Transmigration: Wood, Fire, Glass | Bullseye Glass Co. | Bullseye Glass Co

Transmigration: Wood, Fire, Glass

We’ve got plenty of Ponderosa Pine in the Pacific Northwest. It grows in Central Oregon and arrives at Bullseye in truckloads to be made into crating for the sheet glass we make.

Artist Munson Hunt with Ponderosa pine from New Mexico

So why look outside Oregon for more? And why then invite a sculptor whose primary medium is not glass into our factory to turn this wood to charcoal and charcoal to glass?

Having suffered a lightning strike in New Mexico, Munson’s pine slabs met their ultimate funeral in the Bullseye factory area known as “the bone yard”.

 

This and related questions are at the core of Bullseye’s upcoming biennial conference, BECon, which this June will address the topic of “Crossover”.

What specifically are we looking for when we venture outside our own field? What can we learn from artists whose primary material is not glass? And what might they learn from us?

Among BECon’s roster of presenting artists and technical experts we’ll hear from two who will have recently completed residencies – or as we term them “Exchanges” – at the Bullseye factory.

Munson Hunt is an artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico whose primary medium is wood. Transitioning to glass involves much more than learning the methods of mold-making or casting. It means an entirely new language.

As Munson explained: “In order to realize the qualities of glass, many of the qualities of wood no longer held the same importance. What was more important was to retain the rawness that existed in the wood sculptures and to make that apparent in glass.”

 

Discussion with charred slabs: Cov, Ted, Munson.

 

Dan and I have been passing through the R & E studios over the course of Munson’s project – enjoying both the discoveries involved in translating 200 lb slabs of wood into 500 lb slabs of glass and the always refreshing perspectives of an artist for whom glass is not the first language.

 

Coldworking glass slab: there’s nothing Dan enjoys quite as much as mopping up around his factory.

 

We’re still some days away from seeing the glass slabs upright. But from previews caught by crawling under the coldworking table, I know already that they are going to be breath-taking.

For all of you already signed up for BECon, prepare for a thought-provoking new way of looking at glass. For those of you who haven’t registered yet, there’s still time.

And for Munson, who came to Oregon with wood, ideas, and such brilliant questions this Spring: thank you. We’re looking forward to continuing the dialogue in June – and beyond.

 

Munson under a sky-full of ideas.

 

12 Responses to Transmigration: Wood, Fire, Glass

  1. Beautiful. It reminds me of the feeling of awe I always got watching Bill Morris and others at Pilchuck blow into huge wooden molds, (they had to stand on platforms to actually complete the process. ) and to watch and SMELL the burning wood while standing in a TREE FARM. It is the “YEAR OF THE FOREST” so for me this takes on a whole new meaning too. Stunning !!and I sooo look forward to seeing the finished pieces standing up also.
    Thankyou once again for an inspirational Blog Lani.

  2. Jamie Gray says:

    Very interesting! I look forward to this type of dialogue at BECon next month. Wood to fire to fired glass … excellent.

  3. The winner of the Artists’ award in this year’s Warm Glass Prize is a superb illustration of the cross-breeding of wood and glass in a piece of work. Graeme Thyer’s “Charcoal Glass” is well worth a look at
    http://www.warmglassprize.com/2011-results-cms-34.html

  4. It’s a lovely casting, but it seems a rather literal translation. It would be interesting to see the two
    mediums interact to create a third.

  5. Lani says:

    Cristi,
    The glass is, in fact, the reverse of the wood, hence not literal. It’s hard to see in the photo, but the “charred wood surface” is actually buried within the interior of the glass. A subtle, but important detail that is hard to read in an online image.

  6. Lani says:

    Pippa,
    Yes, thanks for the reminder!

    I’ve been intrigued by Graeme’s Charcoal Glass pieces since I saw them in the competition.

    Somewhat like Munson’s, I suspect that photography doesn’t begin to capture all the facets of the work.

    I hope I’ll be able to see the actual objects someday!

  7. Pingback: Bullseye Glass Conference – Wood, Fire, Glass · Glass Art | CraftGossip.com

  8. Graeme Thyer says:

    I thought I could hear whispers of my name…. I have a new section of charcoal coming out of the kiln on Monday, and placing another batch into in on Tuesday. All the pieces are small and perfect for shipping, although not made from Bullseye glass. Although, I would be happy to produce one in Bullseye glass and have it shipped over.

  9. valerie says:

    I am not sure from the article, but is the burnt wood encased in glass and then cold worked.

  10. Lani says:

    Hi Graeme, good to see you here. You are excused for charring my heart with the news that your pieces aren’t BE ;-) . Would love to see them anyway!

  11. Lani says:

    Valerie,

    No, the wood is not encased in glass.

    A negative rubber impression is taken off the charred slab. Then a positive plaster/silica mold is made from the rubber. Then glass is cast into the mold, creating a negative glass slab. Then it’s cold-worked.

    Then we stand around scratching our heads wondering how to lift 500 lbs of glass off the table… (well, I’m the only head-scratcher. I suspect the techs have this all under control)

  12. I can’t get to the conference but I think it’s a terrific topic and I’m pleased to see some of it up here.
    I’m working on an opaline project that crosses over from another material too.
    Peter.

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