JAMIE HARRIS

Jamie Harris ia an artist and teacher at UrbanGlass, the New York Experimental Glass Workshop in Brooklyn, NY. A graduate of Brown University, he has studied at some of the most prestigious glass schools in the country: The Pilchuck Glass School, the Rhode Island School of Design, the Penland School off Crafts, the Haystack School, and the Corning Museum of Glass. His line of exclusive tabletop items is available worldwide at Tiffany & Co. Selected galleries include: Vetri (Seattle, WA), Pismo (Denver, CO), Morgan Glass Gallery (Pittsburgh, PA), Wexler (Philadelphia, PA), and Hodgell Gallery (Sarasota, FL).

"Along with a series of new castings from my Infusion series, I am presenting a new series of original works on paper, composed from collages of acetate lighting gels. I have sketched for years with lighting gels, which are the colored plastic sheets that are used to color lights in the theatre: their transparency allows me to explore the color overlap and design that I want to pursue in my glass sculptures. But over time, my sketches have become more abstracted from the final glass object, and have become drawings that capture the movement, the reflection, the warp and weave of the various color fields in the molten glass as the glass flows, stretches, and takes form. Over the last year, I have developed this new series, approaching these collages as works that share a stylistic lineage with the castings, share a connection and love of the glassblowing process that fuels the castings, and share an evolution that derives from physical cast objects, but have taken on their own presence as color abstractions on paper. The magic of transforming color in these layered collages captures the essence of the layered glassblown fields in my castings.

In a recursive way, these new collages have influenced my newest castings, as well. In my Infusion sculptures, I use the Italian-trained techniques of layering and banding multiple colored bubbles of glass as a way to generate washes of sensuous, painterly color in a kiln-cast solid mass. I’ve invented a process to create these sculptures, beginning by creating the colored motifs as bubbles of blown glass that are transformed into masses of solid-glass, which are finally cast into blocks and carved and polished into the final shape. With this new work, I’ve approached the new castings with a renewed focus on line, often paring down color fields to a minimalist repetition of color and line. So much of the fabrication of these pieces is invested in the science of prediction: anticipating how the color of a bubble blown at the furnace will dilute days later when cast as a solid object, forecasting how fields will distort and move as elements are joined in the casting. As my technique has strengthened, these new pieces have a closer focus, a tighter cropping of image. But the soul of these pieces remains what has always inspired the series: these pieces are a love-letter to the process of glassmaking. They are stop-motion reinterpretations of the traditional Italian-glass “incalmo” format, tracking in place the flowing movement of molten glass, capturing the subtle gradation from a whisper of transparent color to a saturated intensity." - Collages & Castings Exhibition Statement, February 2021

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