Incantatrice (Sorceress)

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Object Name: 
Incantatrice (Sorceress)
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 42.4 cm, W: 43 cm, D: 32 cm
On Display
Web Description: 
Toots Zynsky’s distinctive glass thread vessels enjoy a widespread popularity and deserved acclaim for their often extraordinary and always unique explorations in color. Defying categorization, her pieces inhabit a region all their own, interweaving the traditions of painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts. For nearly 30 years, Zynsky has worked with the technique of fusing glass threads that she developed and that many others have tried to imitate. The Museum owns one of the first objects that she made in this technique, which is Clipped Grass (1982) from her first solo show at Theo Portnoy Gallery in New York. Her palette is defined by her mood, and by the music that she listens to for inspiration. “When I hear music,” Zynsky says, “it translates into color.” To make her vessels, Zynsky first layers thousands of multicolored glass threads onto a round, heat-resistant fiberboard plate. For her, this part of the process is like drawing or painting. This mass of glass threads is then fused inside a kiln. While hot, the fused thread disk is allowed to slowly slump into a series of consecutively deeper and rounder preheated bowl-shaped metal forms. To make a taller vessel, the piece is turned upside down and slumped over a cone-shaped mold. Finally, Zynsky reaches into the kiln, wearing special heat-resistant gloves, and she squeezes the glass into a unique, undulating form. Signed “Z” in glass thread on underside of base. For more information, see Dagmar Bendstrup and Arthur C. Danto, Toots Zynsky, Ebeltoft, Denmark: The Glasmuseet, 2001; and Tina Oldknow, Voices of Contemporary Glass: The Heineman Collection, Corning: The Corning Museum of Glass, 2009, pp. 344–347.
Barry Friedman Ltd., Source
Melded into the object On underside of base Black cane Z embedded in the underside.
Primary Description: 
Red, black and colorless glass threads; fused and thermo-formed glass threads (filet de verre). Aysmmetrical vessel with undulating rim and body, slumped inside of a bowl-shaped steel mold, then re-slumped over a cone, and finally squeezed into shape by the artist. Vessel tapers to a circular base; base ground.
Corning Museum of Glass 2011-04-02 through 2011-12-04
A pioneer of the studio glass movement, Toots Zynsky draws from the traditions of painting, sculpture and the decorative arts to inspire her innovative, intricate vessels. Masters of Studio Glass: Toots Zynsky, featured 12 works representing the varied techniques and inspirations from throughout Zynsky’s career. Zynsky attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where she was one of acclaimed artist Dale Chihuly’s first students. In 1971, she was part of a group of Chihuly’s friends and RISD students who founded the influential Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. There, she made installations of slumped plate glass, and later experimented with video and performance work with artist Buster Simpson, incorporating hot and cold glass. This experimental work was critical to the development of using glass as a material to explore issues in contemporary art.
Contemporary Glass Vessels: Selections from the Corning Museum of Glass (2015) illustrated, p. 33, 194-195 (fig. 63, plate 74); BIB# 149403
The Corning Museum of Glass: Notable Acquisitions 2010 (2011) illustrated, pp. 3, 61, #42; BIB# AI86878
The Gather (2011) illustrated, p. 9;
Masters of Studio Glass: Toots Zynsky (2011) illustrated, p. 9; BIB# AI88809
Favorite Things (2011) illustrated, back cover; BIB# AI86939
Recent Important Acquisitions (New Glass Review 32) (2011) illustrated, p. 126, bottom, left; BIB# AI95695