Eat Your Hat

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Object Name: 
Sculpture
Title: 
Eat Your Hat
Accession Number: 
85.4.32
Dimensions: 
Overall H: 55 cm, W: 39.3 cm, D: 29.8 cm
Location: 
On Display
Date: 
1985
Web Description: 
While glassblowing was the first focus of studio glass artists, it was not long before other glassworking techniques were explored. Craftspeople and scientific glassblowers dominated the field of flameworking, or lampworking, during most of the 20th century. Like stained glass, flameworking carried a wealth of craft associations that artists needed to redefine. Ginny Ruffner (b. 1952), who was trained as a painter, was the first to exploit the potential of flameworking for making large-scale sculpture in glass. While small-scale flameworking was traditionally executed with soft, soda-lime glasses, Ruffner adapted her knowledge of harder, borosilicate glasses, commonly used in scientific glassmaking, to art. She challenged glassblowers with the size of her quixotic, upbeat sculptures that she sandblasted and covered in paint and pastels. Eat Your Hat is an excellent example of Ruffner’s early, abstract work, which, unlike her later work, is not overtly narrative or symbolic.
Department: 
Provenance: 
Habatat Galleries Inc., Source
1985-04-08
Category: 
Inscription: 
Ginny Ruffner 85
signature
Primary Description: 
Colorless non-lead borosilicate glass with various applied paints and pastels; lampworked, sandblasted, applied non-glass colorations. Three irregular vertical parallel "legs" with rounded ends are joined in a triangular configuration by three interspersed suspended irregular rectangles connected to each leg by radiating diagonals from each corner; entire surface of legs and exteriors of rectangles are covered with protruding lampworked elements consisting of points, knops, leaves, flattened circles with molded ribs and on outside of rectangles, three flared conical forms in combination with other elements; entire surface of structure has been sandblasted rendering the surface translucent; color is applied to rectangles and protruding elements by light applications of acrylic paint and pastel pencil, some blended and some retaining design of drawn parallel lines. Diamond-point engraved "Ginny Ruffner 85" on bottom end of leg with blue leaf on top.
Glass National
Venue(s)
Habatat Galleries, Lathrup Village 1985-03 through 1985-03