Stories in Glass: The Art of Wes Hunting
According to glass blower Wes Hunting, his medium of choice is “an incredible, immediate material.” He would know; for nearly four decades Hunting has been one of the most innovative masters of an ever-evolving art-form. The Cleveland-born artist started out with a passion for drawing fantasy worlds, filled with spaceships and distant planets. As a college student at Kent State University, Hunting signed up for a glass-blowing course and never looked back. After graduating, Hunting moved to Chicago, and opened the city’s first “hot shop”—or glass-blowing studio—in the early 1980s, before matriculating with his young family to small-town Wisconsin.
Working with glass is uniquely dynamic, and requires a special kind of energy. Hunting typically begins his process with a drawing, but due to the unpredictable nature of his medium, he’s learned to be flexible and let glass’s serendipitous tendencies take their course. This results in pieces with a distinctive whimsicality, whose suspended forms and motifs occur as both frozen in time, and also seem to shimmer and shift before our very eyes. The artist is inspired by the cosmos, but also by microscopic worlds of nature, visible, for instance, across the surface of a single leaf. Patterns, according to the artist, are everywhere, and setting them in glass makes this spectacularly versatile medium all the more imaginative and fun.
Pictured Left: Opal Optical Cone, Large Colorfield Vessel, Opal Optical Wheel