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Nick Chase Glass Artist

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Nick Chase, Canada

There’s no question that my residency at Harbourfront Centre has been the most influential on my career to date. The artist in residency program at Harbourfront Centre allows artists to explore and develop their craft without a massive overhead that is usually involved, especially as a glass blower.

Zoneone Arts is delighted to bring Nick Chase to you

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You bring both urban and natural landscapes to your glass work discuss the technique you use?

Take Street View 

Where is the street?

 The Image on “Street View” is downtown Toronto at one of the busier intersections.  At this point in my career, the city was still a very foreign thing to me so I looked for inspiration everywhere I could.

photobox(street)small

Photobox, Street

Discuss the size of the blocks.

Each block is 3.5” wide and between 6 and 8” high.  I have a wooden mould that I blow in to finish the shape.

Why do you have varied sized blocks?

The blocks vary in height to represent the high-rises that surrounded me in downtown Toronto.  The images on the blocks were photos that I had taken that spoke to me in one way or another.

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Photobox, Barn

Discuss how you use your photography.

The summer before I began college in Oakville, Ontario for Crafts and Design, I acquired a little point and shoot, digital Camera.  Up until this time, I really had no interest in photography at all.  That summer, I had that camera with me everywhere I went and it eventually became an extension of me.  I always kept photography and glass blowing very separate.  I would use the camera to record inspiration and glass to execute a final product based on colours and textures from these photos.  During my residency at Harbourfront Centre, I began exploring the potential of photography and photoresist in my work.  I began with my “leaf Vessel” series.  Using macro photographs of leaf skeletons and transferring them on to the pieces as texture and pattern.

My photo box series is where I started using old photos that I had taken and transferred them onto the glass blown blocks.  I wanted to use the boxes as a type of frame for the photos, using the transparency of the glass and breathing a different sort of life in to the image.

photobox(photographer)small copy Photobox, Photographer

 Photographer is this you and how do you get the images.

This shot was taking during a casual afternoon near Lake Ontario.  It was just a candid photo of a couple out taking photos. 

What lead to your enrolment in this particular College? 

I actually enrolled into the Crafts and Design Program as a wood worker.  The plan was to eventually move back to the east coast with a trade that would easily carry over in to a viable job in New Brunswick.  Glass Blowing was my minor in the program and although I had no idea how I was going to make this in to a career, there was no other option but do everything I could to do so.  It’s a beautiful material and I’m certain that most glass blowers you meet will have a similar relationship with it.

What was one aspect of your time that has been of great value to your current career?  (is many be a very small skill or a big one)

There’s no question that my residency at Harbourfront Centre has been the most influential on my career to date.  The artist in residency program at Harbourfront Centre allows artists to explore and develop their craft without a massive overhead that is usually involved, especially as a glass blower.

Discuss the intricacy of the work in you Lace Tumblers. 

Honestly, I wish I had a really meaningful answer for why I chose lace for the bottom of my Tumblers, but I really don’t.  Since that design, I’ve added a few more that I found quite attractive.  Lace, Branch, Leaf, Scale. Again, all of these textures are drawn from home but hopefully the buyer will have their own story behind why they like a certain design.

Lace Set (good)

Lace Set 

Why do you have the lace in the base?  Exactly where is it in the glass?

The patterns are sandblasted on to the bottom of the cups so you can feel the texture when they’re sitting in your hand.  It’s quite comforting. Stick Set(small)

Stick Set

How influenced are you by the seasons and colour in your work?

When I look for inspiration, it’s in the muddy marshes, the abandoned farmhouses, lakes of granite, endless sandbars when the tide is low and yes, of course the colours of the seasons.  The pieces that shows this the most are my leaf vessels.  The deep blues, and reds represent mostly the change. 

Discuss the importance in shape in your work. 

I find that I am influenced by so many other forms of craft other than glass work.   I’ve always been very drawn to the beautiful qualities that glass offers, but I have always wanted to push the material outside of its organic box and focus more on straight lines and sturdy shapes.

leafset1small

Leaf Set

 Your Bioa vessels are exclusive to Jeff Goodman Studio; can you expand on have a particular series with one supplier?

I’ve worked for Jeff Goodman Studio for over ten years now.   As one of the designers at the studio, we each have a line of work that represents us as artists.  We chose the Bioa because the form had a bit of my signature on it.  You can also find my tumblers at Jeff Goodman Studio.

bioa1

Bioa

Explain about your collaboration with John Booth?

How you know each other

How you came to work together

june 18, 2012_12182

 

John Booth and I have done work together for a number of years now.  He’s a really free spirit and also very a very technical and super talented designer.  John has a very natural view of how the glass and wood should work together.  Up until this point, I would always add colour and texture to the glass to try and reach a goal, where john strips it back and values the beauty of glass is it’s natural, clear state.   I met John’s partner, Arrouna through Harbourfront Centre.  She began carrying pieces of mine through there shop (Bookhou) and that’s where I met John.

a bell jar lamp

John would come up with the design and I would make the glass.  It’s a pretty easy relationship.  I never question what he’s going to come up with.  I’m a huge fan of whatever he makes.

Leaf Set (good)

Leaf Set

Contact details

Nick Chase

info@nchasedesigns.ca

Nick Chase, Canada

Interview by Deborah Blakeley, November, 2016

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