We had a chance to chat with Dan Alexander again as his AACG-sponsored summer residency at GoggleWorks came to a close. Learn what Dan took from his experience and what his next adventure is by reading the full Q&A!
Dan Alexander pushed the limits of his glassblowing during his Summer Residency at GoggleWorks. He experimented with new techniques while also churning out works that he was more comfortable and experienced at creating. It’s all about balance!
- Tell me about your most recent creative experience. What did you do, see, or experience and how did it impact you?
The last two weeks of the residency, I think, were the most experimental pieces I made. I’ve had sketches and planned on trying some of those pieces for several months. I’ve learned a lot through the process of those weeks and plan on continuing in that direction in the future.
- How have you adapted your process to working out of GoggleWorks’ studios? What kind of creative problem solving did this allow you to do?
The transition to making my art at GoggleWorks went very smoothly! Scott Krenitsky was very helpful in getting me familiar with the space and GoggleWorks’ staff were always there when I had a question. As far as making my work, it is just like cooking in someone else’s kitchen. The tools and layout might be a little different but once you get more familiar the process will just happen like second nature.
- What objective have you worked towards during this residency? What steps have you taken this summer to fulfill that objective?
This residency I wanted to create a variety of different work. I wanted to start with pieces similar to ones I’ve made before but eventually shift gears to more experimental work that still fits into my style. I feel like my approach of starting off slow and focusing on prep work the first few weeks was a good move. This gave me time to get more acclimated to the space and by the time the prep work was complete I was ready to start making finished pieces.
- Has your time here spurred any new objectives or avenues you’d like to explore?
Yes, it has. I’ve refined some of my process for making my work and also created some new designs I plan to explore more in the future.
- What has been the most memorable moment of your GoggleWorks residency so far?
During this residency I was very grateful that Scott had a swimming pool! Several days during the residency he invited a few of us over after we finished working.
- How did you spend your free time during the residency?
I went out to a few of the local restaurants and pubs, but the majority of the time I was working in the studio or planning what I was making next.
- Where have you found the most inspiration during your residency?
The inspiration for a lot of my work comes from photographs I’ve taken from places I’ve traveled. The patterns in my pieces are inspired by architecture, textiles, and geometry found in nature. When it comes time to plan for pieces, I look through these photographs to come up with my patterns, shapes, and color schemes.
- What advice would you give yourself at the start of this residency, now that we’re at the end?
Drink more water.
- In what ways do you believe this residency has impacted you, your creative process, and/or your artistic journey?
I feel I have learned a lot about my process and had time to refine many of the steps. Many of the pieces I made during the residency will forever be included in my body of work. Years from now I will still be making different variations of pieces I made at GoggleWorks.
- What was your favorite experience or thing to do while you were here in Reading/Berks County and why?
I enjoyed working with the other artists at GoggleWorks and learning more about the area. It is nice to see how different art organizations work and what they can provide for the community.
- What is your favorite piece that you created during the residency and why? If you don’t have a favorite, why not?
The last piece I made during the residency was one of my favorites. It was a variation of some of my experimental pieces I was working on. This one in particular went very well. Shape, pattern, scale, and colors were all on point!
- What’s your next adventure?
Now that the residency is over I have a few road trips and shows planned in the near future. I have some of my work that will be included in two upcoming shows. One in St. Petersburg, FL in October and the next one is the Sculptural Objects Functional Art EXPO in Chicago, IL. I plan on showing pieces I made during the residency at both of these shows.
Keep up with Dan at danalexanderglass.com and on Instagram @danalexanderglass as he gets on the road to his next adventure. Make sure to check out the 2021 Artist-In-Residence exhibition at GoggleWorks on view until August 29th to see these pieces and so much more right before your eyes!
A huge thank you to Dan for making the Hot Glass Studio such an exciting place to be this summer, and to the Art Alliance of Contemporary Glass for making Dan’s residency at GoggleWorks possible.