Pictured at left: Japanese Meiji Era lidded cloisonne jar, circa 1890. At right: U-cut
glass vase for Blenko Glass Company by Wayne Husted, 1959.
Owned by David Peterson, Professor of Art (Jewelry and Metals)
(About cloisonné jar)
There’s almost no ego in a piece like this, because it’s number 452, and the person making it is making more tomorrow. I’m not sure how many people worked on this or for how long, but I’m assuming probably two or three craftspeople each had their hand on it for a few days. They knew they were never going to see it again, and they’d never stick their name on it.
One thing I get from having these pieces in our home is color, certainly, because the things that I make are kind of colorless. So I think of these as the gemstones in my house, the places where there’s some color, and they’re kind of sparkly. But really it all goes back to a craft ethic, that’s what I’m always drawn toward. All three pieces have a kind of completeness to them, and are studies of a process: ‘This is how wood is worked, this is how glass is worked, this is how metal is worked, with glass fused to it.’ And the vase and the jar both come out of an industrial heritage - they were objects made for a commercial market, not for an aristocratic elite. So there’s something to that that intrigues me, and it’s something I’ve been talking about with my students.
David Peterson, 2012