|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Born in Detroit, Michigan, and living along the coast near Sixes,
Oregon, Chris Hawthorne does decorative blown-glass that includes
"jellyfish, fans, vessels, platters, ceramic busts and tribal
art-inspired masks." He says that the process of blowing glass,
which takes him about two hours for each piece, is "the best part about
it", although much pre-planning occurs before he gets to that
stage. His pre-blowing time includes arranging glass elements in
certain sequences and considering what will happen during the
expansion process with the heated glass.|
Hawthorne was first inspired to become a glass blower in the 1970s when
he was working in a sawmill in Colorado and someone gave him a piece of
stained glass, which fascinated him. He moved to Oregon and
became a commercial fisherman to earn money but took commissions for
glass pieces. In 1978, he met famed glass artist, Dale Chihuly,
and accepted Chihuly's invitation to study at his school in
Pilchuck with Patrick Reyntiens, a flat-glass artist. Hawthorne
admired Reyntiens, but found himself more interested in the
glass-blowing classes. He returned often to Pilchuk for advanced
instruction in hot-glass sculpture.
In 1985, he opened a studio for full-time commitment to glass blowing,
and by 1987, had enough work to enter in a crafts show. This was a
turning point and brought him praise from collectors and critics.
Among teachers he cites as being most influential are Lino Tagliapietra
and Lucio Bubacco, who were masters in the glassmaking traditions of
Murano, Italy; Pino Signoretto, a hot-glass sculptor; and William
Morris of Seattle to whom he gives the most credit because of his
ability to transcend "the conventional limits of glassblowing."
Joel Groover, "Chris Hawthorne pushes the limits of glass", Art & Antiques, February 2006, pp. 84-85.
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