Charissa Brock and Martha Pfanschmidt present two perspectives on the natural world through kilnformed glass paintings and mixed-media sculpture.
“Many times in my life,” says Brock, “I have come upon an artifact, plant, animal or insect that has a questionable purpose, origin or meaning. It is a guessing game, where narrative is imagined and meaning is constructed.” Using strips of heat-treated bamboo and kilnformed glass, Brock develops systems for creating intricate structures. Her highly patterned forms draw inspiration from cultural history and the natural objects she encounters everyday. “Referencing aspects of objects from the past and forms from nature through knots, interwoven lines and stacking systems, I am creating a story in hopes of calling to mind the story in all of us.”
In 2004, Martha Pfanschmidt began translating her layered print work into kilnformed glass and it has taken on its own vocabulary. Like her work on paper, Pfanschmidt’s glass paintings draw inspiration from nature. “I live in a hole in the woods,” Pfanschmidt says, “Around me are a tangle of trees and brush, home to rabbits, coyotes, owls, ravens, deer and other creatures; above me is a circle of sky.” This is reflected in her work. Color and form are embedded in multiple layers of fused glass, calling to mind the abundance of flora and fauna in the Pacific Northwest. Meanwhile, airy gestures conjure the swirling transformations of the sky above. Pfanschmidt states, “Only the earth is perpetual, solid below me, where the trees grow and the animals live and where I walk: the constant earth that holds up the ever-changing sky.”