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Susan Taylor Glasgow: Exploring the Complexities of Domestic Life from the Safe Distance of My Studio

Susan Taylor Glasgow: Exploring the Complexities of Domestic Life from the Safe Distance of My Studio

Posted on Dec 10, 2018, by

Another artist exhibiting in Sharper Edges is Susan Taylor Glasgow. The following are her words about her work:

My Mother was a complicated woman.

Raising we girls by the Book of Conflicting Messages, my Mother lovingly shaped me into an ask questions later, act like a lady, you can do anything but learn to type first, boys only want one thing but don’t say what it is, do it right or don’t do it at all, fall in love but have something to fall back on, artist. Oh, and learn to cook and sew. Men like that.

Somehow, as a result, I embraced domesticity in feminine spirit but not in action. And, of course, feel guilty about not being a good wife. Misguided domestic talents eventually grew into concepts of sewing an unyielding medium, baking inedible creations, and stitching glass clothing no one can wear. Housekeeping is last while instead I cook, arrange, and sew glass.

My life and art are the result of homemaking skills gone awry.  I have the luxury of exploring the complexities of domestic life from the safe distance of my studio.

For years I believed my work was about myself.  But ultimately my work is about my Mother. With the sewing and cooking skills she passed on, I am able to indulge my own notions of domestic role-playing.  My work embraces the feminine ideals of sewing and cooking, but in a contrary material, offering conflicting messages of comfort and expectation.

I often explain that my Mother was not an artist herself, but knew how to raise one.  Thanks Mom, this little acorn did not fall far from the tree.


Technical Blah, Blah and Personal Bio:

Each sewn glass sculpture starts out as a flat sheet of glass.  In my previous life I was a professional dressmaker and seamstress, so I have a comfortable understanding about how to take a flat sheet of material and give it form.  Each panel is cut from a pattern designed to match the form I’ve made for it.  To establish the three-dimensional shape and holes, each section of the glass is kiln-fired several times.  The imagery is imbedded into the glass by sandblasting, and then by rubbing glass enamels into the blasted area to create the black and gray “photo”.  The components are then re-fired to 1250 degrees to melt the enamel into the glass.  Once cooled, the sections are finally sewn together.  Depending on the complexity of the vessel or sculpture, the entire creative process may take two to four weeks to complete.

A native of Duluth, Minnesota, I migrated south with the geese one fall and studied Design at the University of Iowa.  Now a resident of Columbia, Missouri, my studio is a wonderful old 1930’s house in downtown Columbia that my husband and I rescued from demolition. I am a 2002 recipient of Pilchuck Glass School emerging artists grant, a Wheaton Village fellow in fall of 2003, and most recently a resident artist at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. I have been the fortunate recipient of many awards and have work included in the permanent collection of the Carnegie Museum, Chrysler Museum, Museum of American Glass, and several others.

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