Layered glass art: Three artists you should know about

For different people, art comes across differently. You might be looking at a sunset painting and someone else might see the sunset as a passing of bad times. This is what is so magical about art. Layered glass art is an art form that might not be conventional in its form, but it is fascinating and eye-catching to all nonetheless.

It is a process of using laminated glass that prevents the glass from breaking apart even when shattered due to the internal layers that keep it bonded. The process seems easy to comprehend now, but artists have a way of looking at things in a way that is different from our normal perception. Yet there is not one artist whose work you might look at and feel isolated because the spectrum that art covers, with its depiction of feelings and experiences, are very much collective.

If you are someone interested to explore different forms of art, these are three artists that make some incredible layered glass art:

Ernest Vitin (Ernests Vītiņš)

With a Master’s degree in Glass Art from the Art Academy of Latvia, Ernest Vitin (Ernests Vītiņš) works with contemporary layered glass art techniques and aesthetics. Since layered glass is not a common medium of art in the art world, there is not a large number of artists working exclusively with it. Vitin however, works with layered glass sculptures exclusively. Coming from a family of artists, he chose a different art form completely due to his ambition to develop a unique personality of his own.

“Ernest is a practical man driven by curiosity and intellect, who is completely mesmerized by this contemporary technique, which requires a great idea and an even greater skill.” Says his website where all of his work and inspiration is documented.

His work ranges somewhere from layered glass artwork to functional pieces that can be accustomed to our everyday lives. He is not only a nominee of the prestigious 2019 Purvītis Award but also the winner of the annual National award 2019 KG Culture in the category of Visual Art for his solo exhibition “WITHIN THE GLASS LABYRINTH”.

Ben Young

Ben Young is another popular name in the layered glass art category. He is a New Zealand based, self-taught artist working with glass sculptures for over 15 years now. Living near the Bay of Plenty (North Island, NZ) a good chunk of his work is inspired by the ocean, the shifting paradigms of water, and just nature in general.

Each of his works is handcrafted from start to finish. Since this is not a conventional way of indulging in art the entire process includes a lot of manual work to bring the unique concept to life.

‘Lighting plays a large part in the presentation of my pieces. When lit from beneath, the light reflects and gives off the illusion of the piece being brought to life. I hope viewers might imagine the work as something “living” that creates the illusion of space, movement, depth, and sense of spatial being. I like to play with the irony between the glass being a solid material and how I can form such natural and organic shapes.’

Young works at the intersection of different mediums such as light, glass, and color to imagine a piece that is unique to his concept. In focusing on his own experiences and what he wants to create, Young’s work is universal in its nature of portraying the personal, which oftentimes turns out to be universal.

Michael Frank Peterson

Micheal Peterson is a glass sculpture artist with previous experience in fine art, graphic design, and industrial design. Growing up in a middle-class family, Peterson was initially wary about going into the art world due to its unpredictable economic position. But he pressed on and got his Fine Arts degree from Brigham Young University. Peterson infamously worked as a trade show exhibit designer for 34 years, which he enjoyed most of all. He got into painting as a hobby during that time but got around to art properly again after he retired, and his interest was then peaked by three-dimensional art.

This time he tried to bring to life his visuals and concept of painting with three-dimensional models using paint on layered glass. And the results, as shown in his work, are phenomenal.

Peterson was encouraged more when upon taking his new work to an art show, he received more appreciation for that mixed form of art than any of his previous paintings. Peterson holds a long list of accomplishments, but his most prized might be the art he creates now.

The phenomenon and the experience that is Art, from its conception, creation to consumption, is boundless. There are so many forms of art that can be used to capture the human experience as well as those that cannot be named and only be shown how an artist knows to do, through their art.

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