The conveyance of color and light are central to Ethan Stern's work. Simple flattened vessel forms pair with intensely carved surfaces faceted with geometric patterns to create a prismatic lattice of color and light that changes dynamically with even a simple shift in orientation. Drawing inspiration from the American Brilliant Cut Glass of the late 19th century his work celebrates the traditions of the historical art form.
In the Bemis Building since 2006 Stern uses centuries old wheel-cutting tools to carve deeply in to the glass to create a high relief surface that is designed to reflect and refract light. However, unlike the cut glass vessels of the past, these sculptures are not vessels designed to hold things but containers to hold light.
He has taught sculpture at the University of Washington, Pilchuck Glass School, Pratt Fine Arts Center, The Penland School of Craft and the Pittsburgh Glass Center. His work is widely exhibited and held in museum collections internationally.
Photo Credit : Russell Johnson