A world-class colorist of international standing in modern glass, Stephen Rolfe Powell creates his work in a quiet outpost of rural Kentucky. His art and his life bridge other such divides. The radiant murrini skins of his glass vessels have an old Italian pedigree, yet his making techniques are radically American in their dramatic individuality. He is an award-winning classroom professor and a generous ambassador for glass, yet he is at the same time so uncompromising in his dedication to his creative work that he stands among modern glass's most nuanced seekers after the eternally sensual and elusive mysteries of light and color. An illustrated chronicle of Powell's glass-blowing career, this book charts the evolution of Powell's remarkable body of work. Dazzling photographic close-ups detail the luminous murrini patterns that have become Powell's signature and reveal new ways of appreciating the complex interplay of color and texture in his art. Biographical and analytical essays by Mark Lucas, Laurie Winters, and James Yood explore such topics as the teamwork that is critical to Powell's unique glass making process; his teaching and learning experiences on the road, from the former Soviet Union to Salt Lake City during the Olympics; and the story of the two freak injuries that deeply affected his work and how he thinks about it. Reflections by Kenn Holsten, Marvin Lipofsky, Dante Marioni, Bonnie Marx, John Roush, and Lino Tagliapietra further supplement the book. The book's stunning photographs encourage the viewer to see Powell's work from different viewpoints, highlighting the unique interactions of transparent, opaque, and translucent glass and Powell's bold color combinations. Stephen Rolfe Powell: Glassmaker vividly portrays the tension and excitement involved in the artist's nontraditional, team approach to working with molten glass.
Winner of OVerall Excellence in the Southern Books Competition.
Color delights us from cradle to grave, it grooves some optical pleasure zone that seems almost beyond language, and it is everywhere celebrated in the almost irrepressibly vivacious glass sculpture of Stephen Rolfe Powell.~James Yood, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, from the book
" Ostensibly, this work surveys Kentucky glassblower Powell's career, buts its overwhelming impact is really in its demonstration of the astounding revolution in digital imagery and digital printing that has revolutionized art-book productions in the last two decades. Glass is notoriously hard to photograph; hot glass in motion, nearly impossible. Yet photographers Phillips and Harpe here offer 256 lush, truly wonderful close-ups of Powell's works, as well as images of Powel and his assistants in the glassblowing studio as the produce large, bright vessel forms reminiscent of the glass blown on the Venetian isle of Murano."~Library Journal
"Powell was a remarkable artist and Glassmaker is an amazing sample of his work."~"The Plus Side"
"The University Press of Kentucky has set a new standard for itself in the large and sumptuous tome devoted to the virtuoso glassblower, Stephen Powell."~Louisville Courier-Journal
"The photography is both stunning and informative. Powell's unique approach to life, teaching, and work is very inspirational; this volume should be a welcome addition to every library."~C. A Ventura, Choice
"The book's power lies in an expert use of photography- huge, many full-page, in your face (10"x12") photos, minute photos- stunning an emotional photos, biographical and insightful photos. A stunner of a book."~Glass Focus