Two artists with a common passion for experimenting with glass came to The Studio as Artists-in-Residence in October, each with ambitious projects in mind.
Anthony Cioe is a Brooklyn-based artist who specializes in blending traditional Venetian techniques with contemporary design. He works in many mediums, including drawing, printmaking, photography, porcelain, and glass. He stumbled upon glassmaking during his time at the Rhode Island School of Design, and found he had a knack for the craft.
In 2006, Cioe did an apprenticeship in Murano, Italy, during which time he strengthened his skills as a traditional glassblower. Also that year, Cioe held a pottery residency with the Kohler Arts/Industry. His 2014 residency with The Studio was part of a joint program between institutions.
Cioe’s goal for this residency was to build a catalog of models and sketches he could use in experimentation with lots of ideas he has for larger installations.
“A great aspect of The Studio is that it’s easy to jump from one technique to another,” Cioe said. “All of the staff are so helpful and knowledgeable which creates an inspiring environment to be in.”
Once back in his home studio, Cioe will continue to amass a body of work for an exhibition next year.
Seattle-based artist Matthew Szösz was also working at The Studio last month, tackling a project he’s had in mind for some time: an investigation into using glass in the creation of sound.
Much like Cioe, Szösz is another RISD grad who happened upon glassmaking, but in Szösz’s case, it wasn’t until after college when he became an artist assistant for Daniel Clayman. He had studied furniture making in school, which gave him a foundation of wood and metal skills, along with a designer’s approach to problem solving, as he put it.
“This backdoor entry into glassworking—I’ve never learned to be a proficient glassblower—has led to a very different approach to working with glass as a material,” Szösz said. “I allow the material to lead me to unique ways of using glass and the novel forms and functions of my projects are a natural outcome of using these new processes.”
A true outside-the-box artist, Szösz’s does many performance-based experiments in glass.
“Some of the work I’m best known for are pieces which involved active kiln-forming processes of my own designs,” Szösz said. He creates an assembly of parts that he places into a kiln, brings them to fusing temperature, and then removes and manipulates them while hot, many times with air pressure or gravity. “Many of the objects I produce are self-forming. I create a structure from which to work, and physics does the rest… My work is always the result of experimenting with a given material, or interactions of materials.”
Following his residency, Szösz will return to Seattle where he is renovating a building that will house a residence for himself and his wife, glass artist Anna Mlasowsky, who was an Artist-in-Residence last year. Szösz’s work will be part of an upcoming summer exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, entitled Objects in Flux.