Artist in the Factory
Started by art school graduates in 1974, the vision of the internationally respected, US-based Bullseye Glass Company has remained focused on research that is driven more by artist eccentricity than by market demand. Inspired in the late 1970s by the technical problems confounding Australian icon, Klaus Moje, the company partners developed the world’s first line of tested compatible glasses. In the subsequent decades Australians have continued to present the company’s glass formulators with some of their headiest challenges.Factory founder Dan Schwoerer and glass technologist Sam Andreakos will discuss this history, the future of artist-driven glass making, and the impact of Aussie ideas. Moderated by company co-owner, Lani McGregor.
Artist Projects at Bullseye Glass: A Summary (1 of 3)
The range of projects undertaken by Bullseye Glass in its collaboration with artists has taken three broad directions: 1) glass formulations aimed to remedy technical problems encountered by artists, 2) formulations driven by aesthetic concerns, and 3) method/process development undertaken to meet architecturally-scaled issues. Often the three areas are subsumed within a single project. Three artists with whom the factory has worked since the 1980s:
Moje’s need for glasses that could be melted together in a kiln and subsequently cooled to room temperature without undue stress resulted in a testing system and a product line. Evolutions in Moje’s own studio work demanded that the system be fine-tuned in subsequent years. The success of this ongoing collaboration is manifest in the international success of the artist’s work and the world-wide acceptance of the compatibility standards set by the company.
Artist Projects at Bullseye Glass: A Summary (cont’d 2 of 3)
An early graduate of the glass workshop founded by Moje in Canberra, Whiteley first came to Bullseye’s attention in the 1980s while a graduate student in the US. His major technical interaction with the company involved both the development of advanced firing research and the formulation of pale tints for thick glass castings.
Artist Projects at Bullseye Glass: A Summary (cont’d of 3)
While still a student in 1997, Loughlin took part in the factory’s first residency program for student artists. She returned to the factory at various times in subsequent years, including sessions in 2009 and 2013 to investigate large scale architectural elements and the application of her powdered glass process on various glass substrates, respectively.