Glass Vessels and Sculptures
Guided by the interior and exterior cascade of shifting landscapes and experiences perceived by my corporeal mind, I seek out ways to express these both tangible and intangible ways of knowing through the medium of glass. As with almost any other material, glass can be expertly manipulated to a highly skilled degree, or it can also be used in such as manner as to allow a piece to melt and flow in the kiln so that it can also find its own equilibrium of expression. By intuitively sorting through my influences, external and internal, and expressing them through my choices of colored glass shapes, I am initially creating a carefully crafted non-representational composition, which is only fully completed through the unpredictable firing process. This “letting go” of control over the work allows it to be completed in the “unknown future”. The future is always the final stage of any artwork, although the end result of certain artforms and the materials they are fashioned from may be more unpredictable than others.
Glass is a material that is closely aligned to ceramics, and it is not uncommon for many ceramic artists to have an interest in it. A gorgeous material that occasionally appears under various extreme circumstances in the natural world, glass is a substance that, like clay, can produce objects that run the gamut from functional works that express humble organic intentions to artifices that soar in their visual and spiritual splendour.
My first opportunity to work with glass was on a military base at Ft Huachuca in Arizona. I was a PFC, in the Army in training as an Art Specialist when I first tried glass blowing and hot glass working. During my two years of working at Ft. Huachuca, I was trained in the basics of glass blowing, ceramics, lapidary and silversmithing.
After leaving the military, I went to college to study art on the GI Bill. In college I turned my full attention to ceramics because of the abundance and robustness of ceramic programs at the time. However, I rediscovered glass after moving to Bradford, Pennsylvania, a town that is about two and one-half hours from the famous Corning Museum, in Corning, New York. Since moving to this region I have taken advantage of the rich resources offered by this institute by enrolling in a variety of glass workshops. I have been enjoying classes in glassblowing, fusing, and silver clay metal-working since 2007. In 2011 I set up my own glass-fusing kiln along with a silver clay jewellery kiln in my ceramic studio. I am currently producing both fused glass works and silver clay jewellery pieces that incorporate fused glass elements.
I also honed my skills and interest in working with glass between the years of 2008-09 by creating work at the newly established glass facility at the Academy of Visual Arts, HKBU, Hong Kong, China. My teaching position in ceramics during this time as an Assistant Professor afforded me the opportunity to begin making inter-disciplinary sculptures that merged fabricated glass elements with ceramic works. Because the glass students at the Academy discarded so many failed practice pieces I decided to use some of these non-recyclable works for cold working practice. This in turn led to my creation of pieces like, "Lost and Found Possibilities" which is a sculptural work constructed from discarded student glass projects, a purchased wooden frame and beach-combed artefacts. This piece and others that I have made since have been significant for me because they have allowed me to be more daring in my exploration of glass.