“Like an orchestra conductor who turns raw musical notes into an exquisite symphony, Neal Drobnis transforms sand through a fiery evolution into works of art”
Neal Drobnis maintains an active artist studio in Rhode Island where he creates one of a kind sculptures, limited editions, awards, and distinctive gifts.
My work includes a variety of genres, based on vessel forms. Inspired by nature and ancient artifacts my sculpture is an exciting combination of the cast and blown glass techniques, reinterpreting a tradition of glass forming used by the Romans over three thousand years ago. Starting a new work I always feel a need to balance my ideal of a finished piece with the realities of the material and my experience of the moment. Hoping to create a meeting of two conflicting ideas my final pieces present issues of contrast and coexistence. The creative and technical processes are integral partners in the art making process.
My creative efforts start with drawings, which are often influenced by historic research. Then I carve, and assemble templates that become a three dimensional palette. These shapes are pressed into specially prepared sand, to create a mold for glass casting. Molten glass is cast off a blown form into the mold. The piece is cooled and removed from the mold, in the process destroying the mold. When the loose sand is removed it leaves a wonderful granular texture on the cast portion. The pieces are then reheated some are reshaped at this point to give a sense of the fluid nature of the material well others the molded shapes are maintained to create a more ridged form.
The pieces from this point on are guided by an “in the moment” response to the material and environment. The results are a contrast between the predefined notions of casting and the expressionist possibilities of glass blowing.
My pieces draw on a multitude of sources including the visual language of architecture, the human figure, and cultural iconography. I often find new ideas in museums of ancient artifacts as well as books, magazines, and travel experiences. Taking from many sources, shaking them up and putting them together to make them my own. The goal is to create ultra modern artifacts, individual objects that can enhances the living environment, questioning preconceived notions of material and time. I am drawn to the glass medium because the fluidity makes it an expressionist art form, transparency brings the colors to life, and the contrasts between textures enhances the perception of rough and smooth surfaces. These are many of the qualities I feel within my being and the artistic process is the way to share my appreciation of the human drama of this our short time on earth.
The Neal Drobnis Gallery: