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|June 5-11, 2008
Through the looking glass
A new exhibit at the Boulder Public Library shines a light on art glass
by Barbara Byrnes-Lenarcic
Art glass can be divided into three main categories: cold, warm and hot. Cold glass refers to stained glass, mosaics, etched, sandblasted, cold worked and laminated glass. Warm glass includes kiln-formed glass. Fused glass, for example, is created when different pieces of glass are melted together in a kiln between 1400 to 1500 F. Hot glass is worked directly from the furnace either by blowing or casting. Color is created by adding certain elements to the glass. Gold, for example, produces a cranberry-pink color.
Sand, Soda & a Twist of Lime, a Colorado glass invitational on display at Boulder Public Library’s Canyon Gallery, unveils the unique styles of more than 40 contemporary glass artists. The show’s title refers to the process for making glass that is melting sand with soda and lime. An educational display, in conjunction with the show, is in the Bridge Display Case south of the gallery. Assembled by Denver-based D&L Stained Glass, a supporter of the show, and glass artists' Mary Barron and Erinn Diekman, the display demonstrates the techniques to create glass.
Entering the Canyon Gallery, a look to the left reveals a large cast glass circle suspended from the ceiling on a white rope. Four gold leaf characters in each corner of the circle represent the work’s title, “Island, Sea, Mountain, Sky.” Dylan Balderson of Spiro Lyon Glass in Carbondale offers viewers a sparse, spiritual link to place.
“Quakey Love Story,” a lovely etched glass piece by Lyons artist Kathy Bradford is a look at nature illuminated by light. Surrounded by a maroon frame, lacy leaves encircle tree trunks. Mountains, plants and birds are in the foreground. The intricate scenes appear to be created on air.
A carved glass bowl titled “Ice,” by Linda R. Wingate, features dripping white icicles and tiny, floating blue dots for a cool look.
Near “Ice” is the hot “Cherry Chalice.” Cranberry color swirls through two thin glass pieces split by space for a mesmerizing effect. Kit Karbler of Blake Street Glass Studio in Denver energizes the glass by making light and blank spaces part of the delightful design.
“Black Hole,” a thick, coal-black fused glass circle by Parker artist Maggie Heard, features a cobalt-blue indented center filled with tiny purple-and-white stars and circles that shimmer with purple highlights.
Kim Erickson’s blown glass “Goblet” has three glittery parts — a blue-and-violet round shape rests on a rose-and-purple circle supported by a base of two thick circles that glisten with purple accents.
On the right side of the gallery, “Options,” a whimsical glass figure by Evergreen artist Zoe Kowalchuk, is full of surprises. The piece features four different personalities on each side of two black squares. The top square is the face. The bottom square is the body. Using bright orange, purple, green and pink colors, Kowalchuk unifies each character’s face with its body by employing like colors and quirky shapes in the design.
“Hawaiian Harlequin” is a delicate composition of tiny pink, yellow, green and orange glass seed beads by Boulder artist R. Mercedes Lindenoak. The work is visually pleasing, with pointy shapes, blocks of color, thin strings and fragile leaves.
Glass panels hanging on tracks along the gallery’s front windows catch the highlighting colors, shapes and scenes.
In “Spring Waiting for the Sun,” Randy Leever creates an image by connecting color and open space. The work is a painted, hand-blown, leaded glass piece with blue/gray edges. Black lines frame both yellow and blue color blocks. Cranberry, purple and turquoise colors are also part of the mix. Black lines and tiny black flecks enhance the center of the piece. “Night Time at Red Rocks,” by Erinn Diekman (aka Erinn Bloom) is a fused and painted glass landscape that bursts with red mountains, a swirled purple-and-green sky and a bright yellow orb.
Mary Bayard White focuses on Boulder Creek flow rates from 1996 to 2003 on three panels of fused recycled window glass that hang on a wall along the walkway left of the gallery. A collaborative effort with hydrologist Sheila Murphy, the bubbly, green panels are an arty approach to disseminating scientific data.
“Cherry Blossoms,” by Jacqueline McKinny, is perfectly placed near the lovely garden right of the gallery. A borosilicate glass piece painted with oil paints, the tiny pink-and-white blossoms with bright green leaves on a thin black branch bring spring indoors.
Sand, Soda & a Twist of Lime is a retreat from reality and a joyous journey into the fine art of glass making.
On the bill:
Sand, Soda & a Twist of Lime will be on display through July 19 at the Boulder Public Library’s Canyon Gallery, 1000 Canyon Blvd., Boulder,
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