[PA-NJ Glassblowers] The art of glass by Ruth Allen

Tony Patti gaffer at glassblower.info
Fri Jul 3 10:17:11 EDT 2015

This was linked to a post in one of my LinkedIn glass groups, wanted to




The art of glass by Ruth Allen | Nartique Art Glass News | Scoop.it
Handkerchiefed Wine Clusterleir 


http://ruthallen.com.au/ plus new and awesome video at






IF YOU HAVE poured yourself a glass of wine or liqueur and stopped to admire
the colour and shape of the glass bottle, chances are you may have thought
twice about discarding it when empty. Designed by someone unknown and made
in a glass factory like millions of identical bottles, these utilitarian
objects are a source of practical material and inspiration for glass artist
<http://ruthallen.com.au/> Ruth Allen who discovered the art of glass
blowing in her late teens. She went on to study under acclaimed glass
artists and complete a degree at the Canberra School of Art before
travelling overseas to further her study and experience.


"I consider myself a first generation Venetian taught," she says. "The
Venetian maestros have been blowing glass for more than five centuries and
are probably the most accomplished culture in the art of glass blowing in
the world."

Glass blowing is a skill that takes years of practice to become accomplished
at, to be at ease with molten material and to approach it with such
confidence that the art of creating appears so effortless. It's very
physical, hot work and it takes years to understand the material and to
master it. A 25-year career doing just that is where Allen is today.

"It took me probably 10 years to achieve a level of skill where I could
comfortably make any form that I wanted to," she says.

She has carved out a living from her passion ever since with a
cross-disciplinary practice that spans the fine art of glass blowing,
multi-media installation work and the transformation of used glass bottles.

For the last four years, she has used her considerable skills to transform
bottles into vases, jugs and tumblers for her popular range of
<http://ruthallen.com.au/pages/sustainable-stubbies> Sustainable Stubbies.
The finished pieces retain a recognisable element which tells the story of
the bottle's past life. Each is a little different to the next as is the
nature of the handmade. And each tumbler is shaped with ergonomics and
aesthetics in mind.


Since the success of Sustainable Stubbies, Allen has expanded this core part
of her business to include a range of competitively priced pendant lights.
The stubbies and pendant lights are "the most cost effective production line
or practice that I could pursue," she says.

And yes, she is always open to accepting donations of empty spirit, wine and
beer bottles to stock up the store for future work and has relationships
with nearby bars that keep her in regular supply.

"We can work with any bottle so I tell clients that if they have a special
event we can make a pendant light from those empty bottles," she says. "Then
they can commemorate the event for a long time to come."

Allen developed the pendant range to include stunning chandeliers for
residential and commercial projects.  Two chandeliers are currently on
display at Kirra Galleries in Melbourne as part of Federation Square's The
Light In Winter program. The major work, Galliano Chandelier, comprises 12
bottles transformed into white frosted glass resembling the delicately
draped curves of a trumpet lily.


Her installation work gives her an opportunity to create large scale works
of art and she is keen to develop this practice further. She considers
Our One World Island, completed in 2009 during her residency at the Canberra
Glass Works and installed in the foyer of the Department of Education and
Workplace Relations in Canberra, to be one of her most successful works.


"I made 480 glass leaves that are all free-formed and then I composed the
work with those items. Each piece is elevated from the wall by five
centimetres which is the focal point of the shadow. It's all about shadows
and the glass is just the vehicle for the shadows. It's about the fourth
dimension," she says of the object, shadow, volume and light transference.

"What I am illuminating in this piece is that we are often talking about the
environmental demise on the continent but in actual fact it mainly happens
in the water. So if we don't look after our water ways, our oceans then we
are in more dire straits than if we don't look after our land masses."

Another artwork,  <http://ruthallen.com.au/blogs/artwork/tagged/synergetics>
Synergetic, completed in 2006, is composed of 80 glass elements and again
explores three dimensional shadows.


"It is an object with one light and a shadow really but the object is really
complex. It's about the interior and exterior and when the shadows cross
each other they ripple. I couldn't have anticipated that at all," Allen
says. "You felt you could fall into the wall because it made the wall look
three dimensional."

Happy accidents like this occur when artistic vision and skill are combined
with intricate craftsmanship and the handmade



Tony Patti
 <http://www.glassblower.info> www.glassblower.info
 <mailto:gaffer at glassblower.info> gaffer at glassblower.info

 <http://www.glassblower.info/qr-code.html> QR Code for Tony Patti -



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