Alice Benvie Gebhart
Alice Benvie Gebhart is a native Rhode Islander, born and bred into an artistic family. Her father as a painter and her grandfather a woodcarver, she was surrounded by the energy that a creative family had to share. Encouraged as a child to draw, sculpt, and paint she attended various art classes starting very early in life. Her father was her first teacher and she became a proficient oil painter under his guidance. She states, “It is important to me as an artist to combine the joy of creating with satisfaction in the outcome. I loved the painting process but was really not satisfied with my finished pieces. With my dad’s artistic spirit as a springboard, I experimented with a variety of media over the years including printmaking, ceramics, and ultimately found my journey into glass.” Benvie Gebhart’s first experimental designs for her glass creations were derived from little paper collage landscapes she had assembled during a college design class. They were encouraged by simple tree shapes and winding highway roads. The colors were vivid, the shapes were simple and they were her transformed into her first attempts at fusing with glass. Her work has transcended into a visual poetry of light and color using the vibrancy, radiancy and transparency of the glass to her advantage. She works, not to mimic nature, but to explore the inspirational quality of the landscape. The landscape, specifically trees, has continued to be a main focus in Alice Benvie Gebhart’s glasswork. The subject of “trees” has been found in art and literature throughout time. They are symbols of the branching of family; ancestral heritage and solid relationships. The tradition of planting a tree has become a symbol of a rite of passage such as the birth of a child, a first home, or honoring the life of a loved one. Trees provide food and shelter for wildlife as well as shade and comfort for human beings. The importance of trees can be found throughout every culture and religion. “The glass construction and firing process of my kiln formed glass is reminiscent of the ritual of planting a tree and watching it grow. I am reminded of a poem by Mary Oliver: Around me, the trees stir in their leaves and call out, "Stay awhile."The light flows from their branches. I pose to move the viewer to stay awhile, to see the light and movement and beauty and color in my glass creations. The creation of this work becomes my own private rite of passage by continuing the family legacy in kiln-formed glass.”
Video Tutorial: Building A Landscape w/ Alice Benvie Gebhart
In this video lesson Alice Benvie Gebhart, glass artist and international educator, will take you through every step of her process for building and layering a glass landscape. This video lesson will introduce you to simple design techniques and will give you a basis for color choices that you can utilize in all your art glass. Follow along with Alice, through the many chapters of this video as you work with her to create a glass landscape from start to finish. Learn how to grid your photo as a means to transfer the basic foreground, middle ground, and background to your glass. Make individual design and color decisions by implementing tools such as Pinterest, color wheel computer, and color scheme test tiles. This video tutorial will give you the tools you need to incorporate cut glass; make powder wafers; form, melt and implement vitrigraph stringers; add scrafitto with black enamel and use gold overglaze to make a piece that doesn’t just copy the artist’s vision but allows you to have your own voice. Students will also learn how to make a glass billet for a base and will explore other display options to take your piece from foundation to professional completion.
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