Yesterday’s post on the glass artists featured in Taupe gallery couldn’t be contained, and the amazing talent had to spill into another day! In addition to the 3 artists featured yesterday, I have 3 more (or is it 4) to add to your “must watch” list.
Why am I spending so much time on glass art, when it’s something we don’t even make? Well, for several reasons:
- Texture and light play is an important part of interior design, and when you have a reflective surface in one area,….for instance a Dreamwalls Color Glass table or accent wall,…it is important to echo the reflective quality elsewhere in the room to create either balance or tension.
- It’s also important to note the way color is transmitted through glass. No other material gives color the life and power that it does when it is in/on glass.
- I’m an artist at heart. To create one piece of art – that will never occur again – is a thing of beauty. Knowing the difficulty of glass blowing and lampworking, where you are sending glass back to it’s prior molten state through fire to make something new, is the pinnacle of artistic creation.
- You never know where inspiration will strike a designer. Who knows? If they see a beautiful glass vessel, maybe they’ll be inspired to translate that beauty into a whole room featuring Dreamwalls Color Glass.
Now, on to more artists featured at Taupe Gallery:
Ian Kessler-Gowell - Glass Pitchers
Ian Kessler-Gowell grew up in Falls Church, Virginia. He attended Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA where he earned a B.F.A. Ian focused on working with glass and wood while exploring a variety of other materials and approaches. During college, Ian also pursued other interests, including volunteering with aquaponic research, and attending a workshop at Paolo Soleri’s Experimental City, Arcosanti, in Arizona. After graduation, Ian worked as an assistant to Rick Sherbert at his studio in Glen Echo, Maryland where he instructed group and private glass lessons. Ian is a former resident artist at the EnergyXchange in North Carolina, which is where Jim Lyall of Taupe Gallery first learned of him.
According to the artist, Kessler-Gowell, working with glass is all about finding balance, “I attempt to focus on simple clean functional ware. But often veer into weirdness. I find object making to be a very abstract form of story telling, the building blocks of a cultural identity. Whether it the richness of ancient objects worn with use or the crispness of modern design, it is how they capture a sense of time and place that speaks without words.”
Robert Levin Glass Artist - Assorted Fruit
Robert Levin is an internationally known glass artist who lives and works near Burnsville in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Born and raised in Baltimore, MD, he received his BFA from Denison University and his MFA from Southern Illinois University. He was formerly the Resident Glass Artist at Penland School of Crafts, and has lectured, taught, and led workshops throughout the US, in Ireland, and in New Zealand. He has exhibited widely in the US, Europe, Japan, and the former Soviet Union. His work is in numerous public and private collections, including the Corning Museum of Glass, the Museum of American Glass, the High Museum in Atlanta, the Contemporary Glass Museum in Madrid, the Ebeltoft Glasmuseum in Denmark, the Great Synagogue of Jerusalem, and the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.
Rob Levin has received a Southern Arts Federation/NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, two North Carolina Arts Council Fellowships, and a NC Arts Council Project Grant. For nine years he created the NC Governor’s Entrepreneurial Schools Awards. He has twice created the NC Governor’s Business Awards in Arts and Humanities, and has also made works which have been presented to visiting dignitaries to our state.While he makes beautiful urns, vases and vessels he calls “baskets”, he does really amazing fruit and vegetables that are great accessories to add a bit of whimsy to the home.
William & Katherine Bernstein Glass Artists - Goblets
Katherine and William both grew up in New Jersey and met while attending art school in Philadelphia. They married in 1968, and anxious to leave the city, they accepted Artist in Residence positions at the Penland School of Crafts in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. In the early years, Katie worked in hand built porcelain and Billy, very influenced by Scandinavian and colonial American glass design, started producing a variable line of goblets and sculptural pieces. In 1971, Billy, together with glass pioneers Mark Peiser and Fritz Dreisbach took part in planning and hosting the first meeting of the Glass Arts Society. This organization has since grown into an international organization with over a thousand members.
In the mid 1970′s glass master and educator Harvey Littleton moved nearby and quickly took an interest in the young artist’s work. He insisted that Katie’s sculpture in clay would translate beautifully into glass. To make his point, he took several of Katie’s clay originals back to his studio and cast them in crystal. The results were wonderful, and Katie started working exclusively in glass. By the 80′s both artists came together on a line of goblets and tableware. Katie supplied the imagery with melted glass colored rods, and Billy formed the result into a vessel. This combination proved very popular and received wide recognition in design journals and magazines. They continue to produce these pieces today. This process is not painting on glass,…it is painting WITH glass.
Currently Both Artists produce individual pieces for gallery shows and collaborate with two assistants on the functional work. Their oldest son Josh is a physician in Cambridge MA, and their other son Alex is a respected glass artist and professor at the Cleveland Institute of Art, carrying on the Bernstein name as a master glass artisan.
Again, a huge thank you to Jim Lyall, of Taupe Gallery and Taupe2, for opening up your gallery, your expertise, and your keen eye for amazing art in glass.