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Thursday, 18 August 2011

Canework at Pilchuck

I'd never known how you make patterns like this with glass, so at Pilchuck Glass School (see some recent posts) I had everything to learn. This vase is by Scott Benefield who was teaching the MetaCane course concurrently with us at Pilchuck's Session 2 this summer. He'll be showing at Origin in London in September so do go and see his work there. As our course was based around recycling, I would gather bits of reject cane ends from Scott's studio.

This is a pick-up, you make an arrangement, warm it up in an oven called a garage and pick it up by rolling over with furnace glass.

Then it's hot worked as above. It seems agreed that The Maestro of glassblowing is Lino Tagliapietra. He's an artist in residence at Pilchuck right now in Session 5 - another reason I wish I was back there. I'm definitely a hot glass groupie now, I don't have the patience or time to learn this new art from scratch, it takes years to begin to master.
I love this short video of Lino, what he says about working with glass is so interesting and wise. He makes it look easy of course and you see him pulling the cane which is then cut into sticks. You can keep working layers by putting a cup shape inside another cup shape with for example stripes twisting in different directions.

When I arrived at Pilchuck - ignorant - I thought; why would you want to do a 3 week course just making little sticks?! Now I know better!

And I keep a dish of off-cuts etc. on my table now as I'll never tire of the beauty of these pieces and how they hold light.

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