Karen Mahardy


I am interested in the place where an object is in a state of becoming and contains action, as if movement were frozen in time. I believe that an object can have both two-dimensional and three-dimensional qualities within it that cause perception to be manipulated. What our perception tells us when it is challenged, and the lines between two-dimensional and three-dimensional space are blurred, offers an opportunity for the viewer to be still, contemplate, and appreciate a moment away from the mundane. I intended to create a body of work that explored this and asks the viewer to pay attention to the quietest of detail and become aware of the dramatic beauty that only the attentive can see. Specifically, I planned to explore perception, the transition and evolution of form, landscape and metaphor. My aesthetic is influenced by various approaches to twentieth century western design. Architecture, fashion, and furniture design have all played a role in the development of my edited style, particularly designers such as: Frank Lloyd Wright, Greene and Greene, Alexander McQueen, Cristobal Balenciaga and Ray and Charles Eames. Additionally, Japanese paper folding and landscape have influenced my process and the content of my work. I chose to use glass to execute this work for its properties such as transparency, elasticity, ranges of colors, patterns and the common perception that the material is difficult to manipulate. This work utilized a process of glass sculpting which is unusual and allowed me to hand manipulate flat panels of glass in the kiln, while hot, to create angular, visually deceptive work. This process epitomizes precarious control. Working in this non-traditional way was exciting because it is taking a usually passive process, slumping, and interacting with the material while it is elastic inside the kiln, where people do not traditionally engage. I tested the limits of the material and through this, I experienced the wonder of discovery as the material revealed possibilities and new directions.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Glass sculpture--Themes, motives; Glass sculpture--Technique; Landscapes in art

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School for American Crafts (CIAS)


Cass, Robin

Advisor/Committee Member

Kronfield, Elizabeth


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: NB1270.G4 M343 2013


RIT – Main Campus

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