Glass art blissfully abound with sense of accomplishment
Steamboat Springs — A career as a glass artist comes with its trepidations and daily struggles. But when a piece presents itself as a free standing structure representing the sweat and skill derived from the artist’s hands, a feeling of euphoric accomplishment is achieved.
For award-winning glass artist, Bobbi Vischi, she relives these moments each time she puts a piece into the kiln.
Specializing in kiln-formed and flame-worked glass, she creates large sculptural forms as well as wall art and vessels. For July’s First Friday Artwalk, her work will be featured at the Steamboat Springs Center for Visual Arts from 5 to 8 p.m.
Inspired by the world around her, many of her most recent art resembles pieces that are getting bigger and thicker. Living in Boulder, Vischi explained that the structures, forms and mountains have an affect on her art.
“I think people can relate to the size of the structures with it being stronger and more sculptural,” she said. “People are really drawn to three-dimensional art. I also love thinking about the sunrise and sun sets and how the lighting appears then trying to translate that into the art form of glass.”
Different from glass blown art, she configures various designs when the glass is cold. Glass fusing or kiln-forming is a process that involves working with warm glass. This is derived from working with temperatures of glass that are between the extremes of hot and cold glass.
Using glass from Bullseye Glass, a company in Oregon, she acknowledged that working with this type of glass comes with many surprises, good and bad.
“Sometimes the kiln gods are not looking your way,” she said. “I always try to push myself and try something new to get a different effect with my work. If I have a failure, that’s where I will learn the most.”
Coming from a background that involved a career as a professional dancer and choreographer, she noted that her work has a distinguishable flow to it.
“It has a lot to do with dance,” she said. “It’s apart of me moving, turning and flowing, even the small functional pieces. Dance has influenced me not to think of my pieces as if in a square or only staying in one place, but rather flowing out of that. The kiln really allows me to create that movement with each piece.”
For the past 19 years, Vischi has been a studio glass artist specializing in kiln glass and also has worked as a guest artist and educator for more than 25 years. She was a founder, artist-in-residence and faculty member of the Art Glass Center in Glen Echo National Park, Maryland. She also owns Bobbi Vischi Art Glass Studio in the Boulder.
Always seeking out new expressions within the glass medium, Vischi is exploring new narratives or mediums within her work. For the Artwalk on Friday, she hopes people will be inspired or moved in response to her work.
“I think it’s important to educate people and get them thinking about art,” she said. “I hope that the pieces inform people or move them and that they learn something exciting about it.”
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