Thousands of events around the world convened to celebrate, explore, and educate, forging new relationships and collaborations during the International Year of Glass. One such IYoG Gathering was a group that came together for a workshop in Vermont, sponsored by the Stained Glass Association of America Foundation and funded through IYOG2022 grant seed money.
The International Year of Glass 2022 celebrated the essential role glass has in society and brought together glass scientists, artists, technologists, glass art historians, advocates, ambassadors, and more.
Thousands of events around the world convened to celebrate, explore, and educate, forging new relationships and collaborations. One such IYoG Gathering was a group that came together for a workshop in Vermont, sponsored by the Stained Glass Association of America Foundation and funded through IYOG2022 grant seed money.
GATHERING: A Fusion of Glass Art and Science for Innovative Collaboration
IYoG Funding Project No1076
November 16-20, 2022, Readsboro, Vermont
- Scott Cooper, Ph.D., Global Glass and Materials Science Leader at O-I
- Debora Coombs, Glass Artist
- Megan McElfresh, Glass Artist & Writer
- Rob Schaut, Ph.D., Research Fellow at Corning Incorporated
- Dan Swiler, Ph.D., Researcher at Alfred University
- Natalie Tyler, Glass Artist
- Peter Wachtel, Senior Research Scientist at Rochester Precision Optics
This group would never have come together if they had not first met at the Day of Glass in Washington DC, put together by the American Ceramic Society on April 4-6, 2022. As the glass art, museum, science, and technology communities came together to kick-off the International Year of Glass, the potential for greater collaboration quickly became evident.
Across the glass ecosystem, our contemporary challenges and opportunities cut across all facets of our industry. In order to create comprehensive, inclusive solutions and innovations, we need collaboration across all of the glass community: art, science, technology, manufacturing, and all of the communities we serve.
Solutions to the problems that face the world today are neither fast nor easy. Exploring solutions is going to take time and intense collaboration. Individuals from a wide cross-section of the glass ecosystem with complimentary curiosities and collaborative skillsets, with a deep desire to invest in research and experimentation, should come together to design solutions for public conversation.
The essential function of glass is one of service: glass transforms space and containers, micro and macro structures and tools alike, affecting the collective psyche in a largely unseen way, woven invisibly into the fabric of our lives. The glassmaker - be they artist or technologist - is uniquely poised to explore innovation as they are accustomed to creating for others. Progress in the glass ecosystem relies on those that can thrive in a place of tension between their own ego and a lifting up of their fellow beings; the everyday challenges of preservation, sustainability, diversity, inclusion, and innovation manifested in the public place with skill and subtlety, and above all, with a special kind of gratitude and humility.
We seek to build an annual, international model to bring together artists and technologists (i.e. scientists, and engineers) to openly collaborate, experiment with techniques, and build relationships that otherwise would not exist. These skilled individuals will develop and expand on a shared language that will allow them to create long-term collaborations. Individually unique skill sets from across the glass industry will be combined over a period of years bringing those tools together in novel ways to freely explore issues that speak to the challenges of our world today.
Successful replication of this collaboration over several years will leave the world with a cohort of people highly skilled in all aspects of glass – science, development, craft, application, and artistry. We aspire that alumni of this collaboration will go on to create new works of art and solve problems that leave a lasting impact for good in the world.
This brief video gives you an overview of how the workshop happened and how the two worlds of art and science came together for innovative collaboration: