BECon 2017 Sessions
NOTE: Additional sessions will be added to Friday and Saturday.
Welcome to BECon 2017
Lani McGregor will introduce this BECon and summarize who we are, where we’re from, and what we dream of accomplishing in the days ahead.
Tribute to Klaus Moje: A Visionary in Glass
It’s rare for any individual to impact and influence a field in as many ways as Klaus Moje has within contemporary glass. The innovation manifest within his work and his approach to teaching dynamically changed the way we think about glass as a medium for creative expression. His approach and his work also created a whole new industry, that of kilnformed glass—a medium that is now internationally known and engaged. Moje's former student Richard Whiteley will speak about Klaus and his influence on kilnformed glass and the wider field of visual art.
Transformation. This powerful word comes to us from Latin: it means change of shape and implies metamorphosis. Glass is an amorphous solid. These words—metamorphosis and amorphous—share a common ancestor: Morpheus. In Ovid, Morpheus is the son of Sleep. He is the bringer of dreams and the maker of shapes.
Morpheus is the proper mythological figure to guide us.
After a hands-on exercise, Judy Tuwaletstiwa will speak about process, including a transformative process that she and Michael Rogers shared over five weeks as collaborative artists-in-residence at The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass. She'll then discuss the true subjects of the artist: transformation, the making of shapes while paying attention to dream and to the unconscious that permeates our lives.
[Opening Reception follows at Bullseye Projects gallery in Portland's Pearl District.]
In February 2016, Bullseye was surprised to hear about concerns state officials had about emissions from its furnaces. Two days later, Bullseye held the first of many meetings with emissions control specialists to install a filtration system that would make it the cleanest art glass manufacturer in North America. This panel discussion brings together key players from the Bullseye team that navigated the new environmental regulations. They'll share a brief overview of the environmental air quality issues and their impact on Bullseye, its neighbors, and customers. They'll also cover how a baghouse works and how to operate one at maximum efficiency. Finally, they'll discuss what the future holds.
Frustrated, entangled, unfulfilled. Far from equilibrium, and yet seemingly content to be so, to deal with what it’s become. And yet given a chance, it morphs steadily to a longed-for stable form. This is a real, personal condition I’ve struggled through. It is also the story of glass. Glass and I both are, as Buckminister Fuller observed, not nouns, but verbs: things that are happening. In this lecture I shall talk about the materials science of glass and devit, and the human nature of self-expression.
Artists and designers looking to scale their work up for public art commissions or architectural applications often decide to work with a fabricator. This panel explores the process from both perspectives: artist and fabricator. Topics include what to look for in a fabrication studio, the ways fabricators can help, and whether to bring your work to a fabricator or bring in fabricators to brainstorm the possibilities. The panel will also cover what to expect in terms of communication, expense, level of involvement, what services are typically offered and which are not.
In the summer of 2016, Bullseye Projects unveiled an exhibition space in a complex of old stone barns located in Caithness, the northernmost county in Scotland. The culmination of years of painstaking renovation and restoration, the Byre and its surrounds are both backdrop and inspiration for the work it houses. For the inaugural exhibition, Permeable Structure, artists Silvia Levenson, Emily Nachison, Michael Rogers, and Karlyn Sutherland were asked to create or contribute art in response to one of the four rooms of the Byre.
In conjunction with the opening of Permeable Structure, the artists led a studio symposium at the famed North Lands Creative Glass. This ten-day intensive gathered artists from around the world to experience the transformative landscape, history, and culture that have inspired countless artists. The panel will share their experiences of Caithness, the rationale behind a remote gallery, the current exhibition, the symposium, and the future of the Byre.
What becomes possible when there is no “supporting” material? Working collaboratively with craftspeople from other media offers a unique opportunity to elevate the craft of the collaborators and opens the possibility of surprising solutions. In this session, representatives of three studios from three disciplines will discuss the process of invention and discovery they shared in a series of collaborative projects.
In 2014, The Judson Studios secured a job to make the world’s largest single stained glass window for the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. There was only one problem: Their winning design had been created in Photoshop and was full of passages that they could not readily execute using traditional glass painting methods. A workshop with Narcissus Quagliata convinced them that the only way to do the project was to use kiln-glass methods. But there were still a number of fundamental issues to be resolved, not the least of which was transforming their business and building a kilnforming facility in which to create the 3,400 square foot piece, which they did with a little help from some friends.
How do you fit a 65,000-square-foot glass factory into a box the size of a kid’s chemistry set? Join Bullseye Projects educator Laura O’Quin and Bullseye founder Daniel Schwoerer for a walk through what is likely the most popular educational tool yet to be explored at Bullseye. (And be sure to stop by the Bullseye Projects table in the Technical Display for an up-close look.)
A multidisciplinary group of researchers at the Australian National University— including visual art-glass, physics, engineering and classics—has been investigating the manufacture of Roman cameo glass. The team has been researching a theory that posits iconic works of Roman glass were pressed pâte de verre and not blown glass, as previously thought. The team has been sharing their knowledge base and using a high-resolution 3D scanner to reveal secrets trapped within the glass for over 2,000 years. Richard Whiteley, the lead researcher for this project, will describe the exciting research undertaken to-date.
Daniel Clayman has spent more than 30 years making sculptural objects from kilncast glass. Starting with objects at a scale of about 6" high, he continually pursues different ideas that have led to the casting of large-scale objects of up to 10 feet in height. His studio practice led him to invent new assembly techniques and to fully integrate new technologies (e.g., digital modeling) in the production of his work. By the mid 2000s, Daniel was feeling unsettled, wanting to follow a different path. The economic downturn of 2008 forced a complete rethinking of the studio business model and what work was going to be made. Oddly enough, he turned to ever-larger installations, using this time of transformation to begin on a new path of visual pursuits. Daniel will discuss how these problems have morphed into transformational opportunities and work that excites him anew.
Arabic for “meeting point”, Multaqa is based on creating new intercultural relationships through the transformational power of glassmaking. Inspired by a refugee-focused glass program run by Nadania Idriss at Berlin Glas, a group of Portland makers and educators came together in early 2017 to create a novel bridge between disparate communities in a challenging social moment. The project is still in seminal stages but has already identified key directions useful to others considering community-building programs facilitated by glass. The panel will share what they have learned and suggest paths forward.
Throughout the conference, we'll pause to hear from artists who are transforming both their materials and themselves.