Glass artists invite public for 'Southern Cooking'

There's some Southern cookin' showing up at the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center June 6 through Aug. 30. But we're not talking grits and fried chicken.

"Southern Cooking: A Regional Exhibit of Kiln Formed Glass" is a unique collection of glass works by Southern artists Jennifer Adair, Karen Reed and Nancie Roark.

"Although not a large exhibit, these glass visionaries pack a punch with wall hangings, vessels and jewelry like you have never seen before," said Rebecca Slaughter, museum director of grants and research.

Visitors are in for an impressive treat in the complex creativity of these artists.

"For the first four decades of my life, I lived and functioned in a left brain world -- construction management, computers and accounting require symbol oriented, linear thinking," Adair said.

In 1986, she took a stained glass class that eventually shattered her previous professional plan.

"I was enthralled by what glass does with color and light and loved working with my hands and my mind. In 1994, I quit wearing a watch," said the Dickson county resident.

In 1996, Adair left her day job and opened Tennessee Glass Works, Inc. Her passion for working with glass has proven fruitful.

"I'm able to support myself without another job. I've been lucky -- not a lot of craftsmen can support themselves with their craft," she said.

Roark combines ancient glass forming techniques with space age technology to create fused dichroic glass pieces.

She said Egyptian and Roman artisans used the fusing technique to form glass before glass blowing was developed. Dichroic glass is coated with thin films of metals, a technology which is actually a byproduct of our space industry.

The various colors in the glass result from refractive qualities in the layers of glass and metals when viewed from different angles.

Reed has been working professionally in glass since 1981. Her diverse glass collection includes pieced, painted, kiln carved, etched, fused, laminated, sandblasted, gilded, silk screened, case, slumped and draped glass.

600450 Glass artists invite public for 'Southern Cooking'
Date: 2 June 2003

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