Friday, March 29, 2013
Glass: Beyond Recycling to Innovation
Stacey Neff with the furnaces fired up at the New Mexico Experimental Glass Workshop
It was one of those crisp clear New Mexico winter days when we visited Stacey Neff, Founder and Executive Director of the New Mexico Experimental Glass Workshop. The doors were thrown open with the furnaces cranking out heat and glowing brightly full of glass.
Stacey was there with student interns and Patrick Morrissey, Facilities Director.
This is recycled glass beyond recycled glass as some of the glass they use can not be used in conventional glass recycling such as safety glass which makes a wonderful crevassed, translucent medium for sculpture in glass.
Stacey has been working in glass for years and has exhibited her art internationally and received awards including a Pollock Krasner Grant and Bellinger Sculpture Award for her innovative use of glass media.
The New Mexico Experimental Glass Workshop offers residencies to artists to expand applications for recycled glass and innovate in their use of these challenging recycled materials. All of the artists chosen for the fellowships are accomplished artists but many have never worked in the medium of glass. The New Mexico Experimental Glass Workshop gives opportunities for fresh new uses and innovative solutions within the parameters of recycled glass which offers infinite approaches within what some might consider a limitation. It is this very limitation that creates works that are refreshingly different. Not only does Stacey give other artists and students the opportunity to experience working in hot glass but she also encourages the use of post consumer and industrial glass that otherwise could not be recycled and would go to the landfill. The labor intensive medium encourages exciting collaborations. Stacey's enthusiasm for what she does is palpable and infectious.
Patrick Morrissey, Facilities Director blowing hot glass
The glass workshop also offers workshops and studio time as well as internships.
Interviewing Stacey for our New Mexico Earth Chronicles documentary
Interviewing Stacey with some of her unique work in post industrial and post consumer recycled glass
Her work combines a rough hewn feeling from the recycled glass pours to an evanescent quality in the blown recycled glass. I found that Stacey's work 'crept up' on me and the longer I looked at it the more compelling it became. It is so different than glass work that is planned and then executed using more 'polished' materials. The look and the usage are so dictated by the use of recycled glass but that is the very thing that drives the work to more unusual and compelling solutions.
Stacey shaping and detaching a blown piece for her work
Some of Stacey's work from her 'Cin Sere Series' which will be featured in our Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist's Process: New Mexico group exhibition at the Santa Fe Art Institute April 15-May 17.
We will be airing the documentary in progress at the Santa Fe Art Institute April 15 at 6pm with a Q and A with the filmmakers and the artists as well as a reception for the opening of the exhibition.
Some pictures of pieces from Stacey's Sin Cere Series as well as details of the work:
Making the specialized craft media of hot glass accessible to artists through progressive programming.
Fellowships, residencies, studio time, internships
Utilizing and innovating with cast and blown works using post industrial glass and post commercial glass from the City of Santa Fe Solid Waste Management Agency
Glass is an amorphous (non-crystalline) solid material that exhibits a glass transition. Glasses are typically brittle and optically transparent.
The most familiar type of glass, used for centuries in windows and drinking vessels, is soda-lime glass, composed of about 75% silica (SiO2) plussodium oxide (Na2O) from soda ash, lime (CaO), and several minor additives. Often, the term glass is used in a restricted sense to refer to this specific use.
In science, however, the term glass is usually defined in a much wider sense, including every solid that possesses a non-crystalline (i.e.amorphous) structure and that exhibits a glass transition when heated towards the liquid state. In this wider sense, glasses can be made of quite different classes of materials: metallic alloys, ionic melts, aqueous solutions, molecular liquids, and polymers. For many applications (bottles,eyewear) polymer glasses (acrylic glass, polycarbonate, polyethylene terephthalate) are a lighter alternative to traditional silica glasses.