The Glass Weavers
Markow & Norris raise the melting point with their groundbreaking sculptures.
Extended Interview with the Glass Weavers, Markow and Norris
AO'R: I notice that some of your work is quite abstract, while other pieces are much more representational (clouds, leaves, etc.). Do you set out with an idea to start, or see how the piece evolves? How do you strike a balance between abstract and concrete imagery?
TN: Both of us are inspired by nature. Eric has the abstract focus and I have the more representational focus. I like creating things I love and things that are easily recognizable, ie: Peace Crane, Saguaro Cactus, Desert Skull. I find that trying to mimic nature is a terrific challenge.
EM: I love playing with colors, which generally leads to an abstract color concept that is translated into some natural scene or form, ie: Eastern Sunset, Red Mesa at the Canyon, Spring to Autumn, Cocoa Azure. Both of us work on each sculpture together, from concept to execution, and feel we have greater creative abilities when collaborating with each other. Sometimes we have the concept and overall shape drawn out first and create the colors to fit our needs. Other times we create a bunch of beautiful color samples while testing temperatures and the colors tell us what they should become. Some sculptures are named first and created later, others are created and sit in the studio or our home for quite some time before we name them. We try to create a theme each year to add continuity to the new sculptures; this year (2008) the theme was Japanese Origami. We didn't complete all the pieces we wanted to so we will continue this theme next year. Last year the theme was the Southwest, the most inspirational part of the country for us.
TN: The theme helps us focus the hundreds of ideas that are bouncing around in our heads. There are sculptures that we have been thinking about for years that just don't seem to be ready to make. Sometimes our own growth with the technique helps us flesh out sculptures that we previously could not physically create. Every sculpture has its time.
AO'R: Do you study traditional weaving techniques? Do they inform your work, or is working in glass a whole new game?
TN: The short answer is that weaving glass is a whole new game, but we love to examine woven cloth fabric not only for inspiration but to remind us what we have worked so hard to achieve: glass fabric.
EM: We were just featured in a newly reprinted second edition 1966 book titled "Weaving Without a Loom," by Sarita R. Rainey. Although we are reluctant to give away too many of our secrets, we will admit that we do not use a loom!
AO'R: Where do you exhibit? Who typically buys your work?
TN: We are represented in over 50 galleries nationwide and in New Zealand (see website). Some of our more notable galleries include: Barneys New York, San Francisco & Beverly Hills, The Smithsonian American Art Museum, and The Corning Museum of Glass. We will be attending SOFA Chicago this year in November with the Katie Gingrass Gallery.
We will have a 6 week show with our New York Gallery, "Establishment" from September 1 - October 15, 2008.
We sell thru our galleries and use our agent in New York, Alex Beitler of Yellow Sky Agency, to help direct interested collectors to those galleries. We do create custom sculptures and are creating larger sculpture for corporate installations.
EM: Our clients range from exclusively glass collectors to art collectors intrigued by our woven glass technique and love the fact that our limited edition sculptures can't be found on every one's dining room table. Ultimately, we hope admirers first fall in love with a particular piece and purchase it simply for the way it makes them feel.
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