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Mary Shaffer
Bent Blue slumped glass sculpture

2013

About the Item

Celebrated Studio Glass artist Mary Shaffer combines slumped hot glass with found metal for this incredible wall-hung sculpture. "I take lovingly crafted, hand-forged tools - the epitome of American inventiveness - to preserve and pay tribute to activities and methods of working that have disappeared from our modern lives," says Shaffer. Mary Shaffer has worked primarily in glass since the 1970s, and was an early artist in the American Studio Glass Movement. She invented a whole new way to work with and think about glass - a process she called "mid-air slumping." "The structural system I create allows the glass to move with fluidity and freedom you can't possibly envision or create with a mold," Shaffer explains. "Because I work with gravity, the strongest unknown force in the universe, I say I work with nature. I call this the 'female principle' in the Jungian sense; the idea of yielding and joining forces with nature, versus the 19th Century attitude of 'man over nature.' This is the fundamental philosophy behind my glass work." Shaffer has shown her work in over 60 museums worldwide, and her work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Smithsonian in Washington DC, Grounds for Sculpture in New Jersey, and the Museum of Modern Art in Kyoto, Japan, among many others. She has also taught at Rhode Island School of Design, Wellesley College, and New York University.
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