Posts Tagged ‘Glassworks’

Last Friday, the reception for the glass exhibition that StudioWorks is participating in had its reception at Louisville’s Weber Gallery.  It was a warm and pleasant evening and our exhibition was among the first of many glass shows to open in town as a result of our participation in the celebration of Ingenious Possibilities, the 2010 Glass Art Society’s Conference in Louisville.  Our exhibit is entitled “Shine” and the show dates are June 1 – July 23, 2010.  The Weber Gallery is on 1151 South Fourth Street in wonderful old Louisville and so if you are in the area for the conference…please do stop by and check out the art.  I think our StudioWorks artists are indeed shining brightly here!

The exhibit is in two galleries.  The smaller front gallery is where you can find the display of our glass self-portraits and Carol Mueller from the Weber Gallery was nice enough to include short biographies to accompany our images.  Here are some close-ups of the self-portraits along with a couple of our artists that were able to attend on a very busy night of social events.  It was First Fridays Trolley Hop night and galleries and museums on Main and Market Streets were open late to the public.

This is Eric Huggins’ work which is delightful and engaging.  Eric enjoyed his experiences with the new medium which is helping to stimulate his creativity in his other studio produced art.

Sally Hardman is standing in front of her work which was one of several portraits that were purchased during the reception.  Way to go Sally!

Everybody loved this portrait that Terry Bishop made.  It is so very Terry in being low-key and simple in a good way!  This piece was so popular that it could have sold multiple times!  StudioWorks will certainly make more glass pieces in the near future.  This was so much fun to do!

Brad Bohannon is posed next to his self-portrait which was also purchased.  The new owner works in a dental office and liked Brad’s piece because of the teeth!  Brad had a really successful night with his work.

Nancy Anderson’s self-portrait is colorful and charming.  Her earrings and necklace add just the right touches to set her portrait off.  The earrings especially are like cherries hanging from her ears!

We certainly appreciated the support from the Zoom Group staff.  Leave it to Dollie for being too animated to stand still for a photograph!  Thanks Deb, Barb, and Judy for coming to “Shine”.  Our StudioWorks staff members, Kevin, Vickey, and our ace volunteer Susie did a great job coordinating all the workshops with our artists.

Also on display are the vases that the StudioWorks artists made during the workshops.  We have many nice examples and some of these have sold.  To produce a vase, first a base sheet of glass is “fused” with other pieces of glass attached to the base sheet in a super hot kiln.  This glass melts together.  After cooling, the resulting fused sheet of glass is then “slumped” over a mold and refired in the kiln.  The intense heat melts the glass and relaxes it over the form.  Here are a couple other nice vases.  These are like glass flower blossoms.

I would like to thank our partners in this endeavor for all their work and support.  We certainly appreciate the Council on Developmental Disabilities and their Weber Gallery for the invitation to participate.  Thanks also go out to Louisville’s Glassworks which provided the facility and equipment to produce these works.  We created over fifty pieces there!  I would also like to thank Bullseye Glass in Portland, Oregon for helping us with the materials.  All the fused glass we used was manufactured by them.  Of course all the encouragement that Zoom Group provided as well as the ongoing support of families and care givers is vital to our ongoing efforts.  A few more images before closing for the moment.

Special thanks go to Jonathan Swanz for leading our workshop at Glassworks.  Jonathan was a big supporter of this project and is a talented glass artist in his own right.  In addition to the “Shine” exhibit, Jonathan is participating in several other gallery shows during the GAS conference in Louisville.  Most of big exhibits will be opening next week and another Trolley Hop is scheduled to coincide with the Speed Museums showing of the Leight Collection.  The Weber Gallery is expecting another round of visitors on that evening which will be June 10.  The StudioWorks artists also produced some fine plates and I will show you those in our next post.  To end, here is one of the Sun Catchers we produced during our first forays with this new medium.  This one is by David Mahoney and is a stylized face complete with moustache!

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Last Thursday we had our final session at Glassworks before our show at the Weber Gallery.  The staff and artists from our place all did self-portraits.  Because the StudioWorks artists made colored construction paper self-portraits ahead of time, we were able to make the most from our two-hour sessions.  Many of the problems were solved and it was a matter of finding and cutting the glass to match as closely as possible our original images.  Of course, that is a little easier said than done!

Towards the end of our workshop, the staff was becoming  more adept at cutting and manipulating the glass pieces.  When it was crucial to have a piece fit just right, then we learned how to use the glass grinder.  Yes, we broke a few pieces, but overall, everybody seemed patient with this new for us material and had fun in the process too! Here Kevin gives it a go.

We divided our artists into two groups.  The first group met on Mondays and the second on Thursdays.  If you see people wearing different clothing in this post, it’s because these images were taken on two separate days!  By not trying to get everybody into the shop at once, the staff were able to offer more individual attention and we were more productive that way.

Here are a few of the self-portraits that came out of the workshop.  Mind you, none of these have been fused in the kiln yet.  It should be interesting to see what happens after the heat.  Some of the glass we were using is designed to change color once it reaches high temperatures.  Above is Nancy’s self-portrait complete with glasses and earrings.

This is David Mahoney’s self-portrait before fusing.  His work is a bit more austere, but very effective.

Brad Bohannon worked with Jonathan to produce his self-portrait.  The colors are a bit different since Brad changed things as he went along.  The teeth are created by using glass stringers and add a nice level of detail.

Natalie is all smiles as she works with Susie.  Carol Thorp’s self-portrait is in the foreground.

Sally decided to change the color of her “glass face” once she reached the workshop.  The little cups contain a pink-colored adhesive that helps hold the glass in place and will disappear after firing.

Terry made a simple face against a black background and when he was finished…he took a picture of it.  Terry likes to take his camera where ever he goes and he has a small printer for when he wants hard copies.

Here is the Thursday group again wrapping things up.  I won’t show you all the self-portraits, but it will be an amazing series!  We had a little time afterwards to look around and Jonathan was nice enough to give us a bit of a tour.  From a safe distance, we watched glass being blown and we were all intrigued by that. 

We want to formally thank Jonathan for all his help and good cheer!  I know our artists looked forward to working with him over the last few weeks and I think we will produce a nice show to cap it all off.  Here is Jonathan with one of his signature blown glass wine decanters with the swan-shaped neck.  Swan…Swanz…now we get it!  Thanks again Jonathan!

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At long last it’s here!  Our eagerly awaited glass workshop has begun.  This past week we met Jonathan Swanz (glass artist, yogi, and guy in the green shirt) at Louisville’s Glassworks shop for an orientation, but it went further than that!  We initially scheduled this trip to get our artists used to a new studio and to see logistically what needed to happen to make this all flow smoothly.  The staff at Glassworks made us feel welcome.   And Jonathan surprised us all when he said we should try to make something simple like a sun catcher.  For most of us, this was our introduction to a new material and method of working.

We brought our supplies and Jonathan gave us a quick overview on some basic concepts and techniques for handling the glass.  I was pleased to see that everyone in our group was into it!  We began by having our staff cut the glass into roughly 4″ x 5″ rectangles.  Organic shapes are especially hard to cut.  Next colors were chosen and glass shapes cut to lay upon these rectangles in compositions of our artists’ choosing. 

Here’s an example of what we were doing.  Once the glass pieces were in position, they would be glued down with a special adhesive that would burn out in the kiln.  Under high heat (1800 degrees) all the glass would “fuse” together creating a unified surface.  This is the basic technique we will be using to create artworks that ultimately will be shown at the Weber Gallery during the Glass Art Society’s gathering in Louisville.  The next time we visit Glassworks, we can check out the finished sun catchers and we will post of few of those here. 

In this image, Jonathan is assisting Eric and Sally with gluing the pieces down.  It’s funny how the glue being used is pink and one of our group thought it looked like Pepto Bismal!  Here are Terry and Dorcas working on their projects.  For the StudioWorks artists that like to work geometrically, this is going to play to their strengths.  For our artists that prefer representation, this will be a great excercise in abstraction.  Terry and Dorcas were having a blast and the whole experience was so stimulating.

The majority of our glass sessions are scheduled for the month of May.  Our goal is to eventually move on to more ambitious projects that we can exhibit.  Once the glass is fused, it can then be shaped by “slumping” it in a mold.  Again under high heat, the glass sheet softens and conforms to the interior shape of the mold.  Here is a display of the types of molds that can be used to create bowls, vases, platters, and more.

Since this experience, our artists have been itching to go back and I can’t blame them.  I think we all really enjoyed our first foray with glass.  There are so many partners to thank for this experience, but I would like to begin by thanking the folks at Glassworks for their hospitality and to say we look forward to working with you to help realize our projects!

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