01  |  Ida Wieth  |  Nordic Tales 

A Talk With Artist Ida Wieth

How did you first discover your passion for glass art, and what drew you towards working with this medium?

At a young age, I came across glassblowing factories in Sweden and Murano, Italy. I was mesmerised by this glowing and somehow mystical material, that could be shaped into such diverse forms, and the way it changed from fluid to solid in a matter of minutes.

So I always had this idea that I wanted to try and investigate this medium, and at age 18 I enrolled in a 6 months glassblowing course in Denmark. It was both extremely captivating and incredibly difficult, and I decided to pursue glass further.

Can you describe your creative process when conceptualizing a new piece or installation?

My point of departure derives from research into topics of interest – often with art historical, literary or site specific references. I work with an investigative and curious approach to materials and artistic expression, and during my process I move through several testing stages. I create various types of models to develop and visualise new works – besides glass, this can be in clay, paper and fiber. During this phase, numerous questions occurs that I deal with and answer to. I find this underlines and carry my artistic idea forward, resulting in a concrete manifestation of concept, material and sculptural form.

02  |  Ida Wieth  |  Nordic Tales 

Bridging The Gap

You’ve been described as bridging the gap between the artistically poetic and the tangible knowledge of materials and techniques. How do you achieve this balance in your work?

All my work derives from glass that I made myself. I use my traditional learned skills, creating mouth blown elements that I since develop further into art pieces or installations. This can include a transformation proces in a fusing kiln, where I re-melt and alter blown glass tubes. I combine the glass with other materials, such as metal oxides, iron, wood and ceramics, depending on the project and expression I seek to achieve. Overall I find it interesting to challenge the perceptions and characteristics of glass, yet with an unmistakably and significant connection to the craft. For example, I apply metal oxides to the glass surface, and work with an expression that is not necessarily “glass-like”, yet it could not have been achieved in another material.

Hence, I work with bringing forward new possibilities, that both enhance and challenge the properties of materials, simultaneously expressing my artistic idea and vision.

Exhibition: Deep Forest Art Land, in Denmark (2021)
Sculpture: Double Down

03  |  Ida Wieth  |  Nordic Tales 

Double Down

Can you share with us a specific artwork or project that holds a special place in your heart? What was the concept behind it, and what materials were used?

I really enjoyed working on a site-specific art installation for the outdoor sculpture park – Deep Forest Art Land, in Denmark (2021).

The work – Double Down – consist of mounted mouth blown glass tubes on a geometric and circular iron structure, which embraces and supports the glass in such a way that it seems to float. The layered glass contributes to a perspective-distorted and almost kaleidoscopic effect, where the lines and shapes of the forest are represented in the work. The glass is affected by changing light and weather conditions, and in itself it becomes a form of microcosmos of the forest, collecting and containing dew, fir needles, spider web, water and frost. The combination of the immeasurable strength and fragility of the glass, subscribes to the same elements in nature, and a mirroring between place and work is established.

The title of the work – Double Down – refers to acting with increased determination – putting everything in, as well as the dual qualities the shape of the glass holds. Two mouth blown parts, meets in the middle, where a barrier of glass is enhanced with iron powder. The parts apparently have the same properties, but will be affected differently by the seasons. Thus, the work will gradually change character and expression due to course of time and terms of nature.

Developing and creating a large site specific sculpture, where the glass is “allowed” to change and crack during time, I found was both challenging and rewarding.

Further Exploring

How has your work evolved over time, and what new directions or techniques are you currently exploring?

Since my beginning in traditional glassblowing, I have moved far beyond conventional crafted glassware, freeing myself from object categories and dogmas. Thus, I operate in a sculptural and artistic field, yet deeply rooted in traditional craft practice.

Currently I am working on a project that bridges digital elements with glass. I am working on a sculpture containing sound elements, that will refer to the Double Down project. This will be shown at The Biennale of Craft & Design, at Copenhagen Contemporary in the fall.

Hence, I aim to challenge the limits of the material and its properties, both in concept and expression, focusing on keeping exploring and developing myself and my artistic work going forward.

Read more at: @Jumbo_Aarhus

04  |  Ida Wieth  |  Nordic Tales 

Exhibition: Deep Forest Art Land, in Denmark (2021)
Sculpture: Double Down

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