Won the Oscar for Documentary Short Subject.
Joseph Harrington is a sculptor working predominantly in cast glass. He graduated with an MA in Ceramics and Glass from the Royal College of Art in 2006, and won a Crafts Council Development Award in 2007.
Joseph has exhibited both nationally and internationally. In 2010 he was selected for the Jerwood Contemporary Makers exhibition in Edinburgh and London, as well as in the 2012 International Festival of Glass Biennale.
I interpret landscapes through exploration of material. I focus on rugged coastlines looking at erosion as a spectacle of discovery and generation of form, revealing a sense of the history and movement of a place. The work is produced using my ‘Lost Ice Process’. I use salt to sculpt ice as a one off ephemeral model to take a direct cast from. The textures this provides and the transient nature of the creative process reflects the erosion and sense of time I want to represent in the landscape.
Steffen originally trained as a toolmaker, and worked for some years as such, before realising his curiosity spanned more than that which is measurable. In glass he found these qualities. The uncompromising nature of this material exactly fitted the precise and analytic way of thinking that he was taught in constructing industrial tools.
During his first ten years of glass making, Steffen was practising and experimenting with all the different techniques to become a good craftsman. While doing so, he discovered a new kind of beauty in the fringes of the well-crafted glass he was making. In the area of mistakes and faults – the unwanted air bubbles, ash marks, soot, cracks and crookedness – he found something that could not be predicted or sketched beforehand. He set the established and traditional techniques aside and started making glass all “wrong” in an attempt to capture the good in the bad. Out of these experiments came the “Fossils”, “Plants” and other objects – like frozen extracts of chaos to be watched undisturbed.
You can see why Paul Stankard is called the father of the modern art glass paperweight. It seems almost an insult to call the artworks he creates paperweights. Paperweights have such an association with kitsch objects. The nicknacks that littered our grandparent’s shelves and found value in their sentimentality (at least to me). But there is nothing garish or ironic about Stankard’s work. Sentimental perhaps, part of the beauty in his glass works is his ability to suspend an image of the natural world in time. The results feel so realistic you would be forgiven for mistaking it for the real thing.
I first hear of Paul Stankard in the Origins episode of Craft in America. His work has really pushed the work from craft to art. But the form, the paperweight, still holds his objects as a piece of craft.