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 Chris Hawthorne  (1953 - )

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Lived/Active: Oregon/Michigan      Known for: fine-art blown glass

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Ad Code: 4
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Art Glass Vessel
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
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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