Residencies at The Studio

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Biography: Tom Patti

Tom Patti
Tom Patti

Tom Patti has been working in glass since the 1960s, and has received international attention for his small-scale sculptural glass works and large-scale public commissions, which integrate the aesthetic and technical concerns of glass. Unlike many Studio Glass pioneers of his generation, Patti did not focus on traditional glass techniques, but embraced the use of industrial sheet glass to make small, compacted glass sculptures with a complex inner architecture.

Patti earned his BFA and MFA at Pratt Art Institute in Industrial Design and Architectural Theory. In 2012, he was honored as a Pratt Icon. While at Pratt, he was involved with Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.), a project co-founded by Robert Rauschenberg to develop collaborations between artists and engineers to explore the relationship of art to science and technology. Establishing this investigation as a predominant theme in his work, Patti has continued to innovate architectural and industrial glass processes entirely unique to his artwork over the past four decades.

Patti has previously acted as a technical consultant on glass design for Corning, Owens Corning, PPG, Solutia, SABIC, and Israel Berger & Associates. He sees his work in materials science as a way to inform his artwork. He has also created large-scale installations using an impact-resistant glass of his own formula that breaks light into its spectral components.

Patti’s work is included in private and public collections worldwide, including The Corning Museum of Glass, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Louvre.

In 2015, Patti was selected as the second artist for a new specialty glass residency program offered by The Corning Museum of Glass and Corning Incorporated. Last year’s specialty glass artist was metal sculptor Albert Paley.

In his Specialty Residency, which began in July, Patti did not focus on a specific specialty material for artistic use, but instead explored the way changes in temperature affect different kinds of glass. He worked at Corning’s research and design facility, Sullivan Park.

“I want to explore temperature ranges not used in the traditional glass studio,” says Patti. “I want to learn from the collaborative dialogue that will take place with the innovative staff at Corning. For me, the process is as important as the outcome; my art is a result of the way I conceptualize and the vision I set for myself as I work. I hope to explore temperature ranges in glass in a way that both Corning and I can learn from.”