Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Show on the Road!

This image says it all. The American Summer has been chock full of travel and adventure. Mostly teaching and lecturing. Suitcase in tow and annealing schedules on the board I am off to the next stop.

I will be teaching at all four Bullseye resource Centers this Summer/Autumn. The class titled "Kiln as Chisel"  explores the many facets of manipulating glass in a kiln. Exploring "tactics" within my own practice students are exposed to a "Kitchen sink" of ideas. About one quarter of the class revolves around silvering glass. This is the process in which a "mirror coating" is applied to the surface of glass. In this case Kiln formed glass. 

The silvering solutions I have come to love and rely on are produced by Angel Gilding. They have created a kit for the class, and for the students, interested in silvering glass onwards after the class. The kit is a hybrid of what I have been ordering from them for years; they are user friendly and reliable products. If I ever had an issue or problem they have always been more than happy to assist! (Although there have been very few issues....mostly "what ifs?" and "can I do this?"... )  

Pictured above is the kit provided by Angel Gilding and some Bullseye Glass Billets. "A match made in heaven" HA! See what I did there! 

Some really amazing results are coming from these classes see below! 

More to come in the fall! If you have not signed up for a class do so now!!!!

Sunday, April 12, 2015


On Sunday March 29th I opened a solo show at Master Works Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand, titled "Shattered." These works were made/started/considered over the course of my residency at Pilchuck Glass School and completed in Australia.

It was a slow, but steady, turnout because of the ICC World Cup. I know. Cricket. Of all things! I don't even know how the bloody sport is played! New Zealand made it to the final so of course. They Played Australia, of course. Australia won. Of course! It was overall a great afternoon with many folks valiantly braving the NZ holiday.

New Zealand and Australia have an interesting rivalry. Not unlike Canada and America. I chock it up to similar accents. Their flags are very much alike with only a few stars designating a difference. If you ask a kiwi they would say the Aussies are just greedy, that is why they have more stars ;)

The work looked great. It was lovely to see all 13 new works side by side. Some of the work was incredibly fresh, out of the kiln hot and packed into crates. Well, not THAT new, but you get the picture. Forward are a few images. I am most excited by the works where I have broken slabs of plaster and let the glass gently ooze over and into. These works are sawed, sandblasted, hand finished then silvered.

"Slab" 2015
Broken refractory slabs, fused glass, cold worked, and silvered.
540 x 640 x 35mm

"Always After" 2015
Fused glass over broken/discarded bits of refractory material from "Slab" 
Fused, cold worked, and silvered glass.
425 x 425 x 10mm

"Break and Mend 16" 2014
Broken, fused, cold worked, and silvered glass.
770 x 430 x 6mm

"Break and Mend 17" 2015
Broken, fused, cold worked, and silvered glass.
895 x 460 x 6mm

"Shattered 1" 2015
Broken and fused glass.
New freestanding work with light emanating through the cracks.  
590 x 495 x 50mm

"Break and Mend 18" 2014
Broken, fused, cold worked, and silvered glass.
870 x 460 x 6mm

"Break and Mend 19" 2014
Broken, fused, cold worked, and silvered glass.
610 x 475 x 6mm

"Ooze 2" 2015
Broken black glass with black glass oozing through.
920 x 300 x 6mm

"Ooze 1" 2015
Broken black glass with black glass oozing through.
590 x 590 x 6mm

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 :(