Michael Schunke

flat pitchers set (limited edition), blown glassred goblet set, blown glassTwine, blown glass, bronze, 9 x 9 x 11in

Goblet making is the foundation of my studio practice. The process, from carefully mixing and melting colors to making and assembling parts, sets the rhythm and tone for all that I make.

The color chemistry: measuring, mixing, melting, is a valuable removal from the act of glassblowing. I focus on controlling the atmosphere and temperature in the furnace, and within the framework of preparing colors, my practice begins. The color becomes the tangible material that gives form to the goblets.

Like musical scales, the goblet-making process is a technical practice that informs my intuition as an artist. They are the craft, the foundation of making. They are the “doing” rather than the “done.” Composed of individual notes: avolios, bits, stems, cups, feet; the goblets are pulled together in a fluid act. The steady repetition allows me a confident relationship with each part, and I am able to detach from the resulting whole. Goblet-making is an opportunity to trust my relationship to the material, allow my intuition to guide the work, and let the objects emerge from their environment.

I strive to achieve a “maker’s mark” on each goblet by trusting my mind’s eye. I am satisfied when a goblet has a little “grit”: the feel or “spirit” that someone has made it, while it maintains a sense of pursued perfection.

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