Artist Residency at Pilchuck School of Glass

n May of 2013 I was honored to work for 10 days at the Pilchuck Glass School nestled in the foothills of the Cascade mountains north of Seattle. I was able to work there as part of the generous Hauberg Fellowship which the school grants to a selected  group of artists once a year.  While not a “glass artist” myself, I had the great fortune to work with a small group of very talented of artists (pictured below) including Carrie Iverson, Gay Outlaw, Lisa Blatt Julie Alland and J.D. Beltran.

My intention for the fellowship was to extend my exploration of impermanence and change by working with the leftovers of the glass making process. If you have ever watched people blow glass, you know how addicting it can be. indeed, campus locals call it watching glass T.V.

After pulling myself away from this mesmerizing mixture of skill. heat and endless transformation, I headed for the dumpsters just outside of the hot shop where glass “rejects” were summarily and often ceremonially tossed.  The contents of these dumpsters changed daily depending on the color, thickness and attitude of the glass blowers working in the hot shop.   Each day a different crystalline world would bloom inside these bins.

I was particularly drawn to the light and shadow effects created by various combinations of clear broken glass.

After arranging and re-arranging the discards into an images that I could photograph, I worked with Kelvin Mason in Pilchuck’s vitreography studio to create a negative.  We then used a sandblaster to transfer the image onto a clear glass plate. The plate was then inked up and used to make prints like the one below.

In the hot shop I was also drawn to the rustic and beautiful wooden paddles used to shield glass blowers from the scorching heat of the furnace

I was inspired by the paddle’s shape and utility and its slow disintegration as it absorbed heat and took on the charring effects of a lifetime of work. Using the kilns in the warm shop I created pieces like the one below.

Finally, because I still had (and have) iceberg shapes on my mind, I took some time out to work on a series of monoprints, conjuring iceberg forms and unforms from my imagination and then working to “cook” some of these images into glass plates using a image transfer technique developed by artist Carrie Iverson.

You can view the pieces above as well as work by the other Hauberg Fellows from March 25  through March 30 at the AAU Gallery 2841 Levnworth Street, San Francisco, CA 94133.