A Day at the Park
Playful glass adds to a healing atmosphere
Vicki Schneider’s glass installation contains nine vignettes.
A new installation at John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital adds vibrant color and nostalgic images of childhood to the Radiology department’s waiting room. The two-by-three-foot artwork includes nine vignettes of glass children, all engaged in various types of play. The vivid figures provide a colorful, carefree oasis in an institution that has already been thoughtfully curated with art on every floor. The artist who made and donated this artwork, Vicki Schneider, was recognized in Spree when we noticed her lifelike flower sculptures in 2018’s 100 American Craftsmen show. Schneider’s flameworked objects have been regularly featured in journals devoted to glass art as well as exhibited nationwide. She also teaches the art of flameworking at her Hamburg studio, Expressive Glass.
Schneider started working with glass in 2006, when she began lessons at Corning Museum of Glass, where she studied with Lucio Bubacco, Emilio Santini, Loren Stump, and others. Thus far, the two major themes in her work have developed around nature and children. She explains, “Not having children of my own, memories of my (extra) ordinary childhood resided quietly in the back of my mind. Through this series, “my ‘kids’ are celebrating the innocence of youth while enjoying precious moments from my childhood.” The children in the vignettes are seen flying kites, playing on swingsets, and fishing, among other traditional activities.
Flameworked vs. blown
Images of the glass blower, holding a metal tube over a hot furnace, come to mind when thinking of handmade glass, but flameworking, aka lampworking, is an equally ancient method. Rather than a furnace, the artist only needs a flame of some kind. Rods of glass are melted over the flame and then shaped with various tools. It’s often the choice of artists who want to make figurines and other representational creations.
Learn more about Schneider’s work at expressiveglass.com.