to scale.
Students at Thomas Jefferson High School have successfully finished building the wood frame for their diorama. They are using a foam replica of Dino Guy to make sure they are building everything to scale.

Wilson High School:

Kids Design Glass piece: Sockness Monster (Hannah Wilson, age 11)

Diorama title: Welcome to my Crib!

Since Wilson High School has a Hot Shop, their team is working on hot-sculpting several elements for their diorama. Students Jonah Ellestad, Cordell Corbin and instructor Tony Sorgenfrei are seen here working on a hot-sculpted couch.
Since Wilson High School has a Hot Shop, their team is working on hot-sculpting several elements for their diorama. Students Jonah Ellestad, Cordell Corbin and instructor Tony Sorgenfrei are seen here working on a hot-sculpted couch.
Students from Tacoma’s Wilson High School are recreating the washing machine home of the Sockness Monster, partly inspired by the swampy home of Scotland’s infamous Lochness Monster. This sketch details some of the components of the diorama.
Students from Tacoma’s Wilson High School are recreating the washing machine home of the Sockness Monster, partly inspired by the swampy home of Scotland’s infamous Lochness Monster. This sketch details some of the components of the diorama.

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.   

Gabe Feenan: Home Shop Advantage

By Serena Berry, Audio/Visual Department

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.

1According 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.

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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.

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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. 5

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.

The French Glass Tradition

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.

Scene of Baptism Stained glass Last quarter of the 12th century. From the Sainte-Chapelle de Paris Paris, France
Scene of Baptism
Stained glass
Last quarter of the 12th century. From the Sainte-Chapelle de Paris
Paris, France

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.

"Marie Antoinette Sacrifices the Heart of the Nobility on the Alter of the French Republic" Pierre Haly, lampworked glass Nevers, France 1790
“Marie Antoinette Sacrifices the Heart of the Nobility on the Alter of the French Republic”
Pierre Haly,
lampworked glass
Nevers, France
1790

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.

Vase Compagnie des Verreries et Cristalleries de Baccarat France about 1889-1898
Vase
Compagnie des Verreries et Cristalleries de Baccarat
France
about 1889-1898
Floral Paperweight Compagnie des Cristalleries de Saint Louis, Late 1800s
Floral Paperweight
Compagnie des Cristalleries de Saint Louis,
Late 1800s

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

Le Débat éternel (The Eternal Debate) Emile Gallé Mold-blown, cased and cut glass Nancy, France about 1889-1898
Le Débat éternel (The Eternal Debate)
Emile Gallé
Mold-blown, cased and cut glass
Nancy, France
about 1889-1898

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.

"Escargot" René Lalique Mold-blown glass Combs-la-Ville, France 1920
“Escargot”
René Lalique
Mold-blown glass
Combs-la-Ville, France
1920

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.