Shinobu Kurosawa | Artist-in-Residence at The Studio

Shinobu Kurosawa | Artist-in-Residence at The Studio


Twelve years ago, I was fortunate enough to
participate in a Corning summer program, and I felt it was just a truly wonderful place. It wasn’t that I had a particular project
I wanted to work on somewhere, rather, I wanted to come here, to Corning, to do something. When I was in Japan, making my own time for
creating my own work was difficult, so I wanted to attempt a project that would take, say, a whole month. That’s when I learned about this artist-in-residence
program here in Corning, and decided to participate in the program. I produce my work using Japanese glass and burner. The temperature for Japanese burners is generally
about 1,000 degrees. The glass I use is Kinari glass. The temperature at which this glass melts
is in the range of 600-700 degrees. Its coefficient of expansion is 128. It’s said to be a very soft glass. An object made of glass with a hole in it
is called a tonbodama, a glass bead. Their origins are said to lie in the Mesopotamian
culture of approximately 3,000 years ago but it’s said that they began to be made in Japan
during the Asuka period in the latter half of the 7th century. The term tonbodama itself is said to have
spread throughout Japan during the mid-Edo period (18th century). The story is that they came to be called tonbodama
(literally “dragonfly-ball”) because they resembled the eyes of a dragonfly (tonbo). What I pay attention to while I’m working is this: I believe when one creates something, one’s feelings remain within that object. So I’m attentive to working in such a manner that my own feelings or soul can be infused into the piece I’m making. At first I was trying to create a necklace
connecting Corning and my home country of Japan, so I was concentrating on producing
that. I just thought Corning, here, was such a wonderful
place; the staff and others are so kind, and I was inspired by the place itself as well. Thus, I wanted to create a Corning necklace
that was infused with heartfelt gratitude, and with this place, with Corning, as its theme.

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