One of my many favorite things to do is take a small boat out on a calm, foggy day, without a compass. The sea is like glass, and I am totally surrounded by the gray light of fog. It is actually quite peaceful; a bit like being lost inside a big minimalist painting. Of course, the only way out is to keep going until you hit something.
Caleb Nichols – Glass Artist!
Caleb Nichols is at an exciting stage: after some 20 years of working in glass, he has reached the point where his ideas, not technical virtuosity, come first. As a result, his work has grown in size to 30-inch sculptural pieces and his imagery has expanded. Still inspired by the moods and vastness of the ocean, he has lately been pushing his concepts a step further. “It’s interesting,” he explains “the wilder and more colorful I make these pieces, the more they invoke a sense of calm. A funny kind of inverse effect.”.
How would you describe your artistic style?
Caleb has discovered a new eloquence. “It’s taken me years,” he says “to make something simple and not have the urge to gussy it up.” Influenced by Japanese art, a quiet sensibility is poking through after years of experimenting in the studio. Like all other glass addicts, Nichols has done his share of obsessing on technique. In his quest to “build a better vocabulary,” he has mastered such standards as blowing, casting, annealing and fusing. He has even devised one of his own: smashing. “I blow these forms,” he states, “then hit them with a hammer.”
This leaves him with chunks of glass that become fog, froth, foam, waves, beach stones and boulders in his fused works. The technique, which allows him to work bigger without requiring assistance, gives his work its distinctively rough dynamics. Interestingly, the medium brought him to the subject. Even though he has gone to Penobscot Bay in Maine “all my life” and seeks out Winslow Homers in museums, and even though he loves to sail and drive power boats and spends hours contemplating the ocean, he enrolled in studio arts at Tulane University to draw live models, not seascapes. There he stumbled into glass, got hooked, and the medium’s parallels with water brought him back to the jagged coast of Maine and his New England roots. “I like to take the traditional idea of a seascape,” he explains, “and bring it into contemporary glass.”
I like to blow glass, hit it with a hammer, and make things!
A few pieces from Caleb Nichols’s gallery
More about Caleb Nichols
Shows & Exhibitions
Selected Exhibitions, Collections, and Awards
2015 Burleson LLP, Houston, Texas
2014 Baylor,Scott,White Hospital,Waxatachee, Texas
2014 Lockton Insurance Co, Dallas,Texas
2013 Wyndemere Country Club,Wyndemere ,Florida
2012 The Bennett Group, Chevy Chase, Maryland
2011 The Venetian Macau, Macau, China
2010 Fairmont Hotel, Southampton, Bermuda
2009 Ruth Chris Steakhouse, Orlando, Florida
2009 The Clare at Watertower, Chicago, Illinois
2008 Gaylord National, Washington, D.C
2008 Coast Galleries, Carmel, California
2007 Westport Yachts, Seattle ,Washington
2006 Saving Tiny Hearts Society, Chicago, Illinois
2006 Cape Cod Hospital, Falmouth, Massachusetts
2005 Panche Gallery, Mendocino, Ca
2004 Philabaum Gallery, Tuscon, Arizona 2002 Hoypoloi, Walt Disney World ,Florida
2002 Chalk Farm Gallery, London ,England
2002 National Liberty Museum, Philadelphia ,Pennsylvania
2001 Glass Weekend, Wheaton Village, Wheaton, New Jersey
2001 ‘Lino Tagliapietra e’ Amici’ , Fuller Art Museum, Brockton, Ma.
2000 Mystic Seaport Museum, Mystic ,Connecticut
2000 Kittrell Riffkind Gallery Dallas ,Texas
1999 Goldsmith Gallery, Sitka, Alaska
1999 Virginia Lynch Gallery, Tiverton ,Rhode Island
1998 Ringling Museum, Sarasota, Florida
1998 Paramount Pictures/Star Trek, Hollywood , California
1998 Dolphin Galleries, Maui, Hawaii
1998 Pismo, Denver ,Colorado
1997 WGBH, Boston, Massachusetts
- Eclipse Gallery, Bar Harbor ,Maine
- Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
- Gallery Dorita, Atlanta ,Georgia
- Barrucci Gallery, St. Louis ,Missouri
- Oppenheimer Funds, Boston ,Massachusetts
- Galleria of Sculpture, Palm Beach ,Florida
- Phoenix Rising Gallery, Seattle, Washington
- Merrill Chase Galleries, Chicago ,Illinois
- Metiers D’Art, Milan ,Italy
- The White House, Washington , D.C.
- Gotthelf’s Gallery, Vail,Colorado
- The Rachael Collection, Aspen ,Colorado
- North Haven Art Association, North Haven, Maine
- International Exhibition of Glass, Kanazawa ,Japan
- Coca-Cola, Atlanta ,Georgia
- Schwartzchild Award for Glass, Richmond ,Virginia