Today’s post is written by guest blogger, Helen Stolyarenko
THE FIFTH RUSSIAN TRIENNALE OF ART GLASS 2011
Was held in Moscow, Russia, in November 2011 — January 2012.
Supported by Russian Federation Ministry of Culture
Location: All-Russian Museum of Decorative, Applied and Folk Arts
This was a 15-th year celebration of this once-in-three-years event. The first one was held in 1995.
The main aim of the exhibition is to demonstrate the latest art-glass works by more than 100 participants from Russia and its regions, Ukraine, Belarus, Baltic states, Austria, Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Great Britain. Those were both experienced and young artists.
They demonstrated their self-expression in glass: we could see far-away voyage romance, beauty of space, childhood memories, philosophical and bible themes, famous literature heroes, folklore motives and fantasy characters, nature motives, exotic flowers and birds and so on.
Those were interesting experiments, sometimes playful, sometimes serious, lots of associations and impressions, transformed in glass, you can see some of them here. Enjoy!
Helen Stolyarenko & Sasha Strekopytova travelled from Russia to the USA this past summer to work a two-month, 3 city internship. This is part 2 of a 3-part series about their experiences here in the USA.
Stop 2: Penland School of Crafts
Penland School of Crafts (http://www.penland.org) is an over than 80 years old center for craft education, well-known all over the USA. It’s located in the mountains of North Carolina and looks like a craft village with workshops in clay, glass, iron, metals, drawing, photography, letterpress and printmaking, textiles, and wood. When we contacted the school in spring, they were so friendly, as well as so much surprised to receive a request from as far as Russia, that kindly agreed to arrange a 2-weeks guest visit for us.
Penland is a wonderland where you immediately feel like home, no matter how long you stay there. It was our home for 2 weeks, which we’ll never forget. As well as kindness of the school’s stuff, a special thanks to Jerry Jackson (the school deputy director) and Dean Allison (the glass studio coordinator), – people who made our trip possible.
The study program is divided into student sessions (2 weeks in summer and 8 weeks in fall and spring). Each session provides its own unique program and teachers in all the workshops.
We arrived on the last day of one of the sessions, and the school gave us a chance to use a few days before the next session to work in the glass hotshop. They let us work in the studio while it was free from students. What a luck again!
Our work in the glass studio started with preparing it for the next student session – charching the furnace! An experience totally new to us, but probably the funniest we’ve ever had! Funny, because unusual (glass-blowing is probably the only glass technique in Russia which glass artists don’t execute themselves), believe us, no one from the studio staff laughed, except us, – it’s an ordinary job for them.
Then we had a chance to execute some of our designs in glass, with the help of some kind students and glass-blowers. These unforgettable 3 days in the studio gave each of us and art object to take home to Russia.
The next great experience was participating in the Annual Benefit Auction— the main school event of the year, which makes the biggest part of the school’s income. Hundreds of patrons, donors and collectors come as guests to support the school. As for us, we were part of the big team of volunteers, who organized the event. Our duty was serving the tables under the huge tent, where the auction was held. The funniest game ever! It was great to feel ourselves as a part of the hot gambling atmosphere, shared by the guests under the auction tent.
Right after the Auction, a new student session started. It was a great joy to observe it, as the study process always goes in a kind friendly atmosphere, where students and teachers feel like one family. We were happy to be a part of the glass family for a while, sharing the info and exchanging experience. We also made a demonstration on Russian glass and ceramics for all the participants of the new session.
One of the greatest opportunities that we had in Penland was visiting local artists’ studios, meeting the true professionals. Richard Ritter impressed us by the brilliance of his personal interpretation of Murano technique. His art objects are small multicolored universes you dream to get in.
We met Shane Fero in his nice sunny studio, where he showed us the process of making a lamp-worked glass bird. There we also saw his stylization of human figures, made with great skill in a unique authentic manner, which we found great!
Mark Peiser‘s studio not even impressed, it shocked us with his inventiveness in making one-of-a-kind equipment for his art objects. He told us about his endless experiments with colors for casting and mould-making and showed his unique 2-stories glass furnace with a door on the bottom (it gives an opportunity to get very-very long glass threads). The result of all these experiments— incredibly beautiful, magic art objects!
Meanwhile, it’s time to go to the next place of our investigation… Seattle, Washington.
Come back tomorrow to read Part 3 of Helen and Sasha’s adventure!
Helen Stolyarenko & Sasha Strekopytova travelled to the USA from Russia this past summer to work a two-month, 3 city internship. I was introduced to Helen and Sasha by Ken VonRoenn, Jr. at AGA, Inc. Ken and I thought it would be fun to learn about their experiences and I asked Helen and Sasha to be guest bloggers here at Looking At Glass. Helen and Sasha worked hard to write the blog post and I am so happy with what they have submitted. As a matter of fact, they did such a good job, they will be guest blogging for the next 3 days. So, without any further delay I would like to introduce you to Helen and Sasha…
Two young glass artists from Russia had a 2-months trip around the USA this summer and share their impressions of American glass, art and crafts
Hi! We are Helen and Sasha, two young glass artists from Russia, graduates of the Art Glass department of The Moscow Stroganov State Academy of Art and Design. (http://stroganovschoolofarts.ru/)
This summer, right after showing our diploma projects at the big final graduate assessment in the Academy, we made a great art trip across the USA. It was a bright 2-months journey with job practice, watching and learning American glass, arts and crafts, meeting great professionals, lots of new nice people, communicating, sharing information about Russian art glass, getting unforgettable experience in glass hotshops and studios, and finally just having lots of fun. We saw so many interesting things that we’d like to share with you right now.
Stop 1: Louisville, KY
Our first 3-weeks stop was Louisville, Kentucky, where we had an unforgettable internship in The Architectural Glass Art Inc. (http://www.againc.com), a big studio focused on projects involving glass to architecture. We were greatly impressed by their huge projects of glass decoration to public buildings, hospitals, universities, churches, conventional centres.
Kenneth VonRoenn, Jr., the president and the lead designer of the studio, was the first one to answer to our internship request, when we had just started planning the trip in early spring. We had e-mailed requests to hundreds of places, and among so many refusals or silence from other places to get an agreement from the leading architectural glass studio in the USA — what an unbelievable luck to us! We are still so grateful for this chance. So, after a long several-months visa-making process, we finally got to the first place of our big journey.
The Architectural Glass Art, Inc. is expanding the role of glass in architecture.
They work in a whole range of glass techniques, from painting, bending, slumping and laminating to sand-blusting and etching, combining these technologies with sophisticated design for projects all over the USA and abroad. It was so curious for us to see the whole process of working on commissions and using these technologies.
We had a chance to try a technique totally new to us — painting on glass with enamel frit. This is multicolored powder that you can apply to the glass surface with different thickness and grades of transparency — and see what happens after burning in the kiln.
We have also helped the guys executing one of the commissions, using enamels and dichroic glass.
It was fun! This is what was going to be a big bended lighted glass column.
We were greatly impressed by the AGA team, which is a group of so friendly and professional people. It was such a pleasure to work together and learn from them.
But the greatest experience that we’ve had in AGA, Inc. Is working on the task that Ken gave us: to make our own design projects for one of the studio commissions. It was a project of glass decoration with light to a 3-stories central lobby of a private house. Each of us made her own version of this project (sketches, schemes and a small-scaled model). Me, Helen, I used in my design project one similar glass model to construct a light installation in different combinations. It was supposed to remind feathers or small birds. Some textures or dichroic surfaces could be used in the models.
Me, Sasha, I used a spiral as the central motif of the installation. It’s made of lots of flat glass elements, which reflect the light with different angles and give shine to the whole light composition.
3 weeks passed so quickly, and it was time to go to the next place. To make it less sad to leave and to thank the AGA team, we’ve arranged a small Russian good-bye party, with a big table full of our homemade food. Pancakes with sour cream, mushrooms and red caviar, buckwheat, Russian salad, kvass (bread drink) and so on… To feed someone means in Russian tradition to show the highest level of care.
Thank you, AGA! Having shown our care and gratefulness, we got ready to move to the next point of our American journey…
Stay tuned for Helen and Sasha’s A Summer in the USA – Part 2!
A daily reflection of glass used in design and architecture