Thursday, May 7, 2009

Glass Blowing Series - Glass Furnace I

Glass Furnace I
12 x 9 soft pastels on Art Spectrum Colourfix
by Miki Willa
In working to convey my impressions of glass blowing studios and glass art, I find myself more and more drawn to non-realistic representations. In this painting, I deliberately left the top portion dark and vague. It could be anywhere, maybe even a cave. I did add some detail to the furnace itself, especially at the bottom, which is further forward. One of the things about being in a glass studio is the intensity of the heat, light, and creativity makes it difficult to really focus on the details too much. At least it is for me because I get caught up in the heat, light, and creativity.
So many people have no idea what goes into creating a piece of glass art. We see so many "hand blown" vases, plates, cups, and glasses at places like Crate and Barrel for such low prices, we are astonished at the prices in glass studios. We forget that most of these pieces are made in factories where repetition is the bread and butter. The glass artists I watch work hard. They often sketch out their designs before they gather any glass. They need to understand the properties and chemistry of glass, especially colored glass. They have to have respect for their chosen medium. Then there is the heat and physical endurance, especially in the upper arms and lower back. Next time you look at a piece of glass art that is made in your local area, be sure and look closely. You will be amazed.
In this series, I am paying tribute to these glass artists.


4 comments:

Leslie Avon Miller said...

I really like the abstration in the dark top of the painting as a contrast to the detail in the bottom. For me, it increases the interest. You dedication to your artistic process via morning pages and journaling sound fruitful.

Margaret Ryall said...

I'm with Leslie on the interest you created in the top section. Isn't it intriguing that the less you say the more people are drawn to it? Of course, any hint of purple will grab my attention no matter why or how it is used.

I find glass blowing fascinating. The high temperatures alone make it so different from most other forms of artistic expression. I've seen two different "studios" in my travels and the process is complicated. I could never work all day in such heat. The end products are so beautiful and precious and seem to defy any human touch in creation or ownership.

Tom Willa said...

I love the contrast and temperatures. These furnaces could be a hundred years old. You have create a space image which is captivating and mysterious

Jo Castillo said...

Miki, what a great project. We will learn a great deal going along with you on your journey. Thanks. I like this painting as well.