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 Ethan Stern  (20/21st century)

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: contemporary glass sculpture

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Biography from LewAllen Galleries:
Originally from Ithaca, New York, Ethan Stern has established himself as a contemporary glass sculptor.  Formerly a student of ceramics, Stern became captivated by the malleability of glass and the diversity of art glass techniques.  His explorations in the glass medium are intended to achieve new dimensions and possibilities of color, form, surface texture and decorative design in works that are both technically masterful and visually extraordinary.

Stern studied ceramics at the TAFE Institute in Brisbane, Australia, and then began his transition from ceramics to glass while enrolled at Alfred University in New York. Instead of figurative or abstract glass sculpture, he was most intrigued by the functional form of the blown-glass vessel.  Stern’s study of ancient Greek and Chinese vessels was influential in his current exploration of the dynamic relationship between surface and form.

He began examining the effects he could achieve through engraving and carving while at the Pilchuck Glass School in Washington.  Engraving and carving the surface allowed him to “pull together elements of color, form, pattern and texture to create a unique voice within the material.”  By transforming the traditional glossy surface of glass, Stern has a technique focused to the surface as well as to the form, thus adding another dimension to the design and aesthetic of blown glass.

Similar to a ceramist’s direct manipulation of clay, Stern works with glass in a way that reveals the artist’s highly individualistic touch.  He explains: “The evidence of the hand, the subtleties of surface and the creative process are vital to the creation of my work.”

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