Oral history interview with Ginny Ruffner, 2006 September 13-14
Ruffner, Ginny, 1952-
Riedel, Mija, 1958-
Smith, Alvy Ray
Scott, George C.
Pilchuck Glass School
University of Georgia
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Transcript: 36 pages.
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformated in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr.
Access Note / Rights:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
An interview of Ginny Ruffner conducted 2006 September 13-14, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's home and studio, in Seattle, Washington.
Ruffner speaks of her new outdoor sculpture piece, "The Urban Garden," in Seattle, Washington; receiving her B.F.A. and M.F.A. in painting and drawing at the University of Georgia; developing an interest in glass after seeing Marcel Duchamp's, "The Bride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even (Large Glass)"; spending five years learning lampworking as an apprentice/employee; teaching experiences at Pilchuck School of Glass; moving to Seattle, Washington from Atlanta, Georgia; reading as a strong influence; the significance of language and words; an interest in mathematic theories, particle physics, and cosmology; various series of artwork including Beauty, Aesthetic Engineering, Balance, and Patterns of Thought; plans for her three-part pop-up book about creativity, imagination, and wonder; travels to Japan, Italy, Australia, Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Ireland, and France; universal and subjective concepts of beauty; her recovery from the accident she suffered in 1991; a change of perception following the accident; her dislike of labeling art as whimsical; the transformative effects of experiencing installation pieces; and exhibition and installation plans for the future. Ruffner also recalls Flora Mace, Joey Kirkpatrick, Deborah Dohne, Fred Tschida, Maurine Littleton, Tom Robbins, Alvy Ray Smith, George C. Scott, Mark Leach, and others.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Ginny Ruffner, 2006 September 13-14. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for this interview was provided by the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America. Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Ginny Ruffner (1952- ) is a glass artist from Seattle, Washington. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is a curator and writer, from San Francisco, California.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001