Clearly Collaborative

New Beginnings in Glass

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Through March 11
Florida CraftArt
Details here

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Clearly Collaborative is an exciting gathering of new work created by established artists exploring the medium of glass, guided by master glass artist Duncan McClellan.

The concept for the exhibition arose from a conversation between curator David Ramsey and McClellan, inspired by the success of a commissioned piece of art featuring the metal work of the late Paul Eppling and McClellan’s glass work.

A diverse group of artists experienced in working in clay, metal, paper and mixed media, talked over design ideas and technical challenges with McClellan. The artists received blown glass vessels and access to the DMG School Project‘s commercial sandblasting booth and tools.
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Curated by David Ramsey, Clearly Collaborative features original works from Lucrezia Bieler (Paper, Tallahassee) Joyce Curvin (Mixed Media, Palm Harbor) the late Paul Eppling (Metal), Pamela Fox (Jewelry, Sarasota), Dominice Gilbert (Metal, St. Petersburg), Nneka Jones (Mixed Media, Tampa), William Kidd (Ceramics, St. Petersburg), John Mascoll (Wood, Safety Harbor), Duncan McClellan (Glass, St. Petersburg), Charlie Parker (Ceramics, St. Petersburg) and Sue Shapiro (Ceramics, St. Petersburg).
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You can hear about this creative process
directly from the artists


Joyce Curvin

Marz Roverz, by Joyce Curvin

This experience working with Duncan McClellan was amazing!

I have worked with many materials in my career — wood, metal, fabric and of course paper — but never glass. I was amazed at the weight of the vases I used and admit that early on I had a huge fear of breaking these large pieces that I had been given!

My work in paper mache is lightweight and easy to alter at most any stage. Glass, while much more durable than I thought, needed the sandblasting/surface design to be done right the first time.

I had a good idea of what I wanted to achieve with both pieces and Duncan was incredibly supportive of both efforts. He guided me through the sandblasting and helped advise me with the design.

The first piece, Marz Roverz, presented issues with lighting and the proper stand. I hired Bill Coleman to create the stand I designed and then consulted with my friend, Rick Curnen, on the lighting.

We had to create a clamp system to hold the interior lighting in the right configuration in the vase/spaceship and wire in the ‘flame’ bulb on the back.

Searching for Sashimi, by Joyce Curvin

Searching for Sashimi was my second work and I was able to construct those pieces on my own. I originally envisioned it with a glass plate but the bowl turned out to be perfect.

Joyce Curvin – photo courtesy of Florida CraftArt

I can say that the project has changed the way I approach my work. It has certainly broadened my vision for my next projects.
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Nneka Jones

photos by Nneka Jones @artyouhungry

Working with glass for the first time as a mixed media artist was both exciting and intimidating. I had always admired Duncan McClellan’s work when visiting his gallery in St. Pete and never imagined that I would one day have the opportunity to collaborate on one of his expert glass creations.

The transparency of the glass was always something I’d been drawn to in his works and when he showed me this 26″ round glass plate, I immediately fell in love with it. It reminded me of my original home, Trinidad and Tobago – and I knew that whatever I created needed to emphasize the vibrancy and organic shape. Hence, I conceptualized And Then There Were Two.

photo by Nneka Jones @artyouhungry

The artwork is self reflective of transitions, change and identity with a particular focus on the overlap of culture. It explores collages and transparencies to reveal layers of color, organic shapes and silhouettes.

And Then There Were Two extends beyond the painted surface of the glass to be a functional piece and operates as a side table with the ability for the glass to rotate, allowing a 360 degree view of the colorful imagery.

Nneka Jones – photo courtesy of Florida CraftArt

This piece is reflective of my transition from living in Trinidad to now living and working full-time in the United States. This glass-top side table is paired with a drum-shaped wooden base to create the perfect statement piece, welcoming two people to sit and have a conversation.
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Charlie Parker

Working with Duncan in a new medium was fun and challenging . Once I found the glass I wanted to work with, my design grew from there.

It was a great experience – very happy I was part of it.
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Sue Shapiro

I felt very honored and very happy to be included in the Clearly Collaborative show. I have been an artist for over 40 years working mainly with clay so the new experience with glass definitely opened up new possibilities for me. It was fun.

Initially I felt a little intimidated by the project but once I got started and experimented with some shards of glass I began to understand the process and realized the design possibilities. I found my confidence and felt ready to start my piece.

I chose one of Duncan’s large vessel forms for my piece. I titled it Journey and I made a companion piece out of clay titled, Destination. The piece is all about visual enjoyment for me. Beautiful patterns on beautiful forms.

The process of “masking’ the glass piece and then sandblasting was all new to me – scary but very exciting. When I was at Duncan’s studio I was amazed at the freedom he gave me using his equipment. I remember him saying, “Sue, you’ve been doing this stuff your entire life, it’s intuitive. . . yell if you need me.”

He was right. . . it was intuitive. When you use your hands to create and understand tools, things do come natural.
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