Weird Works: Strategies for a New Glass
2 week course || GLASS 630 002 || 3 credit hours || Lab Fee: $300
This class will use glass to translate observations of inspirational phenomena and systems into conceptual artworks. Through a combination of sketches, immediate responses and longer projects students will work through the creative phases of observation, synthesis, modeling and realization in a supportive and catalytic learning environment. Brief daily readings will explore our favorite weird thinkers from Hunter s Thompson and George Orwell to Dr. Seuss and Buckminster Fuller. These visionaries will inspire and drive our material experiments beyond the well-worn paths of traditional investigations. Glass lessons will include blowing, casting, cold working and a variety of less orthodox approaches. The class will respond by inventing techniques to address the concepts imbedded in individual projects and lead students towards a thoughtfully experimental approach to artmaking. Students should expect to produce a body of work consisting of 3-5 finished pieces during the course, to be presented in a culminating critique.
Ben Wright holds a BS in Evolutionary Biology from Dartmouth College, a BFA in Glass from the Appalachian Center for Crafts, and an MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. While at Dartmouth, he explored forests from upstate New Hampshire to tropical Jamaica to record and map songbirds for the renowned ornithologist Richard Homes. His background in biology figures strongly in his artwork, which delves deeply into the every evolving relationship between humans and their environment. Through work ranging from interactive visual installations to sonic landscapes he engages all of his viewers’ senses and often bridges the gap between art and science. He has taught his unique approach to art making at numerous schools including Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Craft, the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and abroad in Germany, Turkey, Denmark and Japan. He is currently the Director of Education at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn, New York.