Victoria Tierney - "Playing With Fire" Curator

Victoria Tierney with Martin Blank's Glass Sculpture

I am so grateful to Victoria Tierney, for giving me a personal tour of
the amazing - Playing With Fire: Glass Art in the Pacific Northwest.
See it at the Coos Art Museum until February 15, 2014. Here is the museum
link for more information:

While you are there, don't miss the Hawthorne Family Exhibition (upstairs),
to see Chris and Julie Hawthorne's work. They were featured on
Art Beat on OPB. More on the Hawthorne family art coming in a future post.

Victoria's ability to pull together this world class show,
Dale Chihuly's influence on this exhibit, and the extraordinary, new,
innovative, ground breaking developments in glass art amaze me.
Eager to share it with you, it is the focus of this and my next post.

The glass sculpture above was created by Martin Blank. His video:
shares the technique used to create this tree sculpture
(about 6 minutes into the video) as well as other glass blowing techniques.
At the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, his outdoor water sculptures are part of
the permanent collection and can be seen online at:

The Northwest Glass Art Movement is described on the
museum sign, as you enter the first room of the Playing With Fire Exhibit:

In the summer of 1971 a thirty year old sculptor named DALE CHIHULY
offered a summer program in glass blowing on a tract of woods about an
hour north of Seattle owned by Ann Gould Hauberg, an architect and
philanthropist, and her husband, the timber heir John Hauberg. Chihuly, a
Tacoma, Washington native, had a Masters in Sculpture from the Rhode
Island School of Design and had also studied with master Venetian glass
blowers in Murano, Italy. From that beginning was born PILCHUK GLASS
SCHOOL which has become an international center for the creation of art
works ---some intricate and some monumental in scale - which have
completely transformed our appreciation of what it means to work glass.

At the heart of the Pilchuk campus is what is called the "The Hot Shop".
The name for this show, "Playing With Fire", grew out of the technique
of blowing glass whick involves heating the glass in what sculptors call
"the glory hole", and then shaping the molten glass by blowing into the red-hot
sticky substance as it is whirled about in a wild dance by artists who must
be athletes as well. (See Martin Blank's video, "Repose in Amber" in the main
gallery.) The glass pieces that are created, which are so cool and still, are
mute testaments to transformations by inferno. be continued in the next post