Did you hear? The International Year of Glass, as designated by the United Nations (UN) last May, has begun! Yes, that is a thing. Activities are planned to take place all around the world in celebration. In the U.S., the North American International Year of Glass Steering Committee is hosting the National Day of Glass event, April 5-7, 2022 at the Madison Hotel in Washington, D.C that will feature technical programming and talks from some of the largest companies in the North American glass industry.
In recognition of this, and because he works with glass in many of his art installations, Gordon was asked by US Glass Magazine to provide a few words on why he thinks glass is so special. Below are his thoughts:
“From my studio in Napa, Calif., I’ve created large-scale, site-specific permanent art installations for years, primarily from glass, so it’s part of my design ethos. In my teens, I was exploring what to do with my life and my dad gave me a frame and some glass pieces, and I created the ugliest stain-glass art you’ve ever seen. But I was hooked. I’ve studied under artisans in Germany and the U.S., and over the years really dug into the innovations that came along, from dichroic, to laminates, glass enamel and more. My gosh, even my entire house is just walls of glass.
The glass-arts field has been transformed by what this amazing material can do, its amazing versatility and beauty, and its ability to capture imagination and wonder.
Artist’s contributions can change and improve our experience of the world around us; glass has a unique ability to tell those stories in a vast array of techniques and iterations. I’ve always embraced new techniques and ways to tell a client’s story, especially in glass. I look forward to learning about new things the industry is developing. It’s fascinating to me that glass is both a creative tool for artists, and is one of the great workhorses of the modern age, and continues to evolve. For example, windows that produce power or automatically shade themselves based on sunlight, and the architecture and structural design that integrates glass to provide unusual surfaces and product performance.
Glass will always be for me a vehicle for expressing most any idea or story—light, nature, energy, and all ranges of human emotions, anything. It’s only limited by one’s imagination.”
Be sure to look to USGlass magazine for more events and updates on celebrations of the Year of Glass throughout the year!