Sunday, February 15, 2015

Smoke & Mirrors! (as well as heaps of laughter! )

In June (15th-19th) I will be teaching a fantastic class that will cover all things fused, slumped, and silvered. The silvering process, or applying a shiny silver coat to the back of glass to make a mirror, is something within my studio practice that I love.

When I was a young glassy bub I thought to myself, "alright, lets put that mirror in the kiln and manipulate it," which you really cant do, I discovered the hard way. You must first fuse, slump, and shape the glass before applying the mirror coating.

In the not so distant past it was something I outsourced, but because of rising costs and the desire to experiment more I have incorporated this practice within my repertoire. We will cover the do's and don'ts as well as proper handling and disposal. You will also leave with a sweet coupon code to purchase the chemicals required to mirror your own glass in your studio.

In the course we will also explore leading techniques, by this I mean lead came, solder, and copper foil construction techniques. This, alongside the silvering, is something that fascinates me. Stained glass is such a dated craft. I love this pedantic way of joining two pieces of glass together, or in some cases many shards of glass together. In contemporary glass/sculpture I believe there is a great deal of exploration to be had.

We will examine these techniques both conceptually and technically as well as have a great time along the way.

I am very excited to teach at the Pittsburgh Glass Center for the first time and it should be a hoot!

Click on the link to learn more!

Smoke & Mirrors!

Also! They have scholarships! Apply by March 15th! Money for classes!

Check it out!


Monday, February 9, 2015

What have I been up to you ask?

Oh a little of this and a little of that. I have recently completed a residency at Pilchuck Glass School. It was a wonderful time spent on the Pilchuck campus during the North American Autumn. There was only the full time staff as well as the other residents: Sarah BrilandYuka OtaniDavid KingAnne Petters, and Irena Czepcova. I made, I laughed, I ate. Oh boy did I eat. Yessh.

It was highly productive period. Some of this work will be forwarded to a show in Auckland, New Zealand, a piece will be hung at the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Australia, and a few works have been commissioned. Unfortunately a few pieces and components (important ones ugh) were damaged by TSA during transit. But that is a whole other post.....

Here a few works in progress....

Broken then fused seperatley. Much of the new work looks for patterns within the breaks and finds continuity between panels. This stems from an observation I made in grad school. I was looking out my  fourth floor studio and noticed how independently poured slabs of concrete were linked by a single crack. 

Experiments in creating sculptural works. Using no silvering. Just light. 

A kiln full of broken panels with cover sheets. 

Fused, sawed, sandblasted, then "fire polished"

I have also started silvering the panels myself. 

Crates! A perk of using Bullseye sheet glass is that it comes with high quality foam. So easy to pack out a crate. 

These are probably my favorite new works/experiments. Black on black. Very simple. Very clean. 

Big ginger! I have also started to drop the glass into the kiln. Not arranging anything and leaving the break more to chance. A less heavy handed approach. 

Large white panel. 

And then my little helper. Irena :) 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

#Flippy #Flappy

I have been at Pilchuck Glass School  for a few weeks now. I have been soooo busy making work, enjoying the views and making more work. I did find a few moments to make flap jacks for my fellow Emerging Artists in Residence. This special moment caught by Sarah Briland.

Images of work to come soon........

Friday, September 19, 2014

Roll, rip, print. #Repeat

In total I had four sessions with Lisa Lofgren. One planning and three “working,” if you can call our sessions “working.” We laughed, played, and experimented late into the night. With beers in hand we rolled flats, tore paper, and made Art! I am fortunate to have connected with Lisa and the outcomes are stellar. In our final session together we “scaled” up. We rolled massive “flats” of black ink onto the press and used full torn sheets to generate the “ripped” lines. In addition to the “rip” prints we took the previously torn sheets, which acted as masks, and mounted (Chincolled) them to a larger heavier sheets of paper. It is unfortunate, but the detail is lacking in the photos. The beauty of these prints is in their minute features. The way the ink gently bleeds through the torn edge, mild contrasts between the cream and white papers and the stark black ink, and how the thud of the ink lives on the paper. Some truly amazing things are happening.

This mini-residency in Bloomington Normal has been incredibly productive. Still in dialogue with my interests, these works on paper have afforded me a new and fresh vantage point. Sol Lewitt’s sentences on conceptual art appear on the first page of my Master’s thesis, well, the last four of them do. They are words I have lived by. For some reason they seemed to be on my mind more so during this project. I think I was trying to un-slick my art, not be too precious with the execution, and just let the idea unfold. I was remembering what I had forgot.

32. Banal ideas cannot be rescued by beautiful execution.
33. It is difficult to bungle a good idea.
34. When an artist learns his craft too well he makes slick art
35. These sentences comment on art, but are not art.

I think Lisa and I did no bungling over the last two weeks ;)

A staged photo.

And....Laughter. We had fun! 

The torn "masks" mounted to some smooth white paper. 

Beer makes everything look a bit better. 

A crap ton of black ink on the press. 

 Lisa the master printer, aka Tammy technical, touching up some blemishes. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The new Normal (IL)...

Normal Illinois was recently voted one of the top ten happiest (small) cities in America. I am not sure how credible this is and what sound research has been done, though, I think it is spot on. Thinking back to my time living in Normal IL, attending Illinois State University, always brings a smile to face. It is the right mix of small town feel with cafes, hip venues, farmers market, and one-way streets. But not too small. There are universities peppered between Bloomington and Normal. They are not too large, but not too small. It makes for a nice ratio of college students to “townies.” It has been nice to come back and spend a little time in this area of the world. It has proved to be incredibly productive (art wise) and very energizing.

The other night I reconnected with one of my favorite professors, Sarah Smelser and her master printer husband Johnathan Higgins. She teaches Intaglio at Illinois State University and has a beautiful family. She was a fantastic resource and supporter of my early (angsty) career at ISU. She also gave me a D- on my first artist statement…I am better now for that D- .

These are Sarah and Johnathan's (AKA Higgins/Smelser clan) children L-R Ruby, Delilah, and the most fashionable Fin. 

Young Finn Higgins working his photography chops. 

Received this souvenir/art work from the Higgins children. "Matt is weird," Crayon on paper, 2014

Saturday morning farmers market with my host Pete Steadman. My little head almost popped off. I wanted one of everything! 

Pickled jalapeƱos! I just had to! These little puppies were only 2 for 25 cents at the Saturday farmers market. In Australia I can pay upwards of 19 dollars a kilo. There are not many Mexicans down under :(

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rip #Inklife

So! I am making some print work! I did a great deal of printmaking during my undergraduate degree and enjoyed it. I was particular drawn to mono typing. The immediate quality is satisfying in addition to the fact that it is a one-shot process much like a waste mold.

Some images from the first night in the studio with Lisa Lofgren. She has opened up her fabulous open access studio to me as well as acting like my print making spirt guide. Inspired by broken glass, flats of inks are rolled out and ripped sheets of paper are arranged over these flats to block out pigment. The "rip"ed area of ink, the only bit of ink exposed, prints onto the sheet rolled through the press. The torn edges yield a seductive deep line that resembles a scar, a bolt of lighting, and broken glass. I am working with Lisa in anticipation of producing some prints at Pilchuck Glass School.

Ripped Sheet of paper over a flat of black Litho ink/lacquer agents, the black ink is rolled out on a plastic sheet of plexi.

The print shown opposite its substrate.

Lisa has constructed a fantastic studio space! She offers classes, open time, and is a wonderful consultant.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

#Trainlife #Amtrak

So I decided to travel by train. I am headed to central IL to produce some material studies and prints before I head to Seattle. It was enjoyable! And so cost effective. For 14 dollars I had access to sufficient Wifi, a comfy seat, ample leg space, a cute food & beverage train with table seating, all with a view. So the wine might have not been select but was well priced and came with a plastic collectors cup....

The trip that would usually take 3 hrs 10 mins was cut down to 2 hrs 15 mins. Also. Illinois is very flat. So flat!