This new series of works created for the Crosscut Exhibition could be viewed as a partial revival of American cut glass. Not on a scale akin to past centuries and not one created in a factory but one that connects with a new generation engaged with handmade objects that are formed in the furnace and cut at the wheel. These pieces function not as vessels to hold things but containers to hold light. They are one of a kind unique sculptures produced through a creative process of manipulating the glass both hot and cold. They are bastions of the traditions and techniques of factory cut glass while at the same time representing a new direction inspired by the intersection of geography, architecture, and industrial design.
Pushing glass beyond the anatomy of the vessel, Ethan Stern’s work is an ongoing exploration of abstraction, color, texture and light. While glass typically reflects light and has an inherently shiny and dense appearance, He is drawn to a richer, more luminous effect that can be achieved by carving and engraving the surface. These engraved marks, like the stroke of a paintbrush on canvas or a finger pushed into clay; leave evidence of the Artists hand and are undeniably connected to his process and the nature of the material itself.