Sculptural Vessel

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Object Name: 
Sculptural Vessel
Accession Number: 
Overall H: 25.4 cm, W: 47.1 cm, D: 26 cm
Not on Display
Credit Line: 
Gift in part of the family of Laura R. Houghton, by exchange
Web Description: 
When discussing her distinctive vessel forms, Zynsky explains: “I have inside, outside, back of the inside, and the other side. You can never see the whole piece at once, and I like that. There’s always something mysterious, no matter what angle or in what light you’re looking at the piece. It forces you to move around it.” Early in her career, Zynsky asked herself why she was drawn to working with the vessel. During a trip to West Africa in 1984, initiated by a grant that she had received to record traditional Ghanaian music, Zynsky rediscovered the value of the vessel as a practical container for food and liquids, but also as a metaphorical container for fantasies and dreams. The experience of living and working in Africa, which lasted six months, had a significant impact on her work for many years afterward. “When I went to the market in Africa, everything was sold in bulk,” Zynsky says. “I wanted to buy palm oil, but I didn’t have a container to take it home in. I realized how important, historically, the ability to form vessels has been to the development of mankind. A vessel is about containing things, and it’s probably the earliest object that people made besides tools. I love the metaphor of it, too. Now, we have the luxury of them not having to contain anything.”
Elliott Brown Gallery, Source
Houghton, Laura (Mrs. Amory), Source
Filets du verre On bottom of vessel. The letter Z make w/ a glass thread and fused into the base of the vessel.
Primary Description: 
Multi-colored opaque and translucent glass; fused and thermo-formed glass threads (filet de verre). Large fan-shaped sculptural vessel with undulating rim and circular base. The vessel is built up of overlapping and layered swatches and lines of variegated color.
Corning Museum of Glass 2011-04-02 through 2011-12-04
A pioneer of the studio glass movement, Toots Zynsky draws from the traditions of painting, sculpture and the decorative arts to inspire her innovative, intricate vessels. Masters of Studio Glass: Toots Zynsky, featured 12 works representing the varied techniques and inspirations from throughout Zynsky’s career. Zynsky attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where she was one of acclaimed artist Dale Chihuly’s first students. In 1971, she was part of a group of Chihuly’s friends and RISD students who founded the influential Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State. There, she made installations of slumped plate glass, and later experimented with video and performance work with artist Buster Simpson, incorporating hot and cold glass. This experimental work was critical to the development of using glass as a material to explore issues in contemporary art.
Corning Museum of Glass
Changing Exhibitions Gallery
Glass with Class: The Corning Museum of Glass (2009-07) illustrated, p. 14, second from right; BIB# AI98002
New Glass Review, 26 (2005) illustrated, p. 126; BIB# AI65740
The Corning Museum of Glass Annual Report 2004 (2005) illustrated, p. 16; BIB# AI90240
New Acquisition: Zynsky's Libertà (2004) illustrated, p. 10; BIB# AI64450