Particles-Lois Manno: Blue Jay
18" x 7" x 7"
I explore ideas of freedom and wildness using kiln-formed glass powders sculpted without molds into three-dimensional shapes like feathers, plants, and other elements from nature. The method I use to sculpt these shapes from pure powdered glass is one I developed myself over several years of experimentation and is now a commercially-available product called Modeling Glass. I’m inspired by folk art such as the Mexican tree of life ceramics, with their brightly painted, stylized shapes. Masks allow me to explore ideas of ceremony, identity, magic and mystery. Lifelike, oversized powdered glass feathers are my way of connecting with the powerful energy of birds. I’m constantly surprised by how strongly people identify with the freedom and majesty of birds. Feathers are light, strong, and resilient; all good qualities to have as a human.
Lois studied drawing and painting in college and has been a professional artist for over thirty years. After taking several Bullseye workshops to learn how to fuse, work with frit, exploit reactions, and cold-work glass, she began experimenting with powders and frit in her own way. After several years of research, Lois developed a new product called Modeling Glass, a binder and liquid medium that transforms powdered glass into a substance that can be shaped and molded similar to working with clay. Her signature glass feathers and sculptural glass work are made using Modeling Glass combined with other techniques.
In 2018 Lois began teaching other artists how to work with Modeling Glass in sold-out workshops across the country and in the UK and Canada. More information can be found at www.modelingglass.com, and at www.glassbirdstudios.com.
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