The Best Craft I Have Ever Bought with Julie Gannaway Siglin

Tell us a bit about yourself and how you eventually became interested in a career in arts and museums? 

I started out in healthcare, enrolling in a nursing program after high school, but fairly quickly realized nursing was not for me after questioning my bravery in the face of blood and understanding of biochemistry. While rethinking my path, I took a part-time job at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, PA and was hooked. From there I went to work for a cultural accessibility organization and have held roles with several other museums and nonprofits.

John Geci

Bakersville, NC

Glass is often described as a super-cooled liquid, but I prefer to think of it as static motion. I try to design pieces that retain the organic character of their molten state. Using primarily transparent colors and a few well-placed stripes, my pieces highlight the material’s transparency, fluidity and potential for brilliant coloration. Rather than making works that demand to be center stage, I envision my pieces as quiet assistants subtly enhancing the environments they are placed in.

Michael Mikula

Cleveland, OH

Industrial architectural landscapes and the restless energy of civilizations point the way for this body of work. Multipart graphite molds are used as a tool to reinterpret architecture in blown glass. With a jazz-like sense of improvisation, I compose each mold from a large and growing library of hand cut graphite. As a result, no two compositions are alike. Glass is gathered onto a blow pipe, cast into the mold and then inflated to create a softly flowing interior surface. Once cooled, the resulting deeply dimensional blown forms are cut open and apart, polished and thoughtfully recomposed within an integral metal armature of anodized aluminum and stainless steel. I also make a series of related sculptural vessels that were the genesis of the current sculptures. All works are one of a kind.

Mark Sudduth

Cleveland Heights, OH

There is a quality in glass that is generated by the glass itself. Those qualities are elusive, intriguing and seductive. I make them as much a part of my work as possible. I work with thick glass because it exhibits qualities which interest me – depth, transparency, reflection and refraction. My attention to strong form is a very important factor in my work. This thought coupled with the cold work to cut, polish, engrave, highlight surfaces using lathes, merkers, dynafiles and flexible shafts incorporating stone and diamond wheels and other various tools evident in the canted forms and anklets, gives my work a unique presence.

Kenny Pieper

Burnsville, NC

My work is a celebration of traditional techniques, opulent colors and classical forms.

Pavel Novak

Collingswood, NJ

2017 Excellence in Glass

I was born and raised in the Czech Republic, a country with a long tradition of beautiful glass made with impeccable craftsmanship. I make my body of work from the highest grade of optical glass which I grind, polish, laminate, color, and sand blast. Every piece is one of a kind, and is the result of hours of labor. My work is inspired by clean geometric shapes. My pieces feature bold colors and crisp lines that optically reflect on themselves and refract light creating kaleidoscopic results. I ultimately seek a balance of symmetry and asymmetry, shape and color.

Kristina Logan

Portsmouth, NH

Flame working is my primary technique. I first create all of my intricate detail in the flame at the torch. I use lost wax casting on my larger pieces. I then cut, grind, and alter the glass in order to fit with my metal work.

Mark Lewanski

Portland, MI

Woven glass is an enigma, a contradiction, a complex and beautiful mystery. It challenges the observer in his perceptions of material properties. It is at once soft, like a delicate fabric and cold, vitreous and eternal. Metaphorically, it is the intersection of dreams, the impossible made possible. Simply stated, I weave with glass. It's not an illusion, it is truly woven. My work is the result of skilled glass cutting, careful color selection, and precisely controlled kiln firing. The technique of glass weaving is a painstaking, multi-stage process that involves forming thin strips of glass into sinusoidal waves, creating the weft. Straight (warp) pieces are then fed through rows of wefts. The resulting structure is then melted over a hand sculpted, clay mold within the kiln. The woven glass surfaces are then mounted in heavy, steel frames for wall hanging.

Nick Leonoff

Brooklyn, NY

The luminescent qualities of glass appeal to me as it responds to light. I am drawn to the potential of a material that can vary from a translucent to an opaque medium in a brilliant range of colors and gradations. I create blown glass using Swedish overlay techniques layering colored glass in the walls and on the surface of the glass forms. I carve the surface of the pieces with diamond wheels to remove layers of glass and expose colors within the piece. The blown pieces become the canvas for the carving process and the carving becomes the core of the design in each piece. Through this cold working process, I have been able to explore the potential of the material and focus my artistic vision. I am creating a relationship between the interior and exterior by juxtaposing opaque and translucent, glossy & matte, with light and dark. The balance that is revealed connects the conscious with the subconscious as the voice of the material emerges through the reflections of light.

Robin Kittleson

Geneva, IL

Kiln formed glass with a focus on the functional. Made from hand pulled murrini, a traditional glass technique, reinterpreted in a modern context.

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