Welcome to my Blog! Hello, my name is MaryLouise and I am a Special Education Language Arts Teacher. I have utilized my lesson plans and other original teaching material to create picture books, workbooks, nonfiction and fiction articles and teacher's guides for educational resources.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Today's Topic: Glass Art

Today's interview is with Justin Cavagnaro, Glass Artist of Sculptural and Functional Blown and Flameworked Glass. Some of his pieces include: stemware, marbles, vases, putters, wall mounted pieces, glass sculptures and solid worked vessels. Justin was born on Long Island, New York and attended Suffolk County Community College, where he received an Associates Degree in Fine Arts. Here he experimented with various 2-D and 3-D media such as watercolors, oil and acrylic paints. clay, wood, airbrushing and zinc plate printmaking. A fascination with and curiosity about the Glass Making Process led to his enrollment in the Crafts Department at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA to study Glass Blowing. In 2001, Justin received a  BFA  in Crafts with a concentration in both Glass and Woodworking.
MLAC: Can you tell us about some of your earlier experiences?
JC: I moved to the Finger Lakes Region of New York where I worked for The Studio at The Corning Museum of Glass as an Artist's Assistant, Teaching Assistant and Instructor. In the fall of 2002, two colleagues and I opened a collaborative glass and ceramics studio and gallery in Dagsboro, Delaware which is ten miles west of Bethany Beach. After four years, in early 2007, I moved from the studio I helped build to work independently while remaining in the Dagsboro area. My work can be seen in many of the regions craft shows, galleries and museum exhibitions. I've had twelve years of trial and error since my formal education. I've taken workshops to continue my education, however, most of the education happens when I am completing a piece.
MLAC: What inspired you to become a Glass Artist?
JC: As a kid, I had seen it being done under a tent on vacation in New Hampshire. There were big pipes and something growing on the end. I had a fascination and curiosity that always stuck with me. I had always done art...acrylics, water, airbrushing, ceramics, wood sculpture but I still wanted to learn how to blow glass. How do you get the color in it? It was a big mystery!
MLAC: What does the Glass Blowing Process involve?
JC: When you're working the glass, you're sitting at a bench...it's torchwork with a fixed heat source. There's lots of standing up and sitting down motion when you are shaping the glass. During the summer the coolest area is in the mid 80's and it's like a restaurant kitchen. You have to drink lots of water and take lots of breaks. In the fall it could get up into the 80's and the winter into the 60's and 70's but there's lots of ventilation. I use a metal rod, a blowpipe, heat and gravity to my advantage to create glass pieces. Gathering the glass out of the furnace is akin to putting a toothpick into honey...you need to keep the glass pipe turning to keep the glass from slumping toward the floor. When I apply the color to the glass...that looks like rolling an ice cream cone into sprinkles...pile of crushed up glass. I take glass out of the furnace and roll the outside of the clear glass into the colored glass. The heat of the clear glass is sufficient to heat up the colored pieces to make it stick to the clear glass. For functional pieces, I encase the color in clear glass to seal off the color and make the piece food safe.
About Justin's Work:
Continually experimenting with new designs and refining his techniques, Justin creates sculptural and functional pieces that emphasize depth, layers, light transference and the relationship between interiors and exteriors. Playing off of the natural tendencies of glass, Justin tries to maintain a fluidity and grace throughout his work, making even physically heavy pieces appear visually light. Though at times influenced by classic forms, he gives all of his pieces a contemporary touch.
To contact Justin Cavagnaro, go to www.burningbothends.net   and  justin@burningbothends.net  phone 302-732-0161

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting & educational, thanks! I saw a woman at Sharon Springs (NY) Harvest Fest with some lovely stuff, and I wondered how it was done. Justin, do you have any local upcoming shows?
    Great work Marylou!