3 Questions Digital Series

Susan Gott

An interview from Art in Embassies 3 Questions Digital Series with Susan Gott, who speaks about her creative process and artwork.

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Full Transcript

My name is Susan Gott and I work with Glass, specifically cast glass and large scale sculptural glass. I think I was born an artist. Being an artist has allowed me to travel and I find inspiration in my travels and studying ancient cultures.

And there’s a lot of different layers to my work, so some of my work is more figurative and there are spiritual elements in it. But some of them might even be a bit whimsical. And then some of the other forms, particularly some of the round forms that I make of the spirals, are my reinterpretation of maybe something

much more ancient and looking at it in a contemporary way. There’s been some time in my life where I’ve I’ve lost either lost people in my life or I’ve lost touch with people in my life. And I’ve found that making a piece in glass about them or about trying to be in touch with them again reconnected me

with them, even though I didn’t speak to them again. So it became a spiritual outlet like a conduit to the other side. And you’ll often find the concentric rings stamped into the glass, which when the light shows on it, it creates these ripple effects and objects in glass that speak to me about spirit like nothing else does

. The quality of life presents itself as that connection to spirit. So it’s all of those things. I start with drawings and then I carve the primarily in a Styrofoam form and then we pack sand around that form. It’s a hard mold, and I can manipulate the mold carbon to the mold, layer the color into it, pour the

hot glass into the mold and put it away and aneel it or cool it or anywhere from 48 hours to maybe a couple of weeks. The cooling process is controlled by a computer. Then, after the cooling, the pieces come out of the mold.

The mold is destroyed, so it’s a one time use small and we grind and polish the surfaces using different diamond tools. Wet belt Sanders grinders. So there’s a lot of finished work that you don’t see behind the scenes the grinding polishing of the glass, especially with the cast glass, because it opens up the windows so you can

see into the piece. There is definitely a lot of excitement in the making of the glass flooring, the intensity, the heat, the color, but it is very rewarding when you pull it out weeks later and you hold it up to the light.

And you see the colors and you see that everything worked. But then there’s kind of another space is if you grind and polish it and you open up these different facets, that brings the whole nother element to the piece.

Generally, I say it takes about six to eight weeks from the planning phase, the creation of the mole. The casting part may not take long. That might be just 15 or 20 minutes to cast it, but you have all these steps along the way.

Before and after that. There’s a lot of hours that go into a big piece. I built my own studio back in the early nineties. I bought this property because it had commercial zoning, and I knew I could build a studio on it.

So we run approximately 600 Bernice and about seven and Neil hours. So it’s a woman owned, built run. Of course, with the help of a lot of people along the way. But I laid it out from the very beginning on a piece of graph paper.

I knew where I wanted the furnace. I knew how much gas I needed. I knew how much electrical we needed to bring in. It’s all me. one of them is called calendar wheel, and it is actually inspired by my trips to Mexico.

It’s cast glass desk round and it has actually the interpretation of the Mayan glyphs. The Mayan calendar carved around the outside edges with moons and stars and spirals through the piece. But it’s inspired by going to the Mayan ruins and the ball courts.

They would have these giant stone discs and they would play a game where they would try to get the rubber ball through that hole. And to me, that always it came like this interesting, iconic metaphor that they would do it in stone.

And it didn’t. It wasn’t just a ball game for them. It was about the transition of Venus in the stars and moons and the Pleiades because they were so in tune with astrological imagery and and following it. So I thought it was a wonderful metaphor to translate it into glass.

So I think that piece is especially important going down to Guatemala, because perhaps somebody else might see that in it. What I see in.