May 2016 marks the 20th anniversary of the opening of The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass, one of the foremost teaching schools for glass in the world. To celebrate, we are featuring 20 artists in the 20 weeks leading up to the birthday. These artists have studied, taught, and created at The Studio. Each Saturday, we’ll share words and work from the artists who have formed a connection with our Studio and our staff.
Kimiake and Shin-ichi Higuchi began exploring the technique of pâte de verre in 1987. Neither of them had received any formal training in glass. The Higuchis established many of their original techniques through several years of trial and error. Currently, their work can be seen in many museums and galleries and is collected globally. They have taught workshops in many parts of the world, including Japan, France, Italy, Mexico, Taiwan, Spain, and the United States.
From the artists:
Many people often ask us why we would so freely teach our techniques we’ve taught ourselves through much effort. We always answer: When employed by diverse artists, a technique grows. We look forward to the day when some of our small contributions may return to us as full-grown methods and works of great beauty. We feel very happy having something in ourselves to share.
What has your involvement been with The Studio over the years? Our first class at the studio was 1997, a year after the Studio opened. Ever since then, we’ve been involved in every series of classes except for a couple. We feel honored and thankful to Amy Schwartz, director of The Studio, for giving us such a valuable opportunity. We come back to Corning every year not only to share our knowledge, but also to encounter new people and see old friends again. We also learn from our experiences of teaching.
What do you like about working at The Studio? Working in The Studio is almost as comfortable as working in our own studio. The Studio’s devoted staff put great effort into preparing their facilities, and without their help, classes might not run as smoothly as they do.
As The Studio celebrates its 20th birthday, what would you say about its effect on the glass community? Many people have come and gone, and have studied for the past 20 years. We think that the contribution of The Studio is a great achievement. We are very happy whenever we see the beautiful work made by those people who studied with us, and it makes us proud to be involved with the classes.
Thanks, Kimiake and Shin-ichi!