My work combines glass processes to create simple geometric forms that examine the idea of interlocking sections. Inspired by nature and architecture, I have built a system where single units come together to create new sets of components expanding into larger systems that appear to grow continually. This studio-based enquiry has informed my research question: How can I use the materiality of glass to provoke wonderment in the complexity and ingenuity of the amalgamation of elements in even the simplest of forms? Through the exploration of the properties of glass, I have focused on the way structures in nature, specifically the connection between soap bubbles, can inform structural design in architecture. I examine this through the process of glass casting by joining multiple blown glass bubbles into structural forms that focus on the interfaces between the bubbles. I have identified and drawn comparisons between various elements in nature, design and process to influence and guide my making and aesthetic decisions - man-made and natural phenomenon, glass blowing and casting, multiple components and interconnections. The formation of the systems I am creating relies on the materiality of glass - clear, fluid and structural - and the ability to cast and fuse the bubbles to create the connections. The entire process relies on the connection between the two glass processes, blowing and casting; one cannot work without the other.
Rob Schwartz is an American glass artist who completed his Master of Visual Arts (advanced) degree at the School of Art & Design, Australian National University. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Glass and Visual Communications from Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana. Before coming to Australia, he completed an internship at STARworks, Star, North Carolina, and worked as a production glass blower at Flame Run Studio and Gallery, Louisville, Kentucky. Since arriving in Australia, Rob has also assisted various artists at the Canberra Glassworks and the School of Art. He was commissioned by the New South Wales Roads and Maritime Services for blown glass components as part of a refurbishing project around the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and assisting the completion of the Australian of the Year Awards. Since obtaining his post study visa, he has been working as the graduated resident at the ANU and several other jobs around the area including; casual technician at the Canberra Glassworks, sales assistant at Toscan Glass and a group fitness instructor at several gyms. He hopes to continue to build his resume through new experiences and residencies to help with applying for permanent residency in Australia within the next three years.
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