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Artist of the Month
March 2013

Artist of the Month

Jon Goldberg

Philadelphia-based artist Jon Goldberg creates sculptural objects inspired by patterns found in nature. After attending college as a liberal arts major focusing on photography, Goldberg became passionate about glass after taking classes at a local hot shop about 10 years ago. Since then, he has continued to educate himself, studying with artists who inspire him. Goldberg is represented by Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA.

Click on each photo to the right for a full picture.

Jon Goldberg

Artist of the Month

Artist Statement:

Organism Series
Creatures forever captured in glass, their forms are simple and minimalist, but the inner structures are complicated and organic. Only a few coloration techniques are employed. However, the variation created from combining those techniques is endless. Simple component parts are combined to create complexity, giving rise to living Organisms. With each generation, the life forms get more complicated, evolving towards something even more beautiful. Although the basic shape of all the organisms is similar, curved surfaces carved into these forms create variation and act as lenses to the internal structure.

Geode Series
Totally opaque, the internal structure of a geode is unknown until facets are cut through the outer surface of color. Windows are created into a strange place, filled with elements representing the genesis and evolution of life. At certain angles, these facets act as mirrors, becoming a shimmering portal into yet another world. Over time, new life forms are created and old ones go extinct. These extinct life forms are not completely lost. Essential elements are fossilized and preserved in stone. Cutting through the opaque outer layer of a Geode provides the opportunity to look back and reflect on the memory of what has come before.

- Jon Goldberg, 2013

About Jon Goldberg

Balancing minimalist forms with intricate multiple layers of colored sinuous threads, Goldberg’s work incorporates the unique optical qualities of glass either through the use of exterior bevels and carving which refract light, or through windows which gather light into their mysterious realms. “My sculptures could never be created or effective in any medium other than glass,” he notes. He is constantly challenged by the need to look past the purely technical process of his work to create work that “expresses specific ideas with deeper meaning…allowing the work to speak for itself.”

Goldberg’s work is formed on a pipe or punty using traditional furnace-working methods. However, he says, “I often subvert these techniques to create unique results." Cane-working processes are used to compose structures within the piece and color overlays/cup-stuffing processes create veils of color or areas of refraction. Bubbles in the piece act as negative spaces and reflective elements. After a lengthy cooling process, the pieces are rough-cut.  The cutting process can be quite time-consuming as each cut can take an hour or more and pieces with curved facets are cut many times for each facet. Planning and setting up each cut is a big part of Goldberg's creative process. The final smoothing and polishing of his pieces require six stages of abrasives used to bring a piece to a perfect polish.

Goldberg’s pieces are suggestive of naturalistic ideas, but abstract enough to allow the observer to create their own interpretations of the world within. A complex galaxy of layered colorations with transparent elements, encased within perfectly polished extravagantly thick-walled forms, his pieces maximize the optical effects of the shadows and reflections between the layers of the interior walls. His work evolves from series to series, gaining new attributes and losing vestigial ones.

He is the founder and owner of Philadelphia’s East Falls Glass, a public-access glass facility, where many artists create their work and learn from each other while making glass accessible to the greater community through classes and demonstrations.

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Acknowledgment of Gallery:
We are grateful to Morgan Contemporary Glass Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, for providing the materials for the Artist of the Month.

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Our Mission

The Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to further the development and appreciation of art made from glass.

The Alliance informs collectors, critics and curators by encouraging and supporting museum exhibitions, university glass departments and specialized teaching programs, regional collector groups, visits to private collections, and public seminars.