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
Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist’s Process: New Mexico
An Exhibition, Film Screening, and Poetry Workshop
Screening, Q&A, and Exhibition Opening
With Fran Hardy & Bob Demboski
Monday, April 15, 2013
6pm @ SFAI
$10 general | $5 students/seniors
April 16 – May 17
9am – 5pm @ SFAI
The Sound of Sunset: How to Write About the Edge of Time
An Earth Chronicles Poetry Workshop
With Lauren Camp
Thursday, May 9
6:30 – 8:30pm
Santa Fe, NM –The Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) is pleased to welcome – as part of the SFAI’s 2013 season of public programming, Contested Space – an exhibition, film screening, and poetry workshop as part of the Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist’s Process: New Mexico.
About Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist’s Process: New Mexico:
This exhibition is unique in that its content is inspired by a documentary. It features diverse artists and creative individuals who share a passionate relationship to their cultures andthe environment.
The documentary and exhibition will be at the Santa Fe Art Institute April 15 to May 17, 2013 with an airing of the documentary further along in its progress of being completed on April 15, 2013 at 6pm and a Q&A with the filmmakers and some of the individuals interviewed in the documentary. This is an exceptional opportunity to have a glimpse into the co-producers’ creative process and see the dynamic exhibition that is an outgrowth of this exciting project.
Earth Chronicles Project, The Artist’s Process: New Mexico explores the art of the documentary producer, environmental artist, and curator of the exhibition, Fran Hardy, whose featured artworks on native plants and trees were inspired by her travels around New Mexico while shooting the documentary. Other exceptional New Mexico artists featured in the film and exhibit include Catherine Harris, Bill Gilbert, Lauren Camp, Rourke McDermott, Irvin and Lisa Trujillo, the Navajo weavers of the Two Grey Hills region and Stacey Neff and the New Mexico Experimental Glass Workshop. Through their art, each of these artists reveals what New Mexico’s culture and environment means to them.
Dane Pollei, Director and Chief Curator of the Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art said about the Earth Chronicles Project in Oklahoma and the exhibit at their museum, “The exhibit illustrates both the beauty and history of the state as well as highlighting the need for conservation of our natural resources.”
“We promise you an exciting journey through a state that is far more diverse than most people realize. Be prepared to meet inspiring and passionate individuals and unique places you may never have dreamed of,” said Fran Hardy.
The documentary will highlight Fran Hardy’s environmental art on native plants and trees of New Mexico; Toadlena Trading Post and the Navajo weavers of the Two Grey Hills region; The Nature Conservancy’s Gila and Mimbres Riparian Preserves; Irvin Trujillo, Chimayo/Rio Grande weaver and NEA National Heritage Fellow; Bill Gilbert, environmental artist and Lannan Endowed Chair of the Art and Ecology department at University of New Mexico; Catherine Harris, artist and landscape architect, faculty of UNM Art and Ecology Department; Lauren Camp, fiber artist and poet; Rulan Tangen, founder of Dancing Earth Intertribal Dance Company; Stacey Neff, founder of the Experimental Glass Workshop; Judith Phillips, writer and landscape designer who specializes in drought tolerance and xeriscaping; Rourke McDermott, Landscape Architect at Valles Caldera National Preserve; Santa Fe Community College’s Alternative Trades and Technology Center’s implementation of sustainable energy.
Fran Hardy, M.Ed., artist and educator, and Bob Demboski, filmmaker, are producing a series of documentaries that illustrate the intersection of art, creativity, ecological sustainability, and cultural preservation in different regions of the United States.
The documentaries and exhibits also include accompanying educational curriculum for grades 3-12. Fran’s work has been featured in six solo museum exhibitions including a retrospective and two traveling exhibits. Bob comes from a long career in television and filmmaking with such clients as The Oprah Show, Bravo, Discovery Channel, HBO, and behind the scenes work on feature films.
Combining their unique skills to produce educational documentaries, Fran and Bob interview a variety of creative individuals in different professions about their approach to conserving the environment. The documentarians also visit those places that tell a unique story about the conservation and preservation of natural beauty and resources. Through their work, Fran and Bob hope to offer creative solutions to conservation and inspire action.
For more information about the documentary or the exhibit:
http://www.earthchroniclesproject.blogspot.comto follow the co-producers of the documentary around the state of New Mexico filming.
To see Fran Hardy’s work visit
Glass is one of the few materials that can be recycled infinitely without losing strength, purity or quality. Glass bottles and jars are collected in most U.S. communities at the curb, at drop-off collection sites and through container deposit programs in 10 states. Check your local program to find out how you can recycle glass containers.
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 glasspolycarbonatepolyethylene terephthalate) are a lighter alternative to traditional silica glasses.


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