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/

 

Layers of Light

I am enjoying the artwork of Jun Kaneko (thanks to Brandie for the link to this artist!). He is an incredibly prolific artist, producing work in Ceramics, Bronze, Glass, Textile, Drawing, and Painting.  Whoa.

Jun Kaneko

Jun Kaneko, Installation View, Bullseye Glass

The beauty of glass is in its capture of light, and Kaneko’s installations wow the eye with color and reflection.

Jun Kaneko

Hump, Glass, 2001Kiln-formed glass| 6h x 18w x 10.5d in. | Photo credit Dirk Bakker

Kaneko was born in Japan, and began his studies in painting.  After coming to the U.S., he was drawn into sculptural ceramics.  He has taught at some of the nations leading art schools, and holds honorary doctorates from several notable Universities.

Jun Kaneko

Jun Kaneko, Mission Clay, Fremont Project,1993-1995

He has fantastic pictures on his website.  I love to see the scale of the work as shown by the photo above.  See the finished pieces below.

Jun Kaneko

Jun Kaneko, Mission Clay, Fremont Project,1993-1995

Kaneko plays with scale and proportion, and is a pioneer in the field of monumental ceramic sculpture.  His latest exhibition can be seen in Millennium Park in Chicago, IL, in the  Boeing Galleries, from April through November of 2013.

Jun Kaneko, Legends, Myths and Truths,  Temporary Exhibition: April 12 – November 3, 2013.

Jun Kaneko, Legends, Myths and Truths,
Temporary Exhibition: April 12 – November 3, 2013.

See more on his website:  http://www.junkaneko.com/