Ron Desmett and his partner, Kathleen Mulcahy, are well-known artists from Pittsburgh, where they co-founded the Pittsburgh Glass Center in the mid-1990s. Their aim was to create a vibrant arts space for the city because, Mulcahy says, “when the arts thrive, the area and the region thrive. Art tells others who we really are, how we feel, and what we think of ourselves.” A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Desmett prefers to work in glass, but he is also a painter, and he has worked with ceramics and mixed-media sculpture. In recent years, he has focused on the development of his series “Lidded Trunk Vessels,” executed in an opaque black glass with a matte, acid-etched surface. Desmett’s sculptures are larger than they seem in photographs, and they have a slightly threatening appearance, but there is also a quality of softness and antiquity about them. This may be due to the techniques that Desmett uses to create them. The main body of the sculpture is formed from a hollowed-out and water-soaked tree trunk, which is used as the mold for the blown glass. The smaller lid is made from another section of tree trunk. Although wood has been used as a material for glass molds for centuries, blowing a large quantity of hot glass inside of a decomposing tree trunk is a significantly riskier process, and one prone to failure by incineration. As the artist John Drury describes them, “Desmett’s pieces . . . might be compared to cooling lava beds buckling and heaving forward as they are transformed under the pressure of their own weight.” Signed “Desmett #22 ‘The King’” on lower edge. Published in Perestroika (n) Restructuring: The Glass Sculpture of Kathleen Mulcahy, Ron Desmett, and Martin Prekop, Sarasota, Florida: Selby Gallery, Ringling College of Art + Design, 2010.