Looking Glass :
self portrait by graysong
portrait of graysong by Ethan Hutchinson
about the artist
This is the place where I'm supposed to give you my "narrative," but I haven't yet found it. I can tell you some of the elements of it are print, texture, science, and glass—often with a soupçon of whimsy—but I'm still very much at the front end of my journey in art. If you'd told me, even a a few years ago, that the twisty road of my life would lead me to becoming a glass artist in Chattanooga, I would have laughed. I ended up here very much by coming in the side, if not the back, door.
I grew up in perhaps one of the most photogenic cities in America, Charleston, SC, so it's not surprising that photography became my first artistic love. It is also what, ultimately, led me to glass. In college, I majored in something "practical": Biochemistry. After college, I moved to Chicago where I worked for a major pharma company doing research. I also continued to indulge my creative side by taking photos and writing columns for a local nightlife magazine. In the course of several years of nightclub photography, I amassed a sizable catalog of images and began to toy with what I could do with them. I took printing, silkscreening, and bookbinding classes at a local art school before I found the classes that began to put the pieces together for me: Print on Clay and Print on Glass. The first time I held one of my photos recast in glass, I was hooked. I began to acquire all the glass techniques I could, gradually building a toolset ( a process that never ends, btw).
I stayed in Chicago 23 years, until a lay-off led me to evaluate what I was doing. I decided to pick up and return to the South and set up my own studio. Chattanooga was chosen for its charm and its location. After growing up on the coast, and then living in the flat of the Midwest, the mild ruggedness of the Tennessee River Valley really appealed to me.
Despite its vaguely goth sound, it has a science origin. It was the name assigned to my first VAX account some 25 years ago: last name + first initial. I took it as a nom de plume for my creative endeavors, signing my columns and photos with it.