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Zynsky Libertà (Liberty)

Listen as curator, Tina Oldknow describes Libertà by American artist Toots Zynsky. In Toots Zynsky's vessels, color reflects and defines emotion, mood, and experience. Her color choices are subjective, instinctual, and grounded in the natural world. Zynsky began to develop her unique technique of "painting" with glass threads in the early 1980s. To make her vessels, she first layers thousands of multicolored glass threads onto a round heat-resistant fiberboard plate. For her, this part of the process is like drawing or painting. This mass of glass threads is then fused inside a kiln. While hot, the fused thread disk is allowed to slowly slump into a series of consecutively deeper and rounder preheated bowl-shaped metal forms. To make taller vessels, the piece is turned upside down and slumped over a cone-shaped mold. Finally, Zynsky reaches into the kiln, wearing special heat-resistant gloves, and she squeezes the glass into a unique undulating form.