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Milkweed Arts

2/24-28 Corallite Creations: Reef Life and Habitats in Glass, with Nikki O'Neill

2/24-28 Corallite Creations: Reef Life and Habitats in Glass, with Nikki O'Neill

Regular price $895.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $895.00 USD
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February 24-28, 2023, 9a-4p daily.

Nikki O'Neill, Guest Instructor.

Welcome to the Corallite Creations workshop!  I’m thrilled to be teaching again in Phoenix! The focus of this workshop is to give you a fundamental understanding of different fusing processes using glass powder, stringer, frit, and sheet glass, while making art forms that reference sea creatures and habitats.

We will be very busy exploring methods to layer powder, create spaces, and manipulate dry glass powders to make organic sculptures suggestive of the rich colors and forms of coral and reef creatures.  We will make several glass elements that will be used to compose more complex sculptural forms.  Some of these elements include stringer rod sea anemones, powder dough sea sponges, sgraffito with complimentary glass powder vessels, faux dichro sea glass, and segmented ribbon seaweed.  You will have time to experiment with materials and methods, to make your own art creations.

During class, you will gain a thorough understanding of how heat, time, and surface tension work together with powder placement, gravity, mark making, and the physical properties of glass color and transparency.  During the creative process, a little bit of magic always seems to occur, along with delightfully unexpected discoveries.  We will make and modify some elements by flame working, use cold working processes to finish and then slump or sag our work.  We will also discuss creative hanging and mounting techniques for your assembled Corallite Creations  

ABOUT THE ARTIST

It is no surprise that Nikki O’Neill’s exquisite glass sculptures are inspired by the often-hidden organic world around us. After all, she looked through her first microscope when she was just seven years old. 

Nikki’s life has always been about exploration and delightful discoveries.  As the eldest of six children in a military family, she spent her childhood exploring diverse environments. From Colorado mountain streams to Alabama swamps to centuries-old rural European villages, she was enchanted by the secret habitats and small, often overlooked creatures she discovered: lichens and insects, algae, sea anemones, and microbes to name a few.  

After obtaining her PhD in biology, Nikki’s career path led her to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, MD, where, as a research scientist, she tackled many interesting projects, including identifying a fungus about to destroy the White House lawn, discovering species of fungi which wipe out opium poppy plants and identifying a disease threatening the U.S. sugarcane industry.

For the past 35 years, you could say, she has had two overlapping passions: science and art. Nikki has brought all her research and experimenting skills to bear in exploring new, innovative techniques in the creation of glass sculpture. For example, she combined lab-based chemicals with recycled glass, heat, and gravity to create her Synthesis series. “It is so wonderfully energizing to creatively combine science and art to make nature-inspired pieces in the studio,” she said of her experiences in glass and science. 

Nikki now focuses on making glass art full time. Her vessel forms Mycota series sculptural marine habitats Synthesis series and delicate coral Reef Forms are inspired by a deep love of nature’s creatures and mysterious habitats. To the delight of colleagues, she maintains a professionally equipped glass studio that is set up in her repurposed glass greenhouse.  “It is my hope that my work will increase awareness of the incredible beauty and intricacy of nature’s life forms, and our responsibility to prevent and repair the devastating effects of humanity on ocean life”.  Nikki’s work is collected nationally, exhibited all over the county and can be seen on her website www.nikkioneillglass.com.

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