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Irene Frolic

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Release Date: 02/18/2021

Between Us: John Littleton and Kate Vogel’s Contributions to Glass show art Between Us: John Littleton and Kate Vogel’s Contributions to Glass

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Well-known early on for their signature blown glass Bags, the subsequent cast glass work of John Littleton and Kate Vogel provided a new outlet for complex contemplations, questions and reflections. In this dramatic departure from their lighthearted Bags, faces and hands are used in various poses and combinations to explore states of mind, relationships, and even spiritual themes.

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Robin Grebe show art Robin Grebe

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Inspired by Cycladic fertility icons, early Byzantine paintings, and folk art, Robin Grebe’s figures serve as a canvas or setting for her narratives. Using birds and plants as metaphors for mythic flight, spirituality, the intangible, and nature’s uncontrollable forces, Grebe transforms her personal search into a shared exploration.

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Joshua Opdenaker aka JOP! show art Joshua Opdenaker aka JOP!

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

The first in Philly’s Fishtown area to make a name for himself in the field, today there are at least five glass studios and 18 glassblowers on Opdenaker’s street alone. From group builds such as those of the Molten Art Classic to individual skill-building works such as goblets, JOP! glass’ pioneering spirit continues evolving with the scene.

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Sylvia Nicolas show art Sylvia Nicolas

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

One of the leading ecclesiastical artists in the United States, Sylvia Nicolas is a member of an illustrious and prolific stained glass family. She is the fourth of five generations specializing in the liturgical arts and the daughter of Joep and Suzanne Nicolas, both famous artists who immigrated from the Netherlands to the U.S. in 1939 to escape the rising tide of Nazism. Joep Nicolas was sometimes referred to as “the Father of Modern Stained Glass.”

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Crista Van Slyck-Matteson show art Crista Van Slyck-Matteson

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Crista Van Slyck-Matteson’s multi-media art speaks of her love for wild spaces and deep connection to the Pacific Northwest. An accomplished sculptor, she allows her finely-honed intuition to guide spontaneous sculpting of natural world observations. Matteson’s work also utilizes technical mold-making skills to create exact replicas of found botanical forms. She combines these skills to create magical-realist sculptures.

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Jason McDonald: Investigating Identity, Racism and Representation show art Jason McDonald: Investigating Identity, Racism and Representation

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

In his current work, glassblower Jason McDonald tells important stories about social inequality through his intentionally made, well-crafted objects. His successful interweaving of those two trajectories continues to evolve through life-changing experiences such as his participation on the popular Netflix competition series Blown Away 2 and his recent week-long Murano, Italy, study with Maestro Davide Fuin as the recipient of the Windgate-Lamar Fellowship.

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Scott Ouderkirk: From Autonomous Panels to Wooden Boats show art Scott Ouderkirk: From Autonomous Panels to Wooden Boats

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

In this ToYG interview, Captain Scott Ouderkirk discusses his successful combination of fusing and stained glass in autonomous panels, unique marketing ideas and suggestions for stained glass artists, thoughts on the creative process regardless of genre, and his love of wooden boats and boating.

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Susan Taylor Glasgow show art Susan Taylor Glasgow

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Susan Taylor Glasgow’s work embraces feminine ideals of sensuality in a seductive but unforgiving material, offering conflicting messages of comfort and expectation. Some of her sculpture pays tribute to the era of June Cleaver and Betty Crocker via images appropriated from the world of ‘50s and ‘60s television and advertising.

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Remembering Benjamin Moore show art Remembering Benjamin Moore

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Seattle glass art legend Benjamin Moore died on June 25, 2021. A seminal figure in establishing Seattle as a contemporary glass center, Moore provided his studio and top-notch glassblowing team to make the work of the world’s finest artists and designers.

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Mark Peiser show art Mark Peiser

Talking Out Your Glass podcast

Since 1967 when Mark Peiser became involved with the Studio Glass Movement, he has been recognized for his uniquely individualized approaches and accomplishments in glass. Continual investigation of the expressive implications of glass properties and processes has led to his distinctive bodies of work. Recently Peiser published the book, Thirty-Eight Pieces of Glass – with Related Thoughts, pairing his glass with brief writings of resonance.

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More Episodes

Irene Frolic: Personal History, Memory, and the Interdependence of Beauty and Decay  

In 1948 at the age of 7, Irene Frolic arrived in Canada after almost three years in a United Nations refugee camp in Salzburg, Austria. A Jewish child, who had miraculously survived the grimmest of Grimm Fairy tales in the dark heart of Europe, arrived not knowing a word of English into a new world. Trying to make sense of these mysteries remains at the heart of her work in cast glass to this day. 

The little Canadian girl grew into a well-educated young woman. Frolic married, travelled the world, had children, and held a good job before discovering glass in her early 40s, inspiring a sea change witnessed in her evolution to becoming an artist. Almost 40 years later, Frolic continues to infuse her cast glass with knowledge, feelings, history and heritage. 

Working from her Toronto studio, Frolic has been involved in the international Studio Glass movement, helping to develop the art of kiln cast glass as a material for artistic expression by teaching workshops, lecturing and exhibiting world-wide. Past president of the Glass Art Association of Canada (GAAC), which honored her with a Lifetime Achievement award, she is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art (RCA). Her work is exhibited internationally and found in many public and private collections, including those of the Museum of Decorative Art, Lausanne, Switzerland, Montreal Museum of Fine Art, Museo del Vidreo, Monterrey, Mexico, and the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Waterloo, Ontario.

Glass, which surrounds us in our modern urban landscape, is one of the most ancient, seductive and mysterious of materials. The quest to find a way to use it beyond its easy allure has propelled Frolic and has sustained her 40-year art career. By developing and exploring the emotive qualities of glass as a medium, she has explored her personal history, commented on memory, and mused on the interdependence of beauty and decay.

As the Covid pandemic continues, new sculpture is underway at Frolic’s studio. Her latest work, She Loves Us Still: Earth, addresses humanity’s treatment of our planet and each other. She says: “It goes back to my beginnings and how close I came to be extinguished. On October 13, 1941, in my hometown, Stanislawow, at nine weeks of age I was held in my 18-year-old mother’s arms, at the edge of an enormous hastily dug pit at the Jewish cemetery. I understand it was bitterly cold. The thousands of people herded there were all naked. The shooting continued all day – 12,000 Jewish citizens met their deaths that day. The reason I am still here, approaching my 80th year, is that it got dark…too dark to kill. I am full of anguish about the way we treat each other today. If strangers live among you, love the stranger as yourself and do him no harm. Love the stranger, both within and without.”