Enticed by the beauty of richly colored glass I use this medium to translate personal experiences into tangible, visual communications. Knowing response arises from individual perception, the fact I have encouraged their thought is my reward.
With my work and the kiln’s heat I can manipulate sheets of glass into an effective message. Using multiple layers my work has extraordinary depth. My designs respect both the fragility and strengths of this medium. Occasionally unpredictable in its outcome, glass continues to mystify and engage me!
Often the technique I use will necessarily guide the process. But I truly enjoy the moment when technique is underlayment and following my vision is unconstrained art-making. Reaching this Zen state is best achieved by firing test pieces first!
Inspiration for my artworks often comes from my childhood experiences. For many years my family lived on a farm in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Living in a place so isolated had me looking to nature for my daily interaction. I took my siblings on ‘explorations’ where we scrambled up huge granite outcroppings, dangled from high tree limbs and climbed to adjacent mountain tops for best sightings of where to trek next. The sights, sounds and smells of all things growing and living around me were embedded in my memory. These memories often appear in my artwork today and lead me to communicate what I remember.
My currents artworks are born from all the rocks I climbed as a child or put into my pockets to bring home! This manifests through casting glass frits and stringers into slabs which I cut into pieces and re-fire into specific shapes…right now mostly bowl shapes. My challenge is portraying the depth of colorations of this rock-like effect which hold striations and mixes transparency with opacity.
I am also working on modeling with powdered glass onto panels. My first series was the making of Ritual Bowls using hand torn stencils and sifting glass powder to shape the contours of these bowls. The finished pieces are multi-panels hung in groupings. Another series are stenciled shapes mimicking the worn peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the contrasting jagged Sierra peaks. Each powder sifted layer is fired separately then stacked for a final firing into four layers arranged to make the finished panels appear to flow from one panel to the next…yet they don’t.
My most recent series is a metamorphosis of shapes changing from bowl contours to recomposed abstract pieces. These powder sifted panels have been fired, cut and re-powdered with glass then cast into the final panels.
My artworks can be found in Greater Bay Area juried art shows and juried fine arts festivals. Dates and locations of my upcoming shows and festivals are on my website www.sylviachesson.com. My artworks are also in the Alameda Art Association Gallery, Alameda and occasionally in the Stained Glass Garden, Berkeley. To contribute to my art community I am on the Board of GLANC (Glass Alliance of Northern California) and am Vice President of The Alameda Art Association.