Artists KCJ Szwedzinski and David Walters worked together to create these festive hand blown ornaments.
The surface color application adds unique sparkle to each piece. Please handle with care, as the uneven surface may have sharp elements. Ornaments will vary in size and texture.
Artist Statement KCJ:
My work addresses perception, legacy, and belief as recurring themes. As a form of artistic autoethnography, I use found materials and glass elements to create work that considers not only what we remember and believe but how, and follows narrative threads as they traverse time and place. With an interest in how people form belief, my work considers constructed systems that range from the sacred to the mundane including: religion, consumerism, family legacy, and politics. Within that framework I look at the tension that exists between the dogma and the lived experience. I am interested in how we choose to embrace or deny our inherited legacies and how these choices manifest intergenerationally to shape belief and identity.
This investigation began by learning about my personal inherited legacies. I investigated the intersection of Jewish legacy and lived experience by questioning, imagining, and reinterpreting Jewish law and traditions. Judaism interests me due to its unique attributes of debate and argumentation as mechanisms for expounding on ambiguous passages and laws. Secondly, Judaism manifests very differently across history and the globe while still maintaining a distinct essence. As a result of its multicultural and geographic differences, Judaism is difficult to categorize. It probes categorical markers and feels to me like the progenitor of identity politics. There is a tradition of debate and interpretation in Judaism called midrash. I consider my work to be visual exegesis that continues this practice and a methodology for synthesizing seemingly disparate bodies of knowledge- historic Jewish tradition and my own lived experience.
By reinterpreting common objects in unexpected materials, compositions, or relationships, I seek to create a new context that elicits the need for further investigation. I believe arts most powerful function is its ability to create spaces for dialogue, introspection, and connection. My goal is to create work which demands active participation in the construction of "reality," and which requires an attempt to reconcile expectation with what is seen.
Artist Statement for David Walters:
David’s work focuses on the narrative. Referring often to the fairy tales of our youth, he weaves into the stories a more personal interpretation in an allegorical and metaphorical style, while integrating blown form and image toward a common theme. He's worked mostly with themes from fairy tales and children’s stories, primarily for their familiar and often sentimental associations. He incorporates into these cautionary tales a sense of his own history or personal experience in an effort to give them a more contemporary and intimate relevance.
David's work creates a deeply personal vocabulary within the framework of the narrative through the parallel and stylized world he imagines. The work is a metaphorical reflection of him-self and the world as he interprets it as told through a visual riddle. There are monsters and heroes among us and within us. Some are funny, some are not. We live in a world of distraction, indifference, neglect, and apathy. Sometimes the darkness of things seems unrelenting. We also live in a world of hope, resilience and renewal. The human spirit is capable of so much more than we sometimes dare to imagine.
The function of art, which most interests David, is its ability to hold up the mirror and be relevant to the era from which it was spawned. This inspires a sense of connectedness to the audience of its generation, as well as a fingerprint for future generations. David wishes to honor the original function of the story telling tradition as a cautionary tool meant to teach, inspire, entertain and maybe even frighten us when necessary.
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Pilchuck Glass School is an international center for glass art education. Our serene campus in Stanwood, Washington, is nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains amidst a working tree farm.
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