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University of Connecticut University Libraries

Kari Russell-Pool & Marc Petrovic

We have always loved the juxtaposition of the solidity and weight of blown glass with the delicacy of flame working. This has always been at the heart of our collaboration, but our banded vessels allow us to showcase the blown work, and highlight the uniqueness of the flame working by elevating it to a detail. Our overall approach is like watercolor. Coloring with glass powders and pulling our own glass rods allows us extraordinary control over color. By layering the color and manipulating the density, our hope is that the flow between the blown and flame-worked glass will appear effortless, thus making the viewer essentially unaware of the collaboration that has taken place. Kari Russell-Pool and Marc Petrovic have been working as studio artists since their graduation from the Cleveland Institute of Art in, respectively, 1990, and 1991. Marc makes pieces that are predominantly glass but also contain wood and metal components. Kari is primarily a flame worker. She creates form from pattern with a technique she developed on her own. Although Marc and Kari strive to retain their individual work and approach, they have collaborated, to a greater or lesser extent, since college. Each offers insight and suggestions on the other’s work. The collaboration between the two artists most often incorporates Marc’s blown birds into Kari’s structures. In an unusual approach to flame working, Kari melts and pulls all her glass rods from the same glass furnace that Marc uses to sculpt his components. This allows for compatibility between the blown glass birds and the flame-worked structures. Flame workers seldom use soft glass in large-scale work. This glass does not take the stress of torch work well but does allow a greater range of color variation as well as the unique ability to be fused with furnace-blown components. Marc and Kari have resided in Essex, CT, the town of Kari’s youth, for the past eight years. They have been married eleven years and share their home and studio with their daughters, Phoebe 7, and Kay 3. Both have taught at the Penland School of Crafts and The Studio at Corning, and have conducted numerous workshops both at home and abroad.