Glass is the most magical of all materials. It transmits light in a special way and colour is more intense in glass than any other material.
This Collection includes free-standing fused glass sculptures featuring Canadian nature and forest scenes. When lit these pieces come to life as multi-dimensional paintings in color, light, and glass.
The art of making glass sculptures is rooted in practices invented by the ancient Phoenicians, who are credited with creating the first glass. As a decorative and functional medium, glass was extensively developed in Egypt and Assyria. Invented by the Phoenicians, was brought to the fore by the Romans.
The turn of the 19th Century was the height of the old art glass movement while the factory glass blowers were being replaced by mechanical bottle blowing and continuous window glass. Great ateliers like Tiffany, Lalique, Daum, Gallé, the Corning schools in upper New York state, and Steuben Glass Works took glass art to new levels.
In the early 20th century the idea of "art glass", small decorative works made of art, often with designs or objects inside, flourished. Pieces produced in small production runs, such as the Lampwork figures of Stanislav Brychta, are generally called art glass.
Dale Chihuly (b. 1941) is perhaps the best-known artist associated with the post–World War II studio crafts movement. He is widely credited by both advocates and detractors with transforming or transcending the traditional forms and functions of glass, playing a major role in dissolving the barriers that separated craft from art, introducing contemporary craft into fine art galleries and museums
To make glass sculptures, artists can use hot and cold methods.
Cold work involves shaping glass at room temperature. Some artists cut and polish glass or use sandblasting techniques to treat their sculptures.
Hot processes include blowing and casting. Artists form glass blown sculptures by using metal rods and tubes to shape and blow glass in a furnace.
Cast glass requires the artist to first create a mold out of sand or plaster and silica before firing the piece in the furnace and kiln. Many sculptors decorate their works during the process of creation. Some add murrine, small patterned tiles, or rods of colored glass that weave throughout the piece while it is blown.
Fused glass, as the name implies, does not normally require heating the glass all the way to the liquid state. In a basic fusing process, the object will start as multiple pieces of glass heated enough that they bond together. This is typically done on a flat surface in the kiln, producing a fused “blank”. This blank may then be put back into the kiln on top of a mold and heated just enough for the material to sag into the shape of the mold. This process is called slumping or draping.
The technique is also called Layered Glass Art.
The pieces in our Collection are all layered/fused glass sculptures.