Artist who works with glass shows sculptures on campus

"Details" by David Patchen
“Bloom” is one of 10 glass sculptures by artist David Patchen showing in “Details,” which is on display through Oct. 3 in the Art Department gallery. | Photo by Jacob Moore

For the first time in Union’s history, a guest artist is showing handblown glass on campus.

Ten sculptures created by San Francisco-based artist David Patchen are featured in ‘Details,’ a collection on display through Oct. 3 in the Art Department gallery in Penick Academic Complex.

The exhibit features three of Patchen’s glass sculpture styles.

“I’ve always been captivated by how one can use this enigmatic material to achieve virtually any form, hold elements in suspension and achieve great detail or soft abstraction,” Patchen said in his artist statement. “Its flexibility as a medium is matched by the difficulty it presents in using it to execute precise work.”

Alesia Fisher, senior art major, said few artists work with glass because of its challenging nature.

“Glass as a material is stubborn,” Fisher said. “It’s jagged, it’s rigid and it’s really difficult to use, but he turned it into something alluring.”

In a video on his website, Patchen demonstrates how he combines cane and murrine, which are glass colored rods and patterned cross-sections, to create intricate designs of varying colors and transparencies.

He begins laying out the pattern’s elements days before the pieces are fused together in the glassblowing process.

Fisher said Patchen is unique in using a traditional method to create nontraditional pieces.

“You really don’t see many glass artists like this,” Fisher said.

Patchen’s work will be displayed in the gallery through Oct. 3. The gallery is free and open to the public weekdays 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and weekends from 1 to 4 p.m.

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Image courtesy of Cardinal & Cream|Cardinal & Cream
About Jacob Moore 11 Articles
Jacob Moore served for two years as photo editor for the Cardinal & Cream. Beginning in his sophomore year, he worked as a photographer for the Office of University Communications at Union. He also worked as a barista at Barefoots Joe during his senior year. While in college, he interned and worked with The Jackson Sun, mentored in the after-school program at Skyline Church of Christ and served on the leadership team for the 2013 Southeastern Journalism Conference. He was recognized with an Academic Excellence Medal for a major in advertising.