Thursday, February 17, 2011

O'Neil's Art

~Etspiration Day~

This week we're shifting the focus away from glass beads to the broader category of glass art.  Oneilsarts creates stunning, fluid centerpieces out of hotglass (glassblowing instead of lampworking).  A key ingrediant in his work (for me) is color; his use of color is fantastic, and the literal kalaidescopes of color he creates are like little pinwheels of color.  He takes this a step fruther, using the shapes of his vessels to accentuate that pattern of color.  Most importantly, his passion for glass is evident in every piece; they have that intangiable organic quality of life, of movement, and of energy. (all images copyrighted to the artist)

Catches your eye instantly, doesn't it?  Not only are the colors a great match for each other, but the pattern is incredible.  It reminds me of a seashell, and the colors add to that summery, watery feel.  The pinwheel pattern is not flat and straight, but flowing and you get the sense of being pulled through the yellow faster and faster and faster until you reach the very center.  Once you move beyond the impact of color, you see that the shape of the vessel enhances the pattern.  The edges are like ripples in water; it looks much better with the piece than a straight edge would.  It allows the eye to enter into the pattern and follow it all the way to its tightly wound center. 

A fantastic shape!  The starburst effect is so beautiful and pleasing to the eye.  The color pattern again is set just right, so that it's not too overwhelming for the viewer.  The colors are beautiful, and the crevices in the shape allow for a natural change in color.  I believe that the less you force the glass the better, so I love how this piece utilizes the bends in the glass to create color instead of adding a whole new color.  And again, that swirl-into-the-center pattern is wonderful.  The edge is interesting, and keeps the viewer interested longer than a plain straight edge would.  Like all his pieces, this has a big, bold personality. 

A different shape but still in the same style as the rest.  I'm a fan of this shape, with the big fat upper bit narrowing suddenly into the flat top.  These remind me of peacock feathers, but the purple packs an extra punch.  His use of pattern is evident again here; he knows just how to work the pattern so it flows smoothly and doesn't look forced.  I tried glassblowing once, and had to put frit on the piece to create a color pattern, and let's just say it didn't turn out the way I had hoped.  More like a mash of color with no clear pattern behind it.  Humans enjoy patterns; they find them harmonious and soothing to the mind, and follow them easily.  It can make or break a sale for a customer.  Oneilsarts can masterfully create them. 

I had to include this one because it contains all colors that I don't really like but for some reason I find this piece irresistible.  The ribbed effect is so pleasing to me aesthetically, and the edge's exciting fluid motion is great.  I imagine it sitting in the ocean, the egdes wafting gently with the currents, like a sea fan.  The darker areas provide enough of a color difference to keep the piece interesting.  I also like how the pattern is different from the rest; no swirl, just an ever-increasing starburst coming up from the center.  I can't decide which pattern I like best. 

This is like a combination of both patterns.  The starburst in the middle and the winding pattern on the edges.  I can't tell you how much I love the colors in this piece.  It's like jumping into the ocean, or looking up though the water at the sun.  The rounded edges prevalent in the pattern are soothing, and the softly meandering edge contributes to that effect. 

All of his works would look fantastic on the wall, and provide a great backdrop in a summer or beach house.  His use of color reminds me of the ocean, of water, and color and sun and all things good.  No piece set my teeth on edge, as bright colors and patterns have the potential to do, and each has an organic, natural flow to it.  It seems like he is working with the glass instead of against it, and I appreciate that. 

If you read his profile, you can see that he has always had an appreciation for art, and it shows in his work.  He has an extensive background in glass art, his studies including the prestigious Pilchuck Glass school, and has apprenticed for many well-known artisans.  Has has even begun to expand the possibilities of glass by combing pieces with hand-forged metal works.  This is someone who has devoted his entire life to his art; that requires an incredible amount of passion and excitement, which is reflected in his work.  Each contains a spark of life, of that intense energy that created it.  It lingers, creating an aura around each piece, and the viewer can feel it.  Every work has a personality ; if you look through his shop, no two pieces are the same. 

Any work of art that has that "spark" is worth purchasing.  That's the best part about handmade; you feel as though you are a part of the creator, that you have a connection with him or her.  Oneilsarts accomplishes that, in a beautiful and natural fashion.  Click here to see his Etsy shop and begin the visceral experience!

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