NEWARK, NJ (April 16, 2018) — Sandra Charlap’s job requires her to come up with new and creative uses for broken glass, and to teach kids to do the same.
“Showing kids how to create glass mosaics provides many ‘teachable moments’, beyond safety lessons. When students are working on a large mosaic as a team they have the chance to learn a craft, but it also encourages them to think of the larger picture – that making art could become a career.”
As the newly appointed Lead Flat Shop Instructor for GlassRoots’, a seventeen year old non-profit arts-education studio in Newark, Ms. Charlap is taking an ancient art-form in a few, new and novel directions.
“I’m a curious artist. I’m trained as a painter but I utilize lots of different materials as if they were paint, including glass. Any material with a wide range of color can function like paint.”
“Flat-work” is the term used to describe functional pieces or works of art made with cut-glass that is fused together, or glued together then grouted as a mosaic. In fused-glass projects, separate pieces of glass are heated together in a kiln. This method has been around for about 2000 years.1 Mosaics date back as far as the 3rd century in Mesopotamia.
Sandra’s new portrait series at GlassRoots utilizes fused-glass, and focuses on everyone’s two favorite subjects; their pets, and themselves. These glass portraits can range from sweet and whimsical, to elegant and impressive, depending upon the skill of the student.
“Ten years ago I began doing Pet Portraits in watercolor. When I started here at GlassRoots I immediately thought of translating them into glass. I’m happy to teach anyone how to create a portrait in glass, from beginners to established artists who already work in glass, or any other form.”
Initially trained in illustration at Parsons School of Design, Sandra went on to earn her MFA at Montclair State University with a concentration in printmaking, and initially opened her own design business, designing and creating custom tabletop ceramics for Barney’s, Henri Bendel, Neiman Marcus and ABC Carpet and Home. Over the course of her career Sandra added mastery in watercolor, acrylic, oils, print collage and mosaics to her skill set. For five years Sandra was the primary art teacher for grades 6 to 12 at Golda Och Academy in West Orange, NJ.
In her new mosaic series, Sandra takes the ubiquitous smiley-face emoji and teaches workshop attendees how to turn them into permanent statements in glass tile, which can be framed and hung, or displayed on an easel. “I call them emoj-aics”. It’s a great way to connect with students in a language they already speak, while getting them to expand their range of self-expression. There really is no limit as to what you can do with glass.”
Sandra continues to show and sell her work to a wide audience while she brings her artistic and entrepreneurial spirit to GlassRoots.
1. Source: SAMA Society of American Mosaic Art www.americanmosaics.org
About GlassRootsGlassRoots is a Newark-based 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for achievement to youth and young adults by engaging them in the creation of glass art and the development of entrepreneurial and life skills. GlassRoots programs are STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, arts and math), and are offered as in-school residencies, after-school and summer arts programs, workforce development programs, and as workshops for teens and adults, using competency in handling molten glass as a pathway to personal development. For more information, please call 973.353.9555 or email email@example.com.
Entrepreneurs and College Fellowship Graduates Showcased in Holiday Fair
NEWARK, NJ (November 30, 2017) — GlassRoots is pleased to announce its Holiday Open House in their studios at 10 Bleeker Street, Newark, NJ on Thursday, December 7, from 9am-7pm, as part of Downtown Newark’s annual “Holidays on Halsey,” a celebration of local artists and businesses.
GlassRoots is an active hot glass shop and nonprofit glass-arts education space, providing artistic and college-and-career readiness programs to the greater Newark community and beyond for over sixteen years. All GlassRoots’ hand-blown glass jewelry and art is made on site by staff and students.
This year’s holiday showcase features the jewelry of nineteen year old Newark resident Caleb Thomas, a graduate of GlassRoots’ craft entrepreneurship program Bead Shop, along with other graduates of this innovative workshop. Caleb creates his pieces using cast-off jewelry from his mother, grandmother and aunts, deconstructing the original items and adding handmade glass to produce something totally new. His necklaces, bracelets and earrings will be available for sale on Thursday. The Bead Shop program, designed as a 20-hour intensive, teaches participants the art of glass-jewelry making as well as the fundamentals of business ownership, including how to set up an online sales shop on the Etsy platform.
As a bonus, from 4pm–7pm GlassRoots will celebrate its’ six 2017 GlassRoots-Penland Fellowship graduates -- Adelin Figueroa, Melissa Tapia, Kevin Thomas, Joshua Toler, Gianna Torres and Nicholas Wisniewski, in the first ever public showing of their work. In its second year, the GlassRoots-Penland Fellowship is a college-and-career readiness program, which provides high school graduates studio and life-skills training. This program take place at GlassRoots’ Newark studios and at The Penland School of Crafts, in Penland, North Carolina over 13-weeks. Each student who successfully completes the program receives up to nine transferrable college credits.
GlassRoots is a Newark-based 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides opportunities for achievement to youth and young adults by engaging them in the creation of glass art and the development of entrepreneurial and life skills. GlassRoots programs are STEAM-based (STEM+Art), and are offered as in-school residencies, after-school and summer arts programs, workforce development programs, and as workshops for teens and adults, using competency in handling molten glass as a pathway to personal development. For more information, please call 973.353.9555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In a unique partnership with Hamilton, NJ Grounds for Sculpture, GlassRoots artists set up a portable ‘hot shop’ and ‘flameworking studio’ to celebrate the current Joyce J. Scott and Dan Clayman glass exhibitions.
Newark (October 30, 2017) – Newark-based community art studio GlassRoots enthralled hundreds of eager observers as they brought their glassblowing process out of their studios and onto the plaza at Hamilton NJ Grounds for Sculpture this weekend.
GlassRoots artists Jason Minami, James Blake, Malcolm Morano and Alix Davis thrilled onlookers as they gathered hot glass from their newly constructed portable furnace, and shaped each mass of glass by blowing air into it through a hollow pipe and crafting plates, vases and cups from the molten glass at their bench, the glassblower's workstation.
Meanwhile, GlassRoots lampworking artists Kate Dowd and Richard Paz led fifteen adults in a two-hour bead-making workshop, in a temporary flameworking studio set up in the Motor Exhibits Building. Working with 2200° torches, participants shaped molten glass into beautiful beads, which they crafted into necklaces, bracelets and other jewelry during the workshop.
GlassRoots portable hotshop was crafted by the studio’s master glassblower Jason Minami, who worked long hours in his own studio to design, cut, weld and construct a furnace, glory hole, garage, workbench and marver that could be taken to public spaces to allow greater public access to the art of glassblowing. Funding for the extension of GlassRoots’ programming was provided by the Rosenberg Ebin Family Foundation.
Now available for both educational and public entertainment programs, GlassRoots’ portable hotshop attracted and intrigued people of every age. Experiences outside of GlassRoots’ studio can now include a complete glassblowing demonstration, with highly skilled artists working with molten glass while a commentator explains the art and science of glass and answers questions.
In requesting funds to construct the portable hotshop,GlassRoots staff wrote, “Communities gain value through public art – cultural, social, and economic value. The public reflects our society and adds meaning to our cities and uniqueness to our communities. Public art humanizes the built environment and invigorates public spaces. It provides an intersection between past, present and future, between disciplines, and between ideas. Public art is freely accessible. The effort of creating art for public space is not solitary: the public art process asks the artist to share their creative point of view and approach to art-making, and to collaborate with others throughout its development. This is always true in the art of glassblowing, and is enhanced when this art form is brought public.”
Schools and organizations interested in more information about GlassRoots portable and studio programs can contact our program director, Lisa Duggan at email@example.com or by phone at 973.353.9555.
Newark-area students present their designs, products and plans in competition and trade fair
The mission of GlassRoots is to ignite and build the creative and economic vitality of greater Newark, with a focus on under-served youth and young adults, through the transformative power of the glass art experience.