In January of 2015, I was invited to an art show billed as an exhibit of “Functional Art Glass.” It turned out to be a show of amazing glass bongs, water pipes and other smoking paraphernalia, hosted by the online headshop 1 Percent. Tommy Chong was even there! While digging around for a pot-related image in my photo archives, because 4/20, I uncovered my stash of pix from that evening, so I am dusting them off here where you can enjoy them again, or for the first time, depending on how long you have been reading this blog.
Do you like to think about milking cows while you get high? If so, then you might like High Class, a collaboration from glassblowers MTP and Jake Vincent.
This glass Peacock Vase (1893 – 96), with its evocative form, coloring and iridescent surface, is an icon of the early Tiffany-blown Favrile glass collected by H.O. (Henry) Havemayer. He gave it to The Met in 1896 during the first years of its production; at the time it was considered modern art and an object of rare beauty. These qualities are reflected in the collecting visions presented in the gallery in which this vase is displayed, which features transformative gifts from the Havemeyers through the Annenbergs.
Photographed as Part of the Exhibit Making The Met at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
This striking, six-pronged Green Glass Vase (circa 1931) is part of a small group of modernist art glass by Frederick Carder for the Steuben Division of Corning Glass Works. Carder was a glass blower, born and trained in England. He preferred traditional forms and elaborate ornament, but like many of his contemporaries active in the late 1920s, he responded to the international interest in abstraction and avant-garde experimentation by incorporating sharp angles, asymmetry, and bright color combinations into some of his designs.
Amber Cowan is a sculptress who works exclusively with recycled vintage glass, and her art is just phenomenal for its intricate beauty and imaginative qualities, combined with an irresistible nostalgic pull. The above tableau is entitled Dance of The Pacific Coast Highway at Sunset (2019) — was part of an exhibit of her work at NYC’s Heller Gallery, which just closed this past weekend.
Amber’s work asks universal questions about rebirth, knowledge, desire and the transformative powers of labor and imagination. Her fantastical grotto-like assemblages are made of re-worked pressed glassware, once produced by some of the best known, but now-defunct, American glass factories. In her most recent, narrative wall sculptures, she creates intricate and exuberant settings for character-objects, which she has collected over years. Unabashedly showing her emotional investment in these objects, the artist pays spontaneous and spectacular homage to the history of US glass manufacturing.
She is currently working with a process which involves flameworking, blowing, and hot-sculpting recycled, up-cycled, and second-life glass that is usually American pressed glass from the 1940’s to the 1980’s. The glass used is generally sought through thrift stores, flea markets and post-production factory runs, the places where it is has been abandoned to the dust bins of American design.
Brand new at this spring’s Architectural Digest Design Show is a fabulous piece of lighting from the folks at Providence Art Glass that’s so new, it’s not even on the company’s website yet. The Morning Glory light fixture can be described as a six-foot vining wall sconce/sculpture comprised of twelve glass buds in an opalescent, pale blue hue, all hand-fabricated with brass and copper with a green patina. To create the buds, according to artist Rebecca Zhukov (who owns Providence Art Glass with partner Terence Dubreuil) each blue globe is blown into a copper floral frame, where the two materials meld together.
Morning Glory Wall Sconce, Detail
The Morning Glory Wall Sconce can be created to-order in any size, with any number of glass shades. The price for the Morning Glory shown here is $14,000, but with prices starting at just $1,000 for one globe with eighteen inches of vine, you can afford to customize this beautiful bespoke art glass for your own home!
Providence Art Glass Booth, Installation View
Check out other unique glass lighting and furniture works from Providence Art Glass online at This Link!
I first noticed the Rose Crystal Tower, a new public art installation from globally famous glass artist Dale Chihuly, as I rode past it while I was on the 14th Street bus. The eye-catching pink sculpture was unveiled on October 6th, 2017 and will stay up for one full year, as part of the NYC Parks’ program Art in the Parks (which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year). Art in the Parks is responsible for many notable works of art in public green spaces around the city, including the OY/YO installation in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
While it maintains a semi-translucent quality, the Rose Crystal Tower is not actually made of glass, but rather is composed of Polyvitro crystals and steel. According to an announcement from the Parks Department, Polyvitro is “the artist’s term for a plastic material which he casts into individual chunks which resemble glass, but are lighter and more resilient.” There is a similar sculpture at the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum in Seattle, and you can see a bit of that piece in this photo, which I took when I was there several years ago.
I have walked by the Rose Crystal Tower a few times and have taken photos of it from many different angles and in different lighting. It is always gorgeous.
Check out the difference in the way the individual crystal groupings look in the daytime, as compared with how it looks at night, in the shots above and below.
Detail of the Sculpture at Night
Here are more nighttime shots, where you can really apreciate the interior illumination.
Chihuly’s Rose Crystal Tower is located on the east side of Union Square Park, on the traffic triangle at 15th Street and Park Avenue South. The work will be on display through October 2018, so you have lots of time to see it.
Here’s the Tower on a beautiful spring day (April 29th, 2018) with the cherry blossoms in the background!
Larry Bell has exploited the transparency and reflectivity of glass to great effect since the beginning of his career, when he inserted a square piece of glass into a painting and titled it Ghost Box (1962). Pacific Red II (2017)
Over the years, Bell has developed coating and laminating techniques in order to tint his sculptures or imbue them with metallic or smoky finishes.
Here on the Whitney Museum 5th floor outdoor terrace, Bell has installed Pacific Red II (2017), a work consisting of six laminated glass cubes, each measuring six-by-eight feet, and enclosing another six-by-four foot glass box.
The multiple surface interplay and respond to their urban surroundings, when glass towers abound.
Read more about the painstakingly brutal installation process of Pacific Red II, and see a video, at Find Your Seen Dot Com.