Exhibitions/Installations · Inspiration/Musings · Unclassified

Iacta alea est

Several months back I applied for a project grant through the Glass Art Association of Canada.
On this rainy afternoon of May 10th, I received incredibly wonderful news: I am the recipient of GAAC’s 2013 Project Grant!!!!

Description of grant request:

To research and create a new body of work built from vitrigraph cane and murrini.

My jewellery serves as maquettes and experiments for my sculpture.

The majority of my work draws from my fascination with the artistic representation of natural history, the creation of fictitious places in literature and my interest in Cordyceps fungus – in particular, Cordyceps Unilateralis, a species of entomopathogenic fungus that infects and alters the behaviour of ants in order to ensure the widespread distribution of its spores.
The body of work, An unNatural History created for Urban Glass Brooklyn and featured during SOFA, NY is an example of this passion to bring the micro-cosmos to the macro through metal and glass ‘wearable’ maquettes.
Past work/installations: Descent to Perelandra based upon C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra, and Orbis Tertius based upon the short story of the same title by Jorge Luis Borges were instances where I imagined artifacts, and transgenic organisms that may have been suggested or read between the lines, from these stories.

Research/study:

Various methods of creating cane and murrini in a studio environment, outside of a typical Hot Shop.

Working with stainless steel molds, refractory materials and a Vitrigraph kiln set-up; cane, and murrini will be produced.
This murrini and cane will be cut/sliced and arranged into 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional patterns and structures resembling invertebrates, such as: Melethallia, Phytoplankton and Radiolaria, then tack fused and cast into the cellular forms mentioned above and/or constructed using metal armatures.

Phytoplankton account for half of all photosynthetic activity on Earth. Thus phytoplankton are responsible for much of the oxygen present in the Earth’s atmosphere – half of the total amount produced by all plant life.
I would like to build a new body of work with the goal of creating an installation depicting the ‘spaces in-between’ the molecules that surround us yet, we cannot see. For instance: The air we breath. drawing from 400x imagery of Phytoplankton, Zooplankton, Radiolaria and Melethallia and creating three dimensional sculptural representations from sliced Vitrigraph cane and murrini.

Significance:

Through this research and study of complex cane and murrini created in a small scale studio jeweler’s environment, my goals are to create larger visualizations of my work and share these findings with future students and colleagues by keeping an updated journal on my personal blog and through workshops.
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It is with immense excitement, inspiration, and gratitude that I thank the jurors for this year’s GAAC Project Grant!
Please stay tuned to this blog as I will be sharing all experiments, failures and successes here towards, The Air We Breath.

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2 thoughts on “Iacta alea est

  1. Congratulations Tosca! I’m thrilled for you! As I was reading about the ants distributing spores I recalled my visit a couple years ago to the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City, Ca. That particular phenomenon is a key example of what the museum is about. You might connect up with David Wilson, the curator, founder of the museum and share what you are working on. When are you going to be exhibiting in NY?

  2. Thanks, Steve!
    I would sure love to visit that museum!
    Will google after I finish writing this 🙂 and I WILL contact David Wilson!
    I’m fascinated with cordyseps, ant colonies, bee colonies, pollen, genetics, and similarities in the Human universe.
    While I am uncertain as to when I will be showing in NY, one thing’s for sure, it will have to take place after 2013.
    Thanks again for stopping by, and commenting!

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