Sculptor Forges Bond Between Metal and Glass

Metal Sculptor Collaborates with Scientists and Creates New Glass Sculpture

Watch the videos and read to discover how you can learn from Albert Paley’s experiences, live April 15-18

The Corning Museum of Glass has sponsored its Artist in Residence program since 1996. Since that inception more than 40 artists have participated. Generally these positions are taken up by glass artists, as we wrote about in an earlier post.

In 2014 a new program was set up, the Specialty Glass Residency program. This program is a collaboration between the museum and Corning, Inc. Metal sculptor Albert Paley was the first artist chosen to participate.

At first this Paley may seem like an odd choice. He is well known for his metal sculptures–often quite large. For example, Olympia, pictured below. Olympia is just one example from Paley’s public art portfolio.

Albert Paley_sculpture Olympia

Commissioned by both public institutions and private corporations, Paley has completed more than 50 site-specific works. Some notable examples are the Portal Gates for the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, Synergy, a ceremonial archway in Philadelphia, the Portal Gates for the New York State Senate Chambers in Albany, Sentinel, a monumental plaza sculpture for Rochester Institute of Technology, as well as a 65-foot sculpture for the entry court of Bausch and Lomb’s headquarters in Rochester, NY.

The collaboration between artist, craftsmen, and scientists providing amazing glass sculptures. He returned several times in order to learn more about this new medium, and a special glass that would bond with metal, and be able to bring his vision to realty.

“The unique characteristics of Corning specialty glasses will allow me to interface with new techniques and materials previously unavailable to me,” says Paley. “Over the past 15 years I have developed a body of sculpture incorporating glass and steel. Although these materials are totally different, they share the commonality of forms that are derived from heat. The plasticity of form development is viewed within an organic form context. The relationship of these materials results in a dialogue and a synergy. This Corning program aids and enhances this research and inquiry.”

Paley will be working on the next phase of his residency. Those interested can drop in and see him at work April 15, 17 and 18. He will be working at the new Amphitheater Hot Shop.

He will also be giving a talk about his experiences on Saturday, April 16 that is available free to the public. For those of us not in the area, it will be available live streaming on the museum’s channel. Just be sure to check in by 6pm Eastern.

Hear Paley speak about his residency work, collaborating with glassmakers, curators, and scientists to explore the use of specialty glass, Corning Code 7056 with a metal alloy called Kovar during his Behind the Glass lecture on April 16 at 6 pm in the Museum Auditorium. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Albert Paley glass sculpture

Paley completed 3 sessions of his residency over the course of 2014. In the video below Corning Museum of Glass chief scientist, Glen Cook, describes that year’s final session.

Thanks to the Corning Museum of Glass for the videos and updates. You can read more about the Specialty Glass Residency here.

Learn more about Albert Paley and his work at his website.