Zinsky Toots

The Netherlands, Amsterdam, 1988
Fused and kiln-formed filets de verre (glass threads)
The Corning Museum of Glass ( 88.3.45, 3rd Rakow Commission) With alternately subtle and bold strips and swatches of wire-thin lines of layered color, Toots Zynsky builds amorphous, three-dimensional canvases that defy categorization, her vessels inhabiting a region where painting, sculpture, and the decorative arts meet. For Zynsky, color reflects and defines emotion, mood, and experience. Her choices are subjective, instinctual, inspired by her travels, and grounded in the colors of the natural world.Zynsky developed her unique technique of "painting" with colored glass threads in the early 1980s. First, the thousands of multicolored threads that make up her vessels are layered onto a round metal plate. This mass of glass threads is fused inside a kiln and cooled. The fused threads are then turned over, and the outer surface of the vessel is exposed. If Zynsky likes the composition, she will complete the piece through two or more kiln firings in which the stiff mass of fused threads is heated and allowed to slowly sag over a cone-shaped mold. When the glass has softened, Zynsky reaches into the kiln, wearing asbestos gloves, and she pinches and squeezes the glass into its final form.

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