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In A Glass, Brightly…

Here’s a look at some cool works in glass up for bid in this year’s benefit auction:

rick beck/bill brown

Rick Beck and Bill Brown, Jr.
Dark Odalisque
Cast and carved glass, forged, fabricated, and polychrome steel
64 x 13 x 14 in.

This collaborative work by artists Rick Beck and Bill Brown Jr. combines a figurative image in cast and carved glass with a riff on some of the virtuoso techniques associated with architectural blacksmithing. The glass component is a great example of how the artist can create variations between translucence and opacity to imbue the work with light and life. Rick and Bill describe the piece by saying, “This work is a discussion of figure/ground and function versus decoration. Dark Odalisque is a brooding monolith.”



Daniel Clayman
Two Objects
Glass, copper, wood
31-1/2 x 18 x 7 in.

“My work is a continual, always evolving exploration of  simple forms,” says sculptor Daniel Clayman. “Using a vocabulary of extremely simple forms whose scale ranges from three to nine feet, these objects describe volumes in space.” This piece pairs a tall cone of solid cast glass with an identical form made of hollow copper. They sit comfortably together on a wall-mounted shelf that defines their relationship to each other and to the plane of the wall. Barely touching the shelf or the wall, the pair of objects create a sense of balance in a quiet space that invites the viewer to slow down and take a breath.



Vittorio Costantini
Looking for a Place to Nest
Soda lime glass
Tree: 3-1/2 in. tall

Vittorio Costantini, an Italian artist working in flameworked glass, says this about his piece: “One day, while working in my vegetable garden, a sweet sound called my attention: two nice chickadees, one sitting on a tree and the other one scratching the ground. It was such a nice ‘landscape’ that I could hardly wait to make them in glass.”



Kenny Pieper
Red Satellite Tall Flared Form
24 x 15 x 15 in.

This piece by glassblower Kenny Pieper, who lives and works near Penland, includes a criss-cross pattern with a bubble in the middle of each square. This technique, called reticello, was developed in the 1600s on the Italian island of Murano. While he was working as Penland’s glass studio coordinator in the 1990s, Kenny spent much of his extra time learning to execute this technique and incorporate it into his work.



Tim Tate
Four Seasons
Blown and cast glass, electronic components, original video
18 x 36 x 8 in.

For some years, Tim Tate has been developing a unique sculptural form that combines intricate glass castings and continuous video loops (displayed on tiny monitors) enclosed in glass bell jars to create what he calls “electronic reliquaries.” Through these pieces Tim has explored social issues, autobiography, cultural artifacts, and his observations of life. In this suite, he has created gentle evocations of each of the four seasons. “The piece works as a crossover between 20th and 21st century aesthetics,” he says. “The lost-wax casting is very intricate and complex, using hundreds of individually cast components. This is contrasted by the very direct and compelling video selections.”

Click here to watch a video exploring Tim Tate’s Four Seasons.


To download a copy of this year’s complete auction catalog, click here.

Click here for more information about the 26th Annual Penland Benefit Auction.

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Cool shoes (but what did you expect?)

These are some of the shoes made in Malika Green’s third-session shoe-making class.


We always have ambitious students, so a few pairs weren’t quite done, but folks went home with what they needed to finish up.




And here’s a shoe in process.

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July 4 Slideshow

July 4 parade at Penland School of Crafts
Director Jean McLaughlin and deputy director Jerry Jackson, leading the parade in a giant book.

We had a terrific homemade July 4 parade, featuring a marching glass band, self-moving type, a walking shoe, a giant book popping with patriots, a moveable hot-dog feast, and more. All this followed by the locally-famous Penland fireworks display. Click here to see a three-minute audio slide show.

You can also see the slideshow in slightly inferior video format here.