We’ve gotten to know Janine Wang over the 10 weeks of her 2022 summer residency here at GoggleWorks. The transition and transformation from woodturning, to ceramic casting, to warm glass fusing has been a fascinating process to witness. Not only the transition, but the visual transcription of movement and human touch have been so effortlessly evident in her work. We caught up with Janine to ask about her time here at GoggleWorks;
Would you say there has been a major change within the execution behind your work, from the beginning of this residency to now?
“I wouldn’t say a change, but maybe an enhancement. It’s definitely different to be in an environment for a while and just be able to sink into your feelings and create.”
During your residency do you feel as though you’ve taken advantage of the various mediums offered, and do you plan on continuing to work with them?
“Absolutely! The ceramics learning journey has been really great, but I’m not so sure about continuing everything I touched on here. It was so intense. I like knowing how things work, but for example I did the glass blowing Maker Date with my partner where we made two cups and it was like a whole performance. It was physically uncomfortable. I think it’s always hard for someone who knows a craft really well to learn a new one. You become aware, like I’m really good at working with wood, but when it comes to a new field like ceramics, I’m expecting a certain level of perfection that I just can’t get. I feel the same with glass. Like they’re bad. But I had to remind myself “Hey now it’s literally your first time working with this material.”
Have you enjoyed the process of creating your work, both in the familiar and experimental realm of materials?
“Yes, very much.”
What was your most unique experience?
“Ben had been experimenting with mixing this dirt with glaze and clay and it looked amazing. Kate and I have been using it in our work. It has definitely formed some of my pieces, I’ve mixed into my matte glaze and it has come out really nice. I just love that it ties my pieces to this place in its own way.”
Janine worked with her fellow residents, Kate Rusek and Nate Tietbohl, as well as our studio managers, throughout the 10-weeks of her residency. It is within the collective efforts of different artists, each talented in various mediums, that concepts can flourish into incredible artwork.
Have you gotten the chance to explore the city during your residency?
“I talked about this when I first got here. I did a bit of walking around here. Anytime I get to a new place, I like to walk around to get a better sense of where I am and the kind of city that I’m in. I’ve been walking to get my food. I’ve also gone to West Reading.”
What was your experience balancing work, transportation, the residency, and personal life?
“It was actually doable. Luckily I live in Philly so it’s not too far, it’s just far enough for me to not want to drive in the early morning and leave late at night. It made me miss my partner a lot more, because It’s been nice to have something else besides work going on, but it’s been really difficult because I haven’t taken a single day off for the entirety of the residency. It’s been a very full summer and since my transition to being a dedicated professor, I haven’t been able to make a significant amount of work for myself, so having this residency has been so great. Like I don’t even care that I had to work this hard because it feels so good.”
What is your next journey?
“I want to set up my own home studio so that I can do this work. My partner and I have some ceramic stuff going on already. We’re both very ‘do it ourselves’. This is my first experience working in an actual ceramic studio, so I was able to see all of the equipment, machinery and process of how everything works. I’ve been collecting a lot of equipment while I’ve been here too because I know it’s a good investment. I think I’ll probably go home and figure out a way to keep doing this.”
Keep up with Janine at http://www.janinewang.com and on Instagram @softlyshaped as she heads towards her next adventure. Make sure to check out the GoggleWorks 2022 Summer Residency Exhibition in Cohen Gallery West from August 12th until October 21st, 2022.
A huge thank you to the John and Robyn Horn Foundation for sponsoring Janine Wang’s residency here at GoggleWorks.