Annie Curtis

Annie Curtis

For many years I worked with clay, beginning as an apprentice to a Maine potter in the early 70’s. After two years at Kansas City Art Institute, I completed my BFA at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax. My studio work following art school focused primarily on porcelain dinnerware, along with teaching hand building classes at several New England art centers.

My transition into glass seemed a natural choice. Hot glass is quite similar to clay. Both require multiple firings and can produce dramatic chemical reactions when certain colors intersect. As with porcelain, the density of glass determines its translucency.

I became fascinated by the machines required in the finishing stages of fused glass. Cold working each piece allows me to further manipulate the surfaces. Sandblasting, grinding and polishing are all key parts of the final process.

In recent years I have explored a process that involves the technique of trapping air bubbles between layers of glass. Hot glass is fluid by nature and often unpredictable. The bubbles flow into unexpected places during each firing. My grid is set up as a template in order to pull air into the empty corners. I have found that each piece is a controlled experiment that gives me new information.

This past winter, I took a new direction.  I built large bowls related to the ice shelves found along our coastline. The dramatic Maine tides cause thick ice to break apart and settle into pockets on the rocks when the saltwater recedes.

Using broken glass shards of varying opacity, I do multiple firings which allow the glass to flow into itself. This technique holds air bubbles inside the glass through the subtle fusing process. As in nature, chance plays an integral role in the result.