Residencies at The Studio

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Biography: Shari Mendelson

Shari Mendelson
Shari Mendelson

Shari Mendelson draws inspiration from the past. Using found plastic bottles, she creates small sculptures inspired by ancient Greek, Roman, and Islamic glass and ceramic vessels, as well as animal artifacts. She has been doing this for six years—and is just starting to branch out into glassmaking.

“While looking at ancient works I think about what they were used for, the people who made them, and what the culture of their time was like,” Mendelson said. “I think about the great civilizations that have risen and fallen and what the remaining objects of our time will say about us to future civilizations. My favorite objects act as a touchstone for a sort of time travel. They offer a visceral connection to the maker—the years between a first-century glass vessel and today melt away.”

Mendelson’s visiting artist fellowship at Brooklyn’s Urban Glass in 2014 was her first foray into glassmaking, starting with a 10-week glassblowing class. She then experimented with making molds of her plastic pieces, and turning them into a series of mold-blown vessels with the help of glass artists. She continued this work, with a special emphasis on Roman and Islamic mold-blown glass, during her residency at The Studio.