GAS Conference in Chicago

The Glass Art Society Conference 2014 was held in Chicago this year, so friend and fellow-glass fuser Brandie Dunn and I took the train down to check it out.

2014 GAS ConferenceImage from the GAS Conference 2014 Program Book

Alas, as the membership fee is a bit steep for me, (also, the society seems to be more oriented to glass blowers rather than fusers) as non-members we were only able to access the public displays at this conference.

Our main goal was to visit the Bullseye Glass booth, as I am planning to use a great deal more of their product in my own work.  We had a great visit with the reps at the booth, who were very welcoming and receptive to all questions.  I scored a great re-usable Bulleye shopping bag to fill with show literature and give-aways.

GAS conference goodiesNext we met a few more helpful reps from Covington Engineering and HIS Glassworks. We began asking questions about coldworking equipment, but the conversation was cut short as they were leaving for the GAS gallery tour. They were nice enough to encourage us to tag along, and we quickly changed our plans to do just that. What a great decision that turned out to be, as we toured the Ken Saunders GalleryEcht Gallery, and the Vale Craft Gallery, all located on W. Superior in Chicago.

One of my favorite pieces was by artist Steve Jensen, combining natural wood with resin and glass.

Steve JensenJensen hails from Seattle, WA, coming from a long tradition of Norwegian fishermen and boat builders.  He grew up on his father’s fishing boat.  His artwork displays incredible range in mediums including glass, wood carving, and bronze sculpture.

This is a close-up of a piece by Harue Shimomoto that was another favorite of mine:

Harue ShimomotoI once watched Shimomoto unpacking and hanging a piece at a SOFA show in Chicago.  The delicate traceries of glass are hung in overlapping sections to create the full display.  It was amazing to think that you can actually ship something this delicate.

Although this blog could go on for days on this topic, I’ll just include one more piece today, from Thomas Scoon:

Thomas ScoonAgain, I am drawn to pieces that combine natural materials with glass, in this case, chunks of stone.

“Stone/glass/stone/glass, the two substances layered like some sedimentary strata on the side of a cliff.  But, though cold to the touch, Scoon’s assemblages still echo with their igneous source; this is the stuff of magma and the core.” – James Yood, Art Critic

It was quite a memorable evening.  We were completely taken in by the art displays, but also tremendously enjoyed the company of the HIS Glassworks and Covington Engineering representatives.  Their observations and comments were interesting and informative.

Visit for more information:
HIS Glassworks:  http://www.hisglassworks.com/
Covington Engineering: http://www.covington-engineering.com/
Bullseye Glass: http://www.bullseyeglass.com/
Ken Saunders Gallery: http://www.marxsaunders.com/home.html
Echt Gallery: http://www.echtgallery.com
Vale Craft Gallery: http://www.valecraftgallery.com/

 

Mesmerizing Dot Murals

Artist Julie Clement creates intricate designs made of dots.

Julie ClementClement’s Venus and Sun was displayed at the Longmount Museum & Cultural Center in Longmont, CO. Her pointillism follows renowned artists Lichtenstein and Seurat.  It brings to mind the artwork of Australian aboriginal artists.

Julie ClementClement is pictured working on her mural “Venus and Sun” in 2012 at the Longmont Museum and Cultural Center, Photo by Lewis Geyer/Times-Call.

She is described on her website as “vivacious; and her energy, contagious!”, and looking at her colorful, flowing images certainly reflects that energy.  Her paintings are composed of hundreds upon thousands of dots, and  she describes her process as meditative. She draws inspiration from dreams, books, and life experiences.

Julie ClementVenus and Mercury, 11″ x 14″ Metal

Clement paints with acrylic on canvas, metal and wood.  Visit her website:  http://clementinedotart.com

 

 

 

 

there is grass under all that snow

We are buried in snow right now, with below zero temps and arctic winds buffeting the house.  It’s a great time to think about the grasses that are dormant beneath the icy layers of snow, just waiting to spring forth in a few months.  And who better to give you the feeling of grassy growth than Santa Fe artist Charlie Burk.

2014-0127burke3Luxurious Passage
49×97″ oil on panel

Burke has been painting landscape for over 40 years. His paintings seem a blend of abstraction and realism, with their vibrant colors and grassy stems and seeds.

Charlie BurkSerene Afternoon
48×48″ oil on panel

Burke is one of the artists represented by the Winterowd Fine Art Gallery, one of the galleries that recently participated in the LA Art Show.  The show took place at the LA Convention Center, January 2014. The Winterowd Gallery is located in Santa Fe, and notes that “many of our artists have an enduring fascination with nature that continue to inform and inspire.”

Charlie BurkStride Spirited
24×24″ oil on panel

When walking in the nearby parks here in the Midwest, I am fascinated by the tall prairie grasses. I try again and again to capture their beauty, but don’t seem to quite capture the magic to my satisfaction.  I am a little gratified that they seem to echo the feeling of Burke’s work.

Photo by Chelini & OefflingPhotograph by Chelini & OefflingPhotograph by Chelini & Oeffling“We find that it’s ever so
In this life’s uneven flow;
We’ve only to wait,
In the face of fate,
For the green grass under the snow”
- from “Consolation”, Annie A. Preston

 

a new look, reflecting

It’s a new look for the Rowanberry Blog this year, and I have a new goal to strive for in continuing to post.  Reflecting back on this artistic journey, I just can’t let it go and give it up.  I have to keep trying to find the time to share artistic inspiration, at least more consistently if not as frequently. I also wanted to upgrade the look of the blog to be able to share larger images.  There’s nothing like the impact of a large, beautiful image.  For those who spend more time on the phone screen, I guess it might not matter, but if you get home to a nice large monitor… wow!

Today I am sharing some beautiful and somewhat surreal photography from Cody William Smith.  He is a photographer and cinematographer with some interesting work.  These pictures are from “A Moment’s Reflection”, from June of 2013.

Cody William Smith“A Moment’s Reflection” is my ongoing study of specular, or mirror-like, reflections. My intention is to draw new connections between familiar forms by introducing specular reflections to environments where none would typically exist. The mirrors serve as a focal point within a given scene and also function as a window to provide an entirely unique perspective on the same location. -Cody William Smith

Cody William SmithSmith specializes in landscape, fine art, and environmental portraiture.  In the film world, he freelances as a gaffer, 1st AC, and photography assistant.  He has an interesting set of credits to his name, including being involved with several professional music videos, short films and magazine shoots.

Cody William SmithVisit Smith’s website:  http://www.codyslr.com/

go ahead and wire that baby

Kind of a convoluted blog story, but I belatedly saw this article (from 2011) and cracked up.

Damien Hirst“The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living” by Damien Hirst
(Image credit: Fickr user Rupert Ganzer)

Kind of ironic that in “the physical impossibility of death”, the dead tiger shark suspended in an acrylic tank filled with 224 gallons of water immediately began to rot. Hirst’s artwork was on display at London’s Saatchi Gallery.  It started to smell, and efforts began to stem the odor.  They added bleach, which only made the shark decompose faster.  Read the whole, fascinating story here: Neatorama.

I shouldn’t laugh – karma will always come back to you in the end. As much as you think you plan your artwork, you never know what you may forget to consider.

My fellow glass studio workers consistently tease me for the “Oeffling Standard of Work:  Make it Last for 100 Years.”  I insist on structuring pieces as best I can, to be as sturdy as they can be, so that they can withstand handling and often, outdoor elements, for as many years as possible.  (No, I don’t believe I would guarantee one hundred years…)

Linda Oeffling: stained glass snowflakeSo every dimensional stained glass piece I create has copper wire painstakingly soldered around each outside edge. This can add up to an hour or more of work for a small piece, not to mention copious amounts of solder, which keeps increasing in price. The copper wire reinforces the piece, holding it together as gravity tries year after year to make it sag apart.

So “ha” to my lovely co-creators in glass!  Learn the lesson from Damien and wire that baby!

Walking is the way

Catherine WillisCatherine Willis
the perfume rings: exhibition curated by Diana Esnault-Pelterie

“I consider my work as an exploration and a celebration of nature. To pay attention to smell is my way to observe quietly what I encounter on my path, a form of meditation, “Caminando se hace el camino.” (translated, “walking is the way”). My blog is called Chemin Faisant. If you are really quiet, everything has a scent, even the pebbles, even the meteorites.

It is my way to acknowledge the mystery of being alive on this planet.” – Catherine Willis

Catherine WillisCatherine Willis
ROOTS. a Perfume Ring.
July 2013 figtree branch, cinnamon bark, root from a planetree, textiles, metal, rubber.

Willis is always looking for interesting papers on which to create pieces.  She has used essential oils as pigments, but also has utilized beeswax based pastels or watercolor.

Catherine WillisCatherine Willis
FULL FATHOM FIVE
graphite and ink on filipino paper. 2010

Willis has also participated in olfactory performances, burning perfumes while accompanied by musicians playing instruments.

Her blog is a delight:  http://catherinewillis.tumblr.com/