Chocolate, etc…

Charles Gabriel_Sculptural Glass_hand-carved and kiln-fired art glass_"Chocolate"_ side view of carved and kil-worked glass mounted on wall with stainless hardware

CharlesGabriel-carved glass-kiln worked glass-wall mounted glas-glass art-frit worked glass-chocolate Chocolate (2005)
This is the first in a series studying connection/disconnections. It seems that while the world continues to become more connected virtually, there is a simultaneous disconnect between the physicality of things. We enjoy the convenience but are removed from the process. “Chocolate” uses the glass as a cutaway showing both the mechanics and the effect at the same time. Imagine the cutaway being that of a body benefiting from chocolate intake. The gears are seen at work, meanwhile the effect radiates outward beyond the cutaway view benefiting the system as a whole.

zen garden-charles gabriel-carved glass-kiln fired glass-art glass-wall mount glass Zen Garden (2010) zen garden-charles gabriel-glassworks-carved glass-art glass-kiln worked glass-frit on glass-wall mount glass on stainless zen garden-carved glass-detail-charles gabriel

“Zen Garden” is the second in the connection/disconnections series. The pattern in the center represents the manufactured sand garden creating a sense of order among the chaos. Through the surrounding clear glass, the effect of this discipline radiates outward, beyond the confines of the coloured bounds. The pattern shifts slightly as it does so, suggesting that every crossing creates a variable that inevitably changes the order. Even a single small step forward/backward naturally moves toward the inevitability of chaos.

Interconnectivity Layout SketchB Interconectivity (2015 -)

This work is still a concept. It would be the largest of the connection/disconnections series yet as a triptych of 3’x5′ glasses.

CharlesGabriel-carapace-carved glass-glass art-glass and steel-tempered glass-kiln fired glass-free standing glass sculpture Carapace (2006)

( Approx 5′ x 7′ carved, kiln-fired, tempered, polished 12mm glass; powder-coated, filled, painted 1/4″ steel stands )

From a stable base, great heights can be achieved. “Carapace” straddles the building metaphor, and that of our own potential. The literal translation is seen in the form of the substantial steel bases, with the ascending vertical panes of glass rising from them. We build protective towers of steel and glass…

The title, “Carapace”, refers to the duality in a tortoise’s home – it’s shell. A strong and stable protection from all manner of harm, a home that allows the tortoise to grow… also becomes it’s undoing in the event the tortoise becomes upended. The very pillar of it’s stability is now key to the tortoise’s vulnerability.

At the top of the 3 glasses is a concave curve as a reference to the fragility of life in this inverted “Carapace”.


CharlesGabriel-core-carved glass-free standing glasswork Core (2006)

CharlesGabriel-gasket-carved glass-free standing art glasswork- Gasket (2006)

BeeCause-carved glass-kiln fired glass-art glass-charles gabriel-free standing glass BeeCause (2013)

Being conscious of the over abundance of production goods makes the relevance of any hand crafted object even more apparent – especially one so resource intensive as glasswork. In my pieces, I will try to combine meaning with a positive aesthetic providing the viewer a level of engagement that they can set themselves.

For the bee to conquer its species-wide plight is not only critical to its own survival, but by way of an inexorably linked eco-system, to our very own. Ironic then that we continue to contribute so negatively to their environment…

BeeCause stands the bee front and center. The challenge was to make him clear yet slightly out of reach. He’s embedded in the glass – protected or encased? His plight obvious and visible, but ‘hard to grasp’ in its entirety.

I started the design idea with a much bleaker direction in mind than the final result shows. The honeycomb was to look devastated as a symbol of the bee’s surroundings having become so disrupted that their own home was becoming massively degraded. This seemed a little dark and unapproachable, so I decided to elevate the bee to a height representative of hope. Given the height of the work, any sentient adult could look straight at the image and perhaps consider the critical position this humble insect has on our own food systems?

The line that holds the circle was for design to help draw the eye vertically and connect the upper and lower elements and the circle was to put the focus on the bee. The frosted area looks like it could be the honey, but is actually a reduction of the comb. The comb itself stands proud of this ‘missing piece’. But at first glance, all seems well – we view this in much the same illusory manner our society views its own place in the ecosystem.

“BeeCause” is not meant to be negative. It is meant to be exactly the opposite – to hopefully encourage awareness, dialogue and positive change. There is no solid meaning, of course, just lots of questions that may perhaps encourage some kind of a positive buzzz…




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