Mark Matthews is internationally recognized for his work in glass, especially glass spheres. Highly collected and valued, Mark's work has been published in many books and magazines. His work is held in museums around the globe. In 1985, Mark was invited to open a glass business within the Sauder Village. It was here that he began to explore radically diverse color systems and historical glass techniques within the spherical format. Many surprising results and discoveries were made as a result of this endeavor.
Mark's "Ice Blue Air Numbers" was inspired by a Swedish air-trap paperweight made in the 1950s. His experimentation with this technique soon led to "precision air entrapment" of the integers 0 through 9, and later the entire alphabet. This work eventually led to the resolution of truly three dimensional figurative air bubbles.
One of Mark's most exciting developments is the animal skin spheres. The resulting patterns within the glass are highly accurate to specific pelts from the National Museum of Natural History. This work led to the resolution of 20 mammal pattern spheres, all in perfect scale to one another. The "Life and Death" series is a comprehensive installation consisting of premium examples of the animal skin spheres. An example of the first Tiger and Leopard spheres are included in the permanent collection of the prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Mark brings several radically different designs together within a hemispherical bowl to evoke a unique vignette. "Birthday," "Rio de Janeiro" and "Return of the Great White Hunter II" are examples of the genre. "Nine Balls in a Bowl" was acquired for the permanent collection of the Ohio Craft Museum. "Birthday" is part of the permanent collection of the Toledo Museum of Art.
One of Mark's most impressive works is the Population Portrait Marble Jar editions. The last edition,"Population Portrait IX," is a culmination of a 10-year effort and the fifth generation of Marble Jars. The Population Portrait series was always an exercise to discover the maximum diversity possible within the category of glass spheres. Population Portraits were autobiographical in the sense that they contain the finest examples within each major category that had been developed to that point. Close scrutiny reveals an intricate set of interdependent relationships. It is an entity that allows for free play between imagination and rational understanding within the mind of the viewer.
The newest dynasties of Graal Black and White spheres are inspired by cultural and ethnic themes. "Chevron Eye," "Vortex Labyrinth" and "Circle Mesh" are spectacular and elegantly resolved. Many unprecedented issues of intention and implementation were faced and solved during the development of this new series.
Contact the artist directly:
Matthews Art Glass
PO Box 332
Archbold, OH 43502
Glass Studio: 419-446-9469