Breaking the Mold: European Cast Glass
October 29, 2022 - April 2, 2023Harris - Burger Gallery
The process of glass casting has a long, complex history. Although this technique dates back to ancient Egypt and Rome, contemporary artists continue to push its boundaries and create innovative artworks. Unlike blown glass that is manipulated by hand while hot, cast glass is formed by using a mold. Once the glass is cooled and removed from the mold, artists can further manipulate the surface using coldworking techniques like grinding and polishing. This exhibition will consider the impact of contemporary European glass artists on the history of cast glass.
In the early 20th century several glass manufacturers were making a name for themselves across Europe. They hired artists and designers to create items for production, which in turn, fueled the need for more trained professionals. Schools like Železný Brod Glassworks in the Czech Republic began training the next generation of artists who broke away from manufacturing to focus on glassmaking (including cast glass) as fine art. Because of this, multiple generations of European studio glass artists have adopted the technique and used it to create artwork that emphasizes aesthetics as well as cultural, political, and spiritual themes.