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Getting to Know the Glass Sculptor and the Lost Wax Process
Seth Randal Visits SMOA
Seth Randal's work is a testimony to his inventive methodology and his love of color and light. Drawn from an amazing blend of historical references, imagination and his unique sense of beauty and majesty, Seth's sculpture in glass reminds us that, in visual art, all things are possible.
The story of Seth's evolution as a glass sculptor is interesting and intriguing. The most apt descriptions of his discoveries and craftsmanship, as well as his artistic sensibilities are best described in the book about hm called "Seth Randall, Myth and Majesty" by Jo Lauria. "Simply by its color and light, Randal came, through experience, to recognize that the medium could be a powerful conveyor of creative expression.
Having spent many years learning the numerous and diverse methods of working with glass, he realized that it was necessary for him to explore avenues that would give his artistic journey a unique direction. When he discovered Art Nouveau and its flowing designs derived from nature and the magnificent fluidity, texture and color of End of the Century French masters of decorative glass, he found his new goal. He immersed himself in seeking his personal interpretation of historical glass, transforming it into a contemporary mode of expression.
In spite of the fact that his early training was quote comprehensive, Seth found what he had learned too limiting. His objective became the rekindling of historical sculpture techniques which would enable him to express his artistic dream. This challenge breathed new life into Seth's curious mind. Aided by his inclination to experiment and invent, he plunged into the exploration of finding ways to produce unique and fluid sculptural glass pieces. Entranced by the veiled luminescence of crushed cast glass, Seth decided "to lay down my blowing pipes for good and concentrate on developing the art of kiln casting and pate de verre" which is a technique of mixing powdered glass with oxides to produce color and water to form a paste, which gets packed into a mold and fused by firing in a kiln for many hours. However, the details of casting were very scarce and no one was either willing or able to give him much help or guidance. In Seth's words, "the techniques that I ultimately developed, and use today, were the result of many years of trial and error—and a good share of broken glass."
With his admiration for the ideals of classical beauty, Seth devised approaches to embody historic, contemporary and imagined forms, colors and designs into his evolving technologies. His early work began with images that emerged from his love of the sea and of nature, moving forward to the human head and the figure. Men and women, symbols of creation, strength, achievement, fortitude, power and intellect are transformed into heroic figures. Their timeless beauty captured in the shimmering delicacy of glass, they represent the highest aspirations of juman consciousness.
Seth Randal spent many of his formative years in London. There he developed an interest in the performing arts and later discovered a love and fascination for the visual arts. He began his art studies in London, moving to NYC in 1978, where he continued his artistic education at Parsons School of Design, Massachusetts College of Art and Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA.
He serves as a Trustee at UrbanGlass, Brooklyn, NY, served as a Trustee from 2002-06 at the Glass Alliance of Los Angeles and has taught a Masterworks class at the Pilchuck Glass School. He is currently a Trustee, Instructor and Independent Curator for Pratt Fine Arts Center, Seattle, WA. He is an Independent Designer for Daum Cristal, Paris.
His glass sculptures have been exhibited in the Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC, the Seattle Museum of Art, the Tucson Museum of Art, the Tampa Museum of Art, the Ft. Lauderdale Museum of Art, the Los Angeles County Museum, the Santa Fe Museum of Art, the Montreal Museum of Art, and Kanazawa, Japan to name a few. His work has been included in numerous group exhibitions and he has had many solo exhibitions in New York and other major cities. Seth currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.
SMOA wishes to acknowledge and thank Jo Lauria for allowing us to reference and quote from her wonderful book about Seth Randal, "Myth and Majesty."
A Woman of Substance, 22x9x12 in.
Miss Inca Jewel, 22x8x12 in.
Gemini, 20x12 in.
Acanthus King, 30x12x14.5 in.
Alabaster Double Helix Diatreta, 18x10 in.
Golden Ram's Head, 10x9x12 in.
Four Gods, 13x12 in.
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