about recent work
About Recent Work:
There have been a lot of changes with my work, my studio processes, and I suppose I should say, in me, too, over the last few years.
The current work is quite a departure from the previous modality that I had been developing for several years. There has been a transformation in technique and form, including the aesthetics that come with those changes.
Every craftsman and artist strives to control their medium to the desired result. Some mediums lend themselves to being able to be completely controlled by the artist; as with bronze sculpting, goldsmith jewelry, and painting. Other materials have an element of spontaneity and unpredictability in their nature. Hot cast glass and raku pottery are two examples where at the final point in the creation process the artist has to let go, to let the material do what it will do. Once the glass is cast, the die is set. This can lead to very pleasing and rewarding results that can effect opalescence, color, and form in my castings.
A picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes…Well, a video is worth at least a few paragraphs, I would say. Click here to see a short video recently produced by the Humboldt County Office of Education about me and my work (enter this password to launch the video: feedback2016). I believe it will shed some light on the processes that I’ve embraced.
There has been change in the air for me for quite a while. I had been working with the previous body of work for several years. It evolved, unfolded, and was a great source of enjoyment for me. One piece inspired the next as new design elements showed themselves and new techniques evolved out of need. I’ve been grateful for that. But I found that it was time for a change. It was time to shake things up a bit.
I felt moved to take a whole new direction with my work. The new forms that I was inspired to make required that I take a fresh approach to designing and casting. It involved creating a new glass formula, new mold processes, new casting techniques, new cold work processes, and new tooling in the hot shop; basically, a departure from my previous methodology. To do that I had to stop making the previous body of work to make way for the transformation in the studio.
Process is a big part of working with glass. Most often a desired design requires an innovation in technique to make it all happen. Fortunately, I like that process and the challenges that come with it. However, technique is only a means to an end and not the goal itself, which is important to keep in mind during the creative process when working with cast glass. As in life, the journey is as important as the destination. That being said, the beauty we recognize in nature — form, function, and the fact that it all even simply exists — is astounding to me. It stops me in my tracks. Imitating nature in art seems so futile, yet I feel compelled and inspired to continue to go that direction.
I am drawn to create forms that are reflections of the beauty I see in nature and the human form…so many images. For me, the final destination has always been simple beauty; a beauty that is innately recognized by anyone. No intellectual understanding is necessary. At times, it all seems so ironic to me that there really isn’t any beauty in an object in and of itself. The object simply is. Yet, we call it beautiful. Really, the experience of beauty is becoming aware of a resonance within ourselves, with ‘something’ ineffable; something that isn’t, yet is. It’s expansive and uplifting. It’s from outside ourselves but one with us. When I can make something that people respond to on that level I feel successful and grateful. Then, it’s all worthwhile.