[PA-NJ Glassblowers] Glass artists use intense heat for their cool creations

Tony Patti gaffer at glassblower.info
Tue Jul 21 20:28:40 EDT 2015

Thought the title of this article was too good not to share.





Glass artists use intense heat for their cool creations


Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2015 8:30 pm

By Will Broaddus Staff Writer


You think it's hot outside? When you're sculpting glass, 1,000 degrees is on
the cool side.


"If it dips below 1,000 degrees, there's a tendency for things to crack,"
said Grant Garmezy, a glassblower. "It took a long time to figure out that
'Goldilocks' range."


Garmezy and three other glass artists will be "flashing" - or re-heating -
glass and transforming it into intricate works of art throughout July in a
furnace at Salem State, where they are guests of the Rosenberg Institute for
Passionate and Emerging Artists. 


The program gives them room, board and access to the university's
glassblowing studio for the month, and they will give free demonstrations of
their work on Monday nights at 6 p.m. 

"Glass, when it's moving, is so alive," Garmezy said. 


The residents, who were chosen through a competitive process, will assist
each other in the studio, in addition to working separately on their


"My work cannot be made without at least one person helping me," Garmezy
said. "I need to be able to look at it from 360 degrees, to make sure it's


Renting time at a glassblowing studio can be expensive; the Institute
permits glass artists to experiment, free from financial concerns. 


This is the third year of the Rosenberg program, but the first time women
glass artists have participated. 


One of those women, Sarah Michalik, lives in Quincy but grew up in Andover,
and first studied glassblowing at Diablo Glass School in Boston, when she
was still a student at Andover High.


She will be working with borosilicate glass, which is used normally for
scientific laboratories.


Where standard glass is just over 2,000 degrees when pulled from the
furnace, borosilicate glass becomes pliable at 6,000 degrees, a temperature
it reaches with help from the torch.


"The reason it's awesome is you can get detailed work," Michalik said. "It
will hold that finite, detailed little shape."


There are lots of detailed pieces in Michalik's works, which she normally
combines with epoxy.


"This will allow me to make a thousand pieces and apply them hot," she said.
"It will make it much more of a clean sculpture, so you won't be able to see
the connections."


Michalik said she has always been inspired by science fiction, and describes
her work as depicting the connections created by globalization, and the


"They're orbs, bundles I think of as technology, floating through the air -
a ball of information," she said. "It's always an organic form I come up
with in my mind."


Another female artist, Kit Paulson, also creates detailed pieces, often
small glass flowers or other natural items, which Paulson wants to combine
with a torch.


Paulson is playing on the tradition of globes de mariee, "a very peculiar
class of objects from France" that are made from bell jars with "scenes and
souvenirs inside of them," and were given to couples when they married.


"There's an incredibly random assortment inside, that represented good
wishes for the couple," Paulson said.  


Like Michalik, David Benyosef, who studied glassblowing at Franklin Pierce
College in New Hampshire and teaches at North Cambridge Glass School, is
also inspired by science fiction.


His vases and other vessels will resemble buildings from the futuristic
world of the animated series, which originally appeared on television in the
early 1960s.


"My idea is modern cityscapes, with an Orbit City - from The Jetsons - kind
of feel," he said.


Benyosef describes himself as a "technical kind of glass blower," and said
the challenge will be to make these pieces as "clean-looking as possible,"
while putting them together when they glass is still hot.


"I like that aesthetic," he said. "Sleek, slick, modern, with sharp edges
and sharp curves - a clean image, which is hard to make."


If you go

What: Rosenberg Institute for Passionate and Emerging Artists

When: Monday, July 13, 20 and 27 from 6 to 8 p.m., with artists reception
Monday, July 27 at 5:30 p.m.

Where: Salem State University, Enterprise Center, Suite 750, 121 Loring
Ave., Salem 

WNs> www.salemstate.edu, 978-542-7890 



Glass artists use intense heat for their cool creations




Tony Patti
gaffer at glassblower.info

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