Mark Hursty’s recent project concerns reviving and reinterpreting pressed glass, a serial mass production technique, for sculptural use. Ancient and overlooked press-molding is paired with CAD/CAM and waterjet to create formers for molten glass. The result is a series of modular screen systems that expand and contract like fabric. When the component vortices are linked, not only do they expand in numbers, they stretch; the elasticity of the medium binding them makes the screens into flexible membranes. As a sculptural object, it is a screen whose variable forming qualities allow it to generate the permanence or dynamism, stillness or motion that site specificity requires. As an artefact, it compiles the history of pressed glass from primitive hand pressing to digital manufacture and back in the form of assisted interventions. Pressure is used as an instrument in a creative relational sense; here, it is embodied in formable, permeable dividers that mediate cultural space and provide a literal backdrop to the notions of absence and presence contained within their interstitial spaces.
About the Artist
Mark Hursty is a glass and new media artist, teacher and researcher. He has been invited to teach "The Glass Electric" workshop at Pilchuck Glass School in 2018 and 2019. In 2017, he completed his Ph.D. from the National Glass Centre (NGC), University of Sunderland, UK. He was a 2011-12 Fulbright Fellow at Tsinghua University in Beijing where he researched and taught glass studio practice across China. Mark founded Hurstin Studio Glass and Metal in Hamilton, MA, in 1999 and received his MFA from Alfred University in Glass and Sculptural and Dimensional Studies in 2008. His BFA (1993) is from Rhode Island School of Design. His work has been exhibited internationally including at the Shanghai Museum of Glass, Ken Saunders Gallery (Chicago), Lattitude Gallery (Boston), S.O.F.A. (Chicago), and the Museum of Contemporary Craft (Portland, OR). He has participated in symposia about contemporary glass art including at Urban Glass (Glass Pedagogy Forum, 2015), The Gerrit Rietveld Acadamie (Glass Virus Think Tank, The Netherlands, 2016 and 2018), and National Academy of Art and Design (Glass Society of Ireland Annual Conference, Dublin, 2014). His work was included in The Corning Museum of Glass New Glass Review 30 (2009), and his writing has been published including in The Glass Arts Society Journal (2014).