I would never have thought that glass would become such a passion in my life. From the very
beginning, I have been entranced by the properties of glass and the unique relationships it develops with
glass artists. Working with the medium requires hard work and practice, understanding it takes a lifetime.
While my artistic endeavors have covered different media, such as drawing, painting, and sculpture, it is
glass working which has become my focus. I love glass, and wish to develop my artistic sensibilities
through the medium.
Living in Hawaii, some of the influence in my art comes from the beautiful environment which
surrounds us in every direction. Natural colors and forms have all had their roles in shaping my work.
However, the greatest motivation for creating art for me is the translation of mental and spiritual
meanings and experiences through the various mediums which I work with. I feel that art is such an
essential tool for relating the human experience, just as writing and film are equally useful in conveying
something which sometimes the spoken word just cannot communicate. When looking back upon the
work I’ve made, it’s evident that much of my art deals with human issues. Often times I incorporate this
connection into my work. For me, it’s important to recognize this pattern, and part of my personal mission
to expand upon it. The images in my portfolio represent a sampling of the progression I’ve made in the
field of glass.
Projects which have represent some of the social issues humans go through are evident in my
earlier bodies of work. “War (We Are Robots)” (Images 10-11) was a metal mold, cast glass installation
in one of the parking structure walkways of the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The project spanned a 15-
20 foot perimeter atop a grass hill, and a bamboo walkway invited passerby’s to come closer to become
immersed in the “graveyard.” The meaning of the project really dealt with the issue of human conflict and
warfare, and mankind’s likeness to robots when it comes to fighting. It also indirectly commented on the
way which humans will fight in vain for which they think. This idea was supplemented by placing the
glass pieces on top of the hill in a centralized location. During the same semester, I continued the theme
with “A.W.O.L. (Armless With One Leg).” (Image 9) This piece was a thick casting which had imagery
of an armless figure stumbling through an environment with only one leg. The military acronym A.W.O.L
(absent without leave) was twisted and given my own interpretation relevant to the piece. This work
delved deeper into emotions surrounding how one must feel totally helpless when abandoning the norms
and “orders” of his/her contemporaries. I enjoy creating work which has underlying socio-political
meaning, but have also focused on other matters.
“Black and White” (Image 1) is a blown form grouping. The black and white theme carries over
from other works, as I intended to create a grouping in which the two colors complement each other. This
is something which I have done in the past and continue to work with in kiln forming and blowing. I feel
that black and white are bold colors which have multiple symbolic meanings, whether they be
psychological or social. “Opposites of Necessity” (Image 2) continues my theme of black and white but
on a more psychological level. This was a kiln formed piece created by cutting individual glass murrini
into small squares then fusing them together into a pattern. It represents how opposites such as black and
white, are necessary in the building blocks of life.
Images 3 and 4 are part of a new series I’ve recently been developing. The pieces consist of cast,
blown, and cold fabricated glass. My intent with this new series is to explore the properties of fluidity,
movement and color to create energetic work which feels organic. The series can be divided in two
categories, one which looks towards flower forms and plant life, and one which conveys abstract gestures.
“Fauna” (Image 3) takes after flowers, and was a study in utilizing various glass working techniques to
create a work which is balanced but expresses a lot of movement. The next grouping in the series are the
“Jester Buoys” (Image 4), which use the same previous methods but are conceptually different. The
Jester Buoys comment on gestures as non-verbal forms of communication, and act as markers or
indicators. Both groups in the series are one’s which I see unlimited variations, and will definitely
continue to work with.
“Oasis”(Image 5) is a kiln formed bowl which represents the geographical transformation of an
atoll/small island. Creating the piece involved blowing glass plates, cutting them to size, and tack fusing
the pieces together. I chose to use naturalistic colors which could be easily found in the islands of Hawaii.
The piece The middle is green which signify’s land, while the outer edges are different shades of blue, in
reference to the Pacific ocean. The meaning behind this work is much less political, and deals solely with
environment. It is humanistic in it’s representation of an island as a bowl, or carrier. In the future I would
like to make connections between observational pieces like “Oasis” and more artwork which together
would convey a much more significant purpose. Nonetheless, I appreciate the work for it’s feeling of
openness and color.
My most recent body of work has dealt with a new theme of human’s connections with tool’s and
technology. This theme was started in 2012 with “Self-Portrait” (Image 6). This was a very personal
project which dealt with my own life experience of having an implantable pacemaker installed only a
couple of years ago. This medical procedure made me think of the relationship humans share with
technology, that it actually becomes part of our body and helps us live. The piece was assembled
separately, and has a sculpted pacemaker with the words “Medtronic” inscribed, which is the company
responsible for my particular pacemaker. The top of the goblet has a rayzist sandblast resist image of a
tree, which references life as a growth process. “Mise en place” (Image 4) is a cast bronze sculpture
consisting of forks, knives, and spoons. These are all essential tools of any chef in the kitchen. They are
like the glassmaker’s Jacks, tweezers, and shears. My purpose behind the work was to represent the tools
in a very chaotic manner, as a conglomerate of forks, etc. As a part-time cook, I understand the
relationship a person in the kitchen has when handling any tool in order to create food. This relationship
can be applied to all artists in any given situation. Mise en place is a French term meaning “everything in
it’s place.” “Relic of Antiquity” (Image 12) is a kiln cast piece made by molding different cellular phones
and fabricating them together in foundry wax. The piece recalls classic glass forms, yet the cell phones
create a disconnect. The work is really about the over commoditization of phone technology and how
small the timeframe has become until something is considered obsolete or of the past. I am currently
working with the idea of the connection between human and machine. This is a theme that I see myself
carrying on for quite a while, including into the BFA show.
In the future, as I work towards the Bachelor of Fine Arts in glass, I see myself utilizing all of
the techniques in glass and incorporating them with the meanings and themes which seem to prevail in
my work. I think it’s essential to “fuse” the advanced glass techniques, such as goblet making, kiln
forming, and so on, in some sort of cohesive way to create a finely produced body of work that exhibits not
only technical skill but talks about current societal issues. The work I create in the future will continually
attempt to translate the gap between the human experience and the physical world, with glass as the
medium to convey these meanings. I believe some of my strongest work deals with the psychological,
physical relationships between man and his surroundings, whether it’s organic or manmade.