Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sarah's Pick

Shandra McLane
Black and Orange Vessel

I am sometimes a bit predictable in my tastes. I am drawn to anything with the slightest touch of orange or red. I prefer simpler, pared-down structure in a painting to a more complex surface. And I am definitely not drawn to anything too shiny. So I surprised myself when I signed on a glass artist.

Shandra McLane painstakingly creates these vessels by piecing cut glass together like a puzzle to create the design. The distinct interior and exterior designs are fused together as a single pane of glass. The whole pane is then placed atop a hollow form in a kiln for about 30 hours and allowed to slump into a bowl form. The corners are then cut off to complete the bowl and sandblasted to give the surface a matte finish.

These vessels have either an opaque or translucent quality. I love the way lights comes through the translucent vessels to give a hint of the pattern on the other side. It is also one of the special qualities of glass that light heightens the colors. But I am choosing to concentrate on one of Shandra’s opaque vessels.

The bold, black interior of Black and Orange Vessel serves as a foil for the concentric orange and blue stripes of the exterior. Because of the construction of these forms the outer layers and the edges closest to the lip must stretch more which in turn causes the glass to thin out and become more translucent. The gradation of the stripes of periwinkle to the transparent lunettes toward the outer edge with peek-a-boo stripes from the interior gives me great pleasure. The form itself is also graceful- rounded with a slightly fuller lip. I have enjoyed tipping these vessels this way and that on their small bases affording different proportions of interior to exterior design. I am especially fond of this vessel combined with Lucy Mink’s “That Sinking Feeling Is Not So Bad.” Come in to experience it yourself!

-Sarah Chaffee

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