Lumia: The Art of Light (and Glass)

I’m pleased to announce that I have been awarded two high profile glass residencies in 2018! Both the Corning Museum of Glass and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington have awarded me residencies to make a new body of work about light. Based off a series of pieces I made at the Pilchuck Glass School and Detroit College of Creative Studies in 2017, I will be using CNC carved graphite molds to make glass castings to be assembled into a series of hot assembled geometric structures. The finished glass pieces will be used as lenses to generate lumia; slowly shifting and varied compositions of light refractions created by shining intense light through the glass.


The work evolved from my investigation of workflows for digital design to glass casting, and has been heavily inspired by the artist Thomas Wilfred who worked from the 1920’s-60’s creating light compositions, or “Lumia”. Wilfred described lumia as the “eighth form of art” and he was highly influential, but his work was largely unknown until the last year when Yale and the Smithsonian Institution mounted a retrospective.

I’m using Wilfred as inspiration, but also seek to take his discoveries to a new level, using new technologies such as LED lighting and lasers in conjunction with some of the glass forms I have been making. I think of these subtly changing and mesmerising light refractions as the perfect pure expression of art as something ethereal and intangible. I have proposed creating an interactive installation that generates lumia in response to the environment. Tentatively entitled “We are the Light”, the work is my reaction to society’s divisive politics, materialism, and constantly connected life with digital devices. The work will aim to induce calming moments of reflection and meditation for the viewer.

Here are some of the glass pieces I have been creating:

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And these are some early experiments with what kinds of Lumia can be generated using them with an RBG laser:

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The residencies begin in late April, so I am currently splitting my time between designing and carving graphite molds and experimenting with light sources and motorizing their movement. It’s exciting work and I can’t wait to share where the it all goes!

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