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.

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.

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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.

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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

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!

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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

Who’s A Hottie?

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Robert Kincheloe’s a hottie – over 200 °F (100°C)!

Kiln casting large forms can test the limits of the size of the kilns the glass is being fired inside. Very large glass forms can require more glass than the mold’s reservoir can hold at one time, requiring that additional glass be added during the firing process to fill the mold to the top with glass. Tim Tate is creating a new series – his “Cabinet of Curiosities” and some of the figures are very large.

Tim Tate’s cast glass figures are sometimes over 20″H of solid cast glass.  

Audrey Wilson and Robert Kincheloe suit up to “charge” the flower pot reservoirs inside the hot kilns. 

Audrey gets ready to add the pre-chopped Bullseye glass pieces into the red-hot kiln.
Rob opens the heavy kiln lid and Audrey moves in quickly.
Audrey slides in the glass into the flower pots.
The process is repeated a number of times, each time allowing the kilns to return to hot temps and the green suited elves to cool down.
Rob and Audrey are literally smoking hot artists!

Tim’s work will be featured at Chicago’s S.O.F.A. Art Fair this November in Habatat Galleries space.

Sean Hennessey Constructing Art

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Sean Hennessey often incorporates electronics into his cast glass works. Here he is testing new el-wire (electroluminescent) sheet for his panels.

Artist Sean Hennessey is in da house! (Or at least da Studio!) working on a new series of cast glass/mixed media panels. Fresh from his successful show at Blue Spiral Gallery in Asheville and Artomatic, Sean continues to move forward in his artwork. Sean is kilncasting slabs of glass for his upcoming shows, including “Constructing Content” with fellow Washington Glass artists Erwin Timmers and Erin Antognoli that opens Dec 1 at the Kline Gallery in Frederick, MD’s Delaplaine Arts Center.

Opening the kiln, Sean removes the plaster from cast glass.

Sean’s glass is formed using dry-plaster casting technique captures the detail of his fingerprints.

Constructing Content

An exhibit featuring Washington Glass School sculptors Erwin Timmers, Sean Hennessey, and Erin Antognoli. The mixed media sculptors combine photography, steel and glass. More will be published online soon!

Sean appraises the composition of panel after annealing.

December 1–30, 2012

Kline Gallery

Delaplaine Arts Center

40 South Carroll Street

Frederick, Maryland 21701

Michael Janis Goes West!

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photos by Demetra Theofanous

An earlier WGS blog post mentions that our own master of glass imagery – Michael Janis – was heading out west to teach a series of workshops at California’s Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI).
Michael’s workshops were about integrating imagery into glass – one workshop was creating deep bas-relief and in the other workshop he taught how he does his unique frit powder drawing technique.
Below are some photos of the California workshops:

Making clear and color bas-relief samples.

The students try out working in the plaster molds.

Mark adds color to his work; a student’s work shows the cast glass bristles of a paintbrush.

BAGI Executive Director Mark Murai is amazed at the detail captured by the kilnformed glass.

Michael Janis describes what goes on inside the glass during the firing.

Michael reveals all his secrets in how to use frit powder for drawing and how the layers of glass create the depth of the work.

Michael said he had really enjoyed working at BAGI’s facilities: “It’d be my new home… it has that experimental vibe – where as an artist you can really respond and can take your work the next level.”

Click HERE to jump to BAGI’s website.

Boro Casting

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A casting kiln loaded with boro.

Robert Kincheloe has been developing a method of casting using borosilicate glass (aka “hard” glass or 33 C.O.E or Pyrex) and creating components that can later be assembled into Flameworked sculpture.

Rob Kincheloe prepping the glass to be invested into the molds.

Here Rob had made plaster/silica molds via the “lost wax casting” process, and is now loading into the kiln, investing with boro glass.
His process of merging warm and hot glass practices creates one of a kind sculptural works of art.

Rob arranging the molds inside the kiln – ensuring even heating.

Placing the “hard” glass into the molds

Rob documents each step of the process for his posting online.

“Crashing” the kiln to take the glass out of devit range.

The red-hot glass at 2100º F

Some of the cast boro elements – showing the translucent colors. These elements will later be flameworked into sculpture.