Glass cheap, practical and simple is often overlooked as an art medium, but you wont be able to look away from the vessels, sculptures and shapes on display at Hot Glass, Cool Collections, the newly opened exhibition at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. The wide--ranging show, which features about 60 pieces from the private collections of 12 local enthusiasts, includes handblown, kiln-worked, torch-worked and cold-worked glass. The collected pieces represent the multiple styles and techniques of the Studio Glass Movement, the time when glass artists distinguished themselves from factory minions and began working in highly individual ways with glass. Curvaceous, colorful vases stand alongside edgy, Technicolor bowls and practical items like decorative paperweights and drinking goblets.
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Included are such masters as Dale Chihuly, who makes abstract and sea-form sculptures; his Dough Bowl features two orange glass bowls, one set inside the other. Theres also Paul Stankard, who encases tiny glass-sculpted flowers or insects within globes of clear glass; Toots Zynsky, who works with thousands of colored glass threads; and many more, like William Morris, Harvey Littleton and Richard Marquis. Each has mastered his highly technical art, which can involve multiyear apprenticeships, and many spend months or even years on a single piece. If you enjoy the exhibition, stay tuned for the closing weekend events in March, which will include hot-glass demonstrations and talks by local artists. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Through March 15. 4848 Main. For information, call 713-529-4848 or visit www.crafthouston.org. Free.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Dec. 13. Continues through March 15, 2008