WGS Featured Artist: Jason Chakravarty

CLICK IT! Featured Artist: Jason Chakravarty

Jason Chakravarty is a mixed media artist based in Arizona. He worked for four years in a commercial neon sign shop before earning his MFA from California State University-Fullerton. He teaches neon and kiln casting workshops at universities and glass centers nationwide, and exhibits his work nationally.

Jason Chakravarty, together with Jennifer Caldwell have made many collaborative pieces, maintaining a critical, conceptual, and technical dialogue thru their work. Jennifer best known for her flame worked glass compositions and Jason’s technical focus is cast glass objects which often include parts or techniques from the hot shop. He uses familiar photorealistic imagery that ranges from sea to space. The narrative is the starting point and is a response to daily life and cultural observations.

Their work has been exhibited in museums including Corning Museum of Glass and Tacoma Museum of Glass, at SOFA Chicago.

Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty

Jennifer Caldwell and Jason Chakravarty

Washington Glass School blog catches up with Jason as his work is part of the WGS Contemporary online exhibit “CLICK-IT!” and the associated show “Artists for Racial Justice

Washington Glass School (WGS): Describe your artwork method/process.

Jason Chakravarty: Our process begins with a need to illuminate an idea. Ideas come from our surroundings, travels (or lack of in 2020), experiences, written stories, or even just captured moments. Glass presents the only medium with endless possibilities. We cast, blow, sculpt, paint, slump, fuse, carve, light it up and cut it. Glass can be made thick, thin, transparent, and opaque. To explain a single process would ignore the way we work. 

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell, "Bee-nounced"; cast murrini with flameworked components.

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell, “Bee-nounced”; cast murrini with flameworked components.

WGS: Describe your work in the show and highlight aspects that the viewers should understand about the work.

Jason Chakravarty: For Click It, we were lucky to include works that span over the past decade. The most recent being ‘Beenounced‘. This piece highlights the delicacy of Jennifer’s flame worked bee and honey living amongst a random and repeating hexagon honeycomb pattern. Each leg and wing is sculpted by hand, while a more machine-like process for the hexagon can be compared to a sushi roll. Long pulls of clear glass coated with yellow or black cut up, organized on end and cast to make a larger hexagon home.

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell, "Woken Inna Space Without Sound"; sculpted/blown glass/mixed media

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell, “Woken Inna Space Without Sound”; sculpted/blown glass/mixed media

On the other end of the timeline spectrum, ‘Woken Inna Space Without Sound‘ was entirely made using the hot shop. A small paperweight was created and cooled, butterfly and bee decals were applied to the surface. The paperweight was then heated, more clear glass was added and the glass cooled again. Add additional decals and repeat. Each layer requires a couple days. Once all the layers were built the glass was reheated again, shaped and sculpted into a half moon with craters. Layers of transparent and opaque gray, white and opal color were added to the surface and then cooled. The butterfly net was hand blown separately.

Discussing one last piece. “Catch and Release. The lock is cast glass and was purchased in Tel Aviv on a trip to teach in Jerusalem. At the time it felt like an ancient relic that we had found in an old mud hut and bought from a man that was nearing the end of a long and nonmonetary rich life. The fence referenced a fence that ran along the walkway to a bridge in Seattle that we would use when boarding/unboarding the ferry. The fence itself is created by hand using a torch and then assembled cold and held tight in a frame like a puzzle.

WGS: How have you handled the Covid lockdown?

Jason Chakravarty: It feels like we are working on the same path as a year ago. The demand for our work has shifted but not slowed down. While we are busy, the silver lining has been that all the anxiety has subsided. Deadlines are on ‘island time’ more like a suggestion vs an absolute. While too much to list has changed we are still consistently working. Every day is still a great day to add something better to the world.

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell; "Weeding Out"; cast/fused glass, steel.

Jason Chakravarty and Jennifer Caldwell; “Weeding Out”; cast/fused glass, steel.

WGS: What artwork/event has moved you and got you thinking about your own work?

Jason Chakravarty: Typically travel and life experience write the story for our work and fill our sketch books. It feels like we are now able to resolve some of the ideas that have been sitting or on hold. So I would say the ‘lack of event’ has us thinking more about how we work and the actual work and less focused on the excitement that comes with new ideas.

WGS: if you were not an artist – what would you be?

Jason Chakravarty: Fred Flintstone.

The artist formerly known as Jason Chakravarty.

The artist formerly known as Jason Chakravarty. Yabba.Dabba.Do.

WGS: Do you do a lot of planning in your work – or is there an element of chance while working?

Jason Chakravarty: We start with a plan and embrace all the changes along the way. Our work is very process orientated. Many steps using many techniques. Each would have to be perfect to reach our original plan. Nothing is ever perfect. Even our view of the narrative shifts with time, day, and week.

WGS: What is your rule of thumb in determining when a work is finished?

Jason Chakravarty: Each piece we make starts with a narrative. Our goal within a narrative is to raise questions vs provide answers. A piece is resolved when the question is asked.

Click HERE to jump to Jason Charavarty and Jennifer Caldwell’s work in CLICK-IT!

And see their work as part of “Artists For Racial Justice” – click HERE.

Read about Jennifer Caldwell – the other half of JC2   -click HERE.

Glass National 2017 Opens at Lorton Workhouse Center

Veta Carney, "Max", mixed media, cast glass. Photo by Pete Duvall.

Veta Carney, “Max”, mixed media, cast glass. Photo by Pete Duvall.

The Workhouse Arts Center is proud to announce its 3rd Annual Glass National exhibition. Glass National is a juried exhibition which promotes and displays the breadth of contemporary glass artwork being created throughout the USA and Canada by highlighting both functional and sculptural works. This year’s juror was installation, video and glass artist, Charlotte Potter.

Juror, Charlotte Potter
Charlotte Potter has focused the field of performance glass in her work as the Glass Studio Manager and Programming Director at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, VA. An avid educator, Potter is the mentor of the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio Assistantship program and has taught glass and new media courses at Penland School of Crafts and Oxbow. 

Glass National 2017
On View October 28 – January 14, 2018
Reception November 11, 6pm-8pm

W-16, Vulcan Gallery
9518 Workhouse Way, Lorton, VA, 22079
Phone: 703-584-2900
Website: workhousearts.org

Syl Mathis @ Workhouse Fine Arts Festival

Fine-Arts-Festival-2016.logo.workhouse

The Workhouse Arts Center in Lornton, VA, announces their 2nd annual Fine Arts Festival with more than 150 of the nation’s best artists. The fair is for 2 days only, at the Workhouse Arts Center in the heart of Northern Virginia – 20 minutes south of Washington D.C.

syl_mathis.cast.glass.boat.scupture.washington_school.art

Syl Mathis, mixed media & cast glass sculpture, 2016

Look for exciting new cast glass/mixed media artworks by WGS artist Syl Mathis to be featured at the art fair!

 

On Saturday from 12-3p explore the annual education open house with a variety of demos, performances, and hands on activities. The festival will be held rain or shine.

syl.mathis.cast.glass.art.boat.washington_school

Syl Mathis, cast glass and mixed media sculpture, 2016

Details
Date:

September 10/11

Time:
11:00 am – 7:30 pm
VENUE
9518 Workhouse Way
Lorton, VA, 22079
Phone:
703-584-2900

Website:
workhousearts.org

James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Artist: Donald Friedlich

Don Friedlich, "Navel Orange Brooch" cast glass

Don Friedlich, “Navel Orange Brooch” cast glass

The James Renwick Alliance (JRA) is committed to advancing scholarship, education and an appreciation of craft art as well as promoting individual achievements of excellence and innovation in craft. The JRA’s mission is to promote education, support and appreciation of craft. Each year, the JRA sponsors its Distinguished Artist Series, where craft artists prominent in their fields conduct workshops and give lectures. Each of the “Distinguished Artist” weekends include a workshop and the artist presents their work in the newly renovated Grand Salon at the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery.

On June 4th & 5th, Donald Friedlich will present and talk about his innovative contemporary jewelry that incorporates cast glass.

Donald Friedlich has been an innovative jeweler for over 40 years. Lauded for his stark, designerly forms and, most recently, for his luminous jewelry pieces in glass and gold, his work can be found in the collections of London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Corning Museum of Glass. 

Don’s work involves a wide array of techniques in this new jewelry – including artwork inspired by food, which combines four of his passions: food, humor, glass and jewelry. He literally is doing “lost celery casting” and “lost asparagus casting”. By casting these mundane materials in glass Don hopes that the viewer will see them in a new light and realize what beautiful forms they are. 

Don Friedlich, "Asparagus Brooches" cast glass

Don Friedlich, “Asparagus Brooches” cast glass

Some of the other designs are press molded and are in line with his recent series inspired by water and geometry. 

GENERAL INFORMATION:

The JRA Distinguished Artist Workshop will take place on Saturday, June 4th from 9:30am to 12:00. There are still some spaces in the Donald Friedlich workshop on June 4. He will be demonstrating press molding hot glass, creating molds and cold-working techniques. For more information, go to the linkhttps://www.jra.org/events/donald-friedlich

Location of workshop: DC Glassworks

5346 46th Avenue
Hyattsville MD 20781

The Sunday, June 5th lecture is free and open to the public and will take place from 2:00pm – 3:00pm in the newly renovated Grand Salon at the Renwick Gallery.

Debra Ruzinsky Lecture On Kiln Casting Techniques

Debra Ruzinsky talks about the glass work of David Reekie.

Debra Ruzinsky talks about the glass work of David Reekie.

Debra Ruzinsky presented a lecture this weekend at the Washington Glass School on the topic of kiln casting. In her history of studying and teaching around the world gave her heaps of images of world famous glass artists process’ and how they approach mold making, and kiln set-up. 

Deb went into detail of how the molds and intricate details were formed and about long annealing schedules.

Deb went into detail of how the molds and intricate details were formed and about long annealing schedules.

The class loved the opportunity to get the knowledge of the various techniques, and stayed after to chat. Debra’s background in glass and her personal history in art provided a fascinating topic for the after-talk… some of these shocking revelations will be part of some future posts!

 

WGS Glass Lecture “Kiln Casters – A Close Look At The Methods Behind the Madness”

With the success of Debra Ruzinsky’s lecture this past October on the Untold History of Studio Glass – This Saturday, May 31st, is the next installment of glass knowledge!

cast.glass.kiln.washington_DC

Free Lecture – Kiln Casters: A Close Look at the Methods Behind the Madness! (Class 1701)

An exploration of the symbiotic relationship between technique and conceptual thinking as seen through the work of contemporary glass casters.  Slide discussion of artists who focus on cast glass, with an inside look into the techniques they’ve developed to produce their work. The talk will be presented with lots of images and there will be time for discussions.

Speaker: Debra Ruzinsky. Deb received her BA in Design from the University of California at Los Angeles, and her MFA in Glass Sculpture from RIT. She has been working in glass since 1982. She serves on the publications committee of the Glass Art Society, and was Visiting Asst. Professor of Glass at RIT for the 2008-2009 academic calendar year, and has been a visiting lecturer to the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Glass Program. Her work is part of the collection of the Seto City Museum in Seto, Japan, and the Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark, as well as the RIT Wallace Library Collection.

Saturday, May 31st, from 11am to 12 noon

Email RSVP to washglassschool@aol.com

Happy Birthday USA!

Unbuilt Public Art Proposal –

Concept sketch showing abstracted US flag in the glass verticals.


Rendering of art glass wall.

Way back in the mists of time, (in 2005), the Washington Glass Studio developed a public artwork proposal for a park being created in a new mixed used development in Virginia. In honor of the 4th of July, the underlying themes of the project make this a suitable blog subject.

The original proposal was to create a wall of glass, with each cast glass segment combining to create an abstracted image of the USA flag.  

Color-shifting glass was proposed – and would make the artwork different based on the light in the day or  at night.

The stripes of the abstract flag would be made up of many faces – a metaphor of “Out of many, one” (E pluribus unum). 

Texture and color were to have a strong interplay in the glass


The wall of glass separated the private parkland area from the commercial/retail area. The artwork had to define the zones, yet allow visual contact between. Lighting effects were also planned to make the most of the color-shift glass. The proposed artwork would look different from daytime to night.

A number of design changes took place, and the project did not proceed in this form. Perhaps someday…! 

Architect of the Capitol Blogs On New Cast Glass Doors

The AOC inspects the cast glass interpretation of the ‘Cadmus sculpture maded from the original bronze doors of the Library of Congress.

Cadmus was credited by the ancient Greeks with introducing the original Alphabet or Phoenician alphabet.

The US Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is responsible to the United States Congress and the Supreme Court for the maintenance, operation, development and preservation of 17.4 million square feet of buildings and more than 460 acres of land throughout Capitol Hill. The AOC also provides professional expertise on the preservation of architectural and artistic elements entrusted to its care, and provides recommendations concerning design, construction and maintenance of the facilities and grounds.
The AOC blogs about the new cast glass doors for the Library of Congress, now being installed. 

The original doors, designed by noted American artist, Lee Lawrie in 1938, feature high-relief sculptures of (mythical and real) world figures that have contributed to the written word and communication.

Click HERE to jump to the US AOC blog post.