Artist Statement - Glass & Steel

I began my artistic career in photography, and more recently made my mark on the art scene with black and white Holga images that were multiple-exposed in-camera and processed and printed in a traditional darkroom. I constantly strive to learn new art techniques, and made the switch to glass and steel sculpture in 2010 after taking a class at The Washington Glass School. After nearly two decades as a photographer, I had been looking for a way to expand upon my artistic endeavors in a way that blended my layered photographic style with a new direction and finally found a good match in these media.

Handwriting has always fascinated me, and so that was a fitting place to begin the content of my very first sculpture. A person’s penmanship reflects a great deal of personality that an email cannot equal, and I often miss receiving those highly personalized letters in the mail. In this age of digitization, doing anything by hand has become a lost art. Therefore, as a challenge to the modern trends in society, it seemed fitting to hand-work the physical sculpture by grinding the glass circles, welding the steel frames, and showcasing handwritten letters.

 

My glass artwork utilizes imagery and handwriting which I sandblast into glass, as well as imagery created with a dry plaster kiln-cast technique. Most of the writing I used was solicited especially for this body of work, though some was taken from old handwritten census reports and personal letters. By showing only small portions of the letters, combined with the chosen imagery, the viewer is given clues about the meaning of each piece but is ultimately left to fill in the blanks to arrive at an exact message. 

© 2019 Erin Antognoli

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