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June 26, 2012 > "From the Flame" at Olive Hyde

"From the Flame" at Olive Hyde

Submitted By Diane Leys

"From the Flame," an exhibit featuring the work of nine California artists who utilize heat or flame in the creation of their work, opened at Olive Hyde Art Gallery Friday, June 22 and on display through July 21. Looking for a different twist on exhibits, curator Sandra Hemsworth has selected artists whose inventions transform fire, heat, glass, wax or clay into unique works of art.

Creating and decorating an art piece from glass can be accomplished in many ways. Using hand tools, metal rods and molten glass, a glassblower works at a furnace to blow and shape a form in glass. In flame-worked glass the artist uses rods and tubes of glass with hand tools, a torch and kilns to produce his/her work. With this technique the artist can achieve a finer level of detail.

Cast glass, another technique, is done with a torch or in a kiln. The artist makes a mold which is then filled with glass. Large sculptures are typically created using this method. Pate de verre, a method dating back to the ancient Egyptians, involves making a paste of glass using frits and powders and placing them in a mold which is then fired in a kiln.

With work held in public and private collections, Bay Area artists Susan Longini, Dean Bensen, Kathy Elliot, and Demetra Theofanous continue to experiment and test the boundaries of glass.

While working with cast-glass, artist Michele Burr began to experiment with bronze, and salvaged bent, rusty, metal objects. Her resulting sculptures juxtapose a cast glass base, salvaged metal, and bronze female figures.

Barbara Maricle's Encaustic paintings utilize a technique dating back to the Greeks who used heated wax to caulk ship hulls. Pigmenting the wax allowed them to decorate their warships while making them more seaworthy. Maricle uses heated beeswax, pigment and resin to stir her imagination. She layers the Encaustic paint then inscribes and scrapes back surfaces exposing under layers. She then applies the scrapings back onto the panel, repeating the process several times. With heat the paint flows and melds.

There is a long history of ceramic art in almost all developed cultures. With the desire to make a piece of clay into something memorable and interesting, the artist creates a vessel or a figurative piece. Artist Andrea Clak begins with wheel-thrown vessel forms and adds color with stains or red clays. After burnishing her pieces they are raku or saggar fired. Well known for his zany sculptures, local artist Peter Langenbach investigates the political with his "Incarcerated Rat" series of wheel thrown and sculpted pieces. Fremont artist Lisanne Gollub hand sculpts her figures which she then underglazes and fires in a kiln.

Innovation, experimentation, creativity, perseverance, and fire have brought the works of these nine artists to the Olive Hyde Art Gallery for your pleasure.

From the Flame
June 22 - July 21
Thursday-Sunday: 12 noon - 5 p.m.
Olive Hyde Art Gallery
123 Washington Blvd., Fremont
(510) 791-4357

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