As a child, I dreamed of being an astronaut; as an adult, scuba diving the coral reefs of the Pacific has fulfilled that other-worldly vision. It was these treasured times with individuals from these island nations that led me to search for symbols of world unity in this time of global crises.
I was drawn to vessels as that representation intertwining equality and sustainability. I am new to basketry, and in my desire to speak of social justice issues, these vessels have become my voice. These symbols have prompted me to move beyond my work in architectural glass to focus on mixed media visual arts. My love of weaving is now intertwined with my glass art.
My new series titled Universal Vessels explores ways to combine fiber with glass into baskets. Just as we must strive to bring together diverse cultures, imagining processes to merge these two dissimilar media in visual arts is exhilarating and fulfilling.
In the early days of the pandemic, an epidemiologist stated that thinking-outside-the-box requires a box, which no longer exists in battling a novel virus. That comment instantly gave me a feeling of freedom, to journey to a new space of exploration – one that illuminates what is possible when we unite.
The bases and spokes of the baskets are created by kiln-firing glass disks. Waterjet cutting allows me to design either self-rimming vessels or baskets with spokes. Fiber, reed, jewels, and metal are all used for the basketry weft.
Intertwining fiber and glass in ways that speak to global issues has allowed me to find new optimism and new purpose. It is my wish that every individual weaves a metaphorical vessel to inspire and propel themselves to gather life-sustaining ingredients of compassion, sharing and caregiving.
Candace Pratt, 8/2021
More about Candace at Icings Glass