WHAT I DID OVER MY SUMMER VACATION
An update from our June Resident Artist Joseph Cavalieri
The most boring part of public school was when students returned in the fall and read their “What I did over my Summer Vacation” essays. As adults most of us don’t have summer vacations, but I did get to experience something similar and much better: A month away from my New York studio to spend time working at the Uroboros glass factory in Portland, Oregon.
Since I taught at Uroboros in 2015, I was familiar with the space and staff. I gladly accepted the opportunity to return as an art resident. My main focus was to test the materials, and to make 12 new works for art an upcoming solo exhibition at the Ivy Brown Gallery, in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. My work for this show is produced by silk-screening different colored enamels on glass. Since Spectrum is soon to be out of business, this residency gave me the opportunity to find a replacement to Spectrum’s ‘firelight white’ I used in the past. The top Uroboros solution is Uroboros’ hand-rolled white, 60-05-90 or 60-200-96, which produces the perfect glow when the glass is lit from behind.
Before I arrived I designed a series of silk-screens and when I arrived I set up the space, did some test kiln firings. I heated the white glass to 1460 degrees Fahrenheit (800 Celsius) to fire polish the surface, then silk-screened the glass with enamels and fired it to 1325 Fahrenheit (715 Celsius). I also experimented with fusing layered glass and used some bright orange glass as well. Having a large workspace, and all types of glass to work with helped me concentrate, experiment and produce lots of work for my upcoming show.
I have done about 12 art residencies and there are always unexpected events where you have to go to “Plan B.” Finding a silk-screen company in Portland was difficult, so I used my New York company. Two screens arrived with portions made inadequately, so I had to wait for replacements to arrive. Restaurants close early in Portland, and I had a constant battle with the sweets offered in the vending machine. Other than that things worked very smoothly and I was introduced to buyers and artists shopping for supplies. During my residency I also presented a three-day class with very talented artists and presented a lecture titled “Photoshop Tricks for Glass Artists”.
But, the most important part of the residency was the final work I produced.
To find out more about Joseph and see progress photos of his latest body of work made during his residency at Uroboros, visit Joseph's gallery page here on our website.