Friday, February 24, 2006

Hot Glass

I've been taking a class on the Studio Glass movement. It's a young art movement where most, if not all, of the masters are still around. The class was short, with 2 out of the 5 classes being field trips. One was to the instructor's glass gallery where we saw an exhibition for Bertil Vallien and Lino Tagliapietra. Totally different styles - each so wonderful to see. Vallien casts the glass in a sand mold - often by ladling the liquid glass in. Doing it this way, he can drop things into the glass to give it a sculpture quality, with figures (small or large) trapped inside the glass. This method also causes the sand to fuse to the glass and it gives the glass a grainy look that can be left alone or polished depending on the look he wants to achieve. Tagliapietra is a glass blower. He tends to do lots of elaborate, elongated vessels that are sculptural in nature.
My descriptions are not doing them justice - even if you think you are not into glass, just check out these pages.
Today we went on a field trip to see glass blown. There was a full house - lots of glass blowers working to make items for an upcoming fundraiser. You could tell by watching them that there were a few bad-asses in particular, and it was fun to watch them so effortlessly contort and shape this molten piece of glass into something beautiful and functional.
Alas, I fear I will never create anything so appreciated. Somehow, legal arguments - brilliant as I think some turn out - just don't do it for people.

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