Kari Russell-Pool:”My husband, Marc Petrovic, and I have been working as studio artists since our respective graduations from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1990, and 1991.
Marc makes pieces that are predominantly glass, but also contain wood and metal components. I invite you to checkout his web site at www.marcpetrovic.com. I am primarily a flame worker. I create form from pattern with a technique I developed on my own. Although Marc and I strive to retain our individual work and approach, we have collaborated to a greater or lesser extent since college. We each offer insight and suggestions on the other’s work. Our collaborations most often incorporate Marc’s blown birds into my structures, but after years of bouncing things off each other, we each live in the other’s work.
Somewhat unique to flame working, I melt and pull all my own glass rods from the same glass furnace that Marc sculpts his components. This allows a compatibility between the blown glass birds and the flame worked structures. This soft glass is seldom used by flame workers on a larger scale because of it’s inherent difficulties. This glass does not take the stress of torch work well, as would a borosilicate glass, but does allow a greater range of color variations, and the unique ability to be fused with furnace blown components.
My overall approach is one of a watercolor. Coloring with glass powders, and pulling my own glass rods, allows us an extraordinary control over color. By layering the color and manipulating the density, our hope is the flow between the blown and flame-worked glass appears effortless. In glass there is often a ‘right’ way to do things. I am more a proponent of the cowboy way. The cowboy way invites invention, and serves the master of the final result, rather than proper technique. I am proud to be called a craftsman, because craftsmanship underlies all I do, even if I am occasionally caught being an artist.”