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Oral history interview with Billie Ruth Sudduth

Interviewee:
Sudduth, Billie Ruth  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Names:
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Huntingdon College (Montgomery, Ala.) -- Students  Search this
John Campbell Folk School -- Faculty  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Smithsonian Craft Show  Search this
University of Alabama -- Students  Search this
Bringle, Cynthia, 1939-  Search this
Gingrass, Katie  Search this
Risatti, Howard, 1943-  Search this
Ross, Caroline Sedestrom  Search this
Trapp, Kenneth R.  Search this
Extent:
3 Sound discs (Sound recording (4 hr., 42 min.), digital, 2 5/8 in.)
81 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound discs
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2007 July 26-27
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Billie Ruth Sudduth conducted 2007 July 26-27, 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 Bakersville, North Carolina.
Sudduth speaks of her childhood in Alabama; her adoptive family; growing up in a creative and musical environment; an early exposure to women working with their hands; buying a Cherokee basket at age 12; childhood piano lessons and later exploring rhythm in her baskets; attending Huntingdon College; a strained relationship with her mother; meeting her biological family; attending the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa and earning a Master's degree in social work; working as a social worker and psychologist for over 20 years; balancing a career with family; taking a basket-making class in an effort to relax and do something for herself; making baskets in spare time and teaching herself new techniques; her family's move to Las Vegas, Nevada; teaching basket-making classes to adults; developing Math in a Basket curriculum; an interest in Fibonacci and the inclusion of its ratio in her baskets; an interest in color and natural dyes; returning to North Carolina and focusing full time on basket making; receiving a North Carolina Arts Council Emerging Artists grant to photo-document her body of work; becoming interested in chaos theory and its application to her basketry; the popularity and success of Math in a Basket; teaching experiences at Penland School of Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and John Campbell Folk School; receiving a North Carolina Arts Council Visual Artist grant to study Cherokee, Choctaw, and other Native American tribes' basketry; her extensive basket collection; the honor of being named a North Carolina Living Treasure; participating in juried shows, including exhibiting at the Smithsonian Craft Show for 12 years and the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show for seven years; the evolution of her workspace and studio; making the Carolina snowflake, which was exhibited at the White House; her exhibition history; an increasing respect for and recognition of baskets as art objects; the advantages university-trained artists have over self-taught artists; learning the business side of art making through trial and error; living and working in an incredible community of artists and collectors in North Carolina; a growing interest and participation in donating her baskets for fundraisers; and looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren. Sudduth also recalls Cynthia Bringle, Carol Sedestrom Ross, Kenneth Trapp, Howard Risatti, Katie Gingrass, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Billie Ruth Sudduth is a basketmaker from Bakersville, North Carolina. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is a curator and writer from San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 15 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 42 min.
Provenance:
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.
Occupation:
Psychologists -- North Carolina  Search this
Social workers -- North Carolina  Search this
Topic:
Basket makers -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Basket making  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.suddut07
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw935479105-c28a-49ff-a40d-87c8cdb150c3
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-suddut07
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Mark Peiser

Interviewee:
Peiser, Mark, 1938-  Search this
Interviewer:
Halem, Henry  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago  Search this
Glass Art Society  Search this
Illinois Institute of Technology. Institute of Design -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Penland School of Crafts -- Students  Search this
Purdue University -- Students  Search this
Bernstein, William, 1945-  Search this
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Dreisbach, Fritz  Search this
Littleton, Harvey K.  Search this
Extent:
68 Pages (Transcript)
6 Items (Sound recording: 6 sound files (3 hr., 55 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2004 February 26
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Mark Peiser conducted 2004 February 26, by Henry Halem, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Penland, North Carolina.
Peiser speaks of growing up in Chicago; his relationship with his parents; developing an early interest in music and engineering; attending Perdue University and transferring to the Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology; working for a design firm in Chicago; becoming interested in glass after seeing an exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago; attending a workshop at Penland School of Crafts; becoming Penland's first Artist-in-Residence in glass and developing a technique on his own; working with Fritz Dreisbach to set up the first Glass Art Society conference; making improvements to the Penland glass studio; teaching at Penland; making a living as an artist; making opal glass for the first time; choosing certain imagery and color in his work; experimenting with technique including glass casting; making his Innerspace series; his relationship with collectors; finding challenges with his latest body of work; and the influence of Zen on his art. Peiser also recalls Harvey Littleton, Bill Brown, Billy Bernstein, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Mark Peiser (1938- ) is a glass artist from Penland, North Carolina. Henry Halem (1938- ) is a glass artist from Kent, Ohio.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 6 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 55 min.
Provenance:
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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Glass artists -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Glass art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.peiser04
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9cb0d80a0-a2c6-4d6e-8579-27bf3086ae41
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-peiser04
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Paulus Berensohn

Interviewee:
Berensohn, Paulus  Search this
Interviewer:
Shapiro, Mark, 1955-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Bennington College -- Students  Search this
Columbia University -- Students  Search this
Goddard College -- Students  Search this
Juilliard School -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
New York Philharmonic  Search this
Pendle Hill (School : Wallingford, Pa.) -- Faculty  Search this
Penland School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Swarthmore College -- Faculty  Search this
Yale University -- Students  Search this
Anderson, Ian, 1947-  Search this
Bennion, Joseph W., 1952-  Search this
Brown, Carolyn  Search this
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Charlip, Remy  Search this
Cowles, Fleur  Search this
Cunningham, Merce  Search this
Dunn, Robert G.  Search this
Ekman, June  Search this
Garfinkel, Ron  Search this
Graham, Martha  Search this
Karnes, Karen, 1925-2016  Search this
Kokis, George  Search this
Mendes, Jerry  Search this
Oliver, Mary, 1935-  Search this
Peterson, Mary  Search this
Pieser, Jane  Search this
Raine, Yvonne  Search this
Richards, Mary Caroline  Search this
Stanford, Verne  Search this
Stannard, Ann  Search this
Supree, Burton  Search this
Takaezu, Toshiko  Search this
Williams, Gerald, 1926-2014  Search this
Extent:
60 Pages (Transcript)
7 Items (Sound recording: 7 sound files (4 hr., 13 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Australia -- Description and Travel
Date:
2009 March 20-21
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Paulus Berensohn conducted 2009 March 20-21, by Mark Shapiro, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Berensohn's home and studio, in Penland, North Carolina.
Berensohn speaks of growing up in New York City and his family; his brother Lorin Bernsohn, cellist with the New York Philharmonic; his problems with dyslexia as a child and yet his interest in reading and learning; an early interest in dance and the lack of support he received from his family; his admittance into Yale University, from where he quickly removed himself to attend Goddard College in Vermont; after Goddard attending Columbia University, Juilliard, and Bennington College while studying dance; studying under both Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham; his relationship with M.C. Richards; his first teaching job at Pendle Hill in Pennsylvania that lead to teaching at Swarthmore College for four years; his want to become a production potter while living on a farm in rural Pennsylvania where he created an artist commune; working with pinched pots and moving to Penland, North Carolina to teach workshops at the Penland School of Crafts; his book, "Finding Your Way With Clay," which started as a journaling and teaching project while at Penland; his interest in book art via his interest in journaling; the importance of clay as a healing material that connects humanity and the earth and his role as an advocate for clay; his work in and travels to Australia; recent photography projects and his busy and active schedule. Berensohn also recalls Remy Charlip, June Ekman, Fleur Cowles, John Cage, Robert Dunn, Yvonne Rainer, Carolyn Brown, Mary Oliver, Karen Karnes, Burt Supree, Toshiko Takaezu, Ann Stannard, Gerry Williams, George Kokis, Joe Bennion, Bill Brown, Jane Pieser, Ron Garfinkel, Jenny Mendes, Ian Anderson, Verne Stanford, Meg Peterson, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Paulus Berensohn (1933-2017) was a poet, ceramic artist, dancer, and educator in Penland, North Carolina. Mark Shapiro (1955- ) is executive director of Lumina Art Gallery, in New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 SD memory cards. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 13 min.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds the papers of Paulus Berensohn.
Provenance:
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.
Topic:
Artists' books  Search this
Ceramicists -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Communal living  Search this
Dance -- Study and teaching  Search this
Diaries -- Authorship  Search this
Dyslexia  Search this
Photography  Search this
Poets -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Ceramics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.berens09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9e6399d8a-79fe-4885-b26c-7221f925e076
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-berens09
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Harlan Butt

Interviewee:
Butt, Harlan W., 1950-  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
American Craft Council  Search this
Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Enamelist Society  Search this
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design -- Faculty  Search this
San Diego State University -- Faculty  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
Southern Illinois University at Carbondale -- Students  Search this
Tyler School of Art -- Students  Search this
University of North Texas -- Faculty  Search this
Brooks, Jan  Search this
Glantz, Ken  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Lechtzin, Stanley, 1936-  Search this
Moty, Eleanor  Search this
Paley, Albert  Search this
Pijanowski, Eugene, 1938-  Search this
Pijanowski, Hiroko Sato, 1942-  Search this
Pujol, Elliot  Search this
Scanga, Italo, 1932-2001  Search this
Shirk, Helen Z., 1942-  Search this
Snyder, Gary, 1930-  Search this
Staffel, Rudolf, 1911-2002  Search this
Winokur, Robert, 1933-  Search this
Extent:
7 Items (Sound recording: 7 sound files (5 hr., 19 min.), digital, wav)
90 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Australia -- Description and Travel
India -- description and travel
Japan -- Description and Travel
Date:
2009 July 27-28
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Harlan W. Butt conducted 2009 July 27-28, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Butt's studio, in Ptarmigan Meadows, Colorado.
Harlan Butt speaks of the influence of Asian art on his work; the use of text and imagery in his work; the use of pattern in his work; his undergraduate minor in weaving; the influence of Asian religion and mythology; series The Earth Beneath Our Feet , Garden Anagogies, and Snakes in Heaven; his childhood growing up in Hopewell, New Jersey, near Princeton; undergraduate work at Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; discovery of Buddhism and Eastern religions; his mother's death when he was 20; studying with Stanley Lechtzin and Elliot Pujol at Tyler; graduate school at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; interest in Japanese tea ceremony; more exploration of Zen Buddhism; use of color in his work; studying with L. Brent Kington; reliquary series; move to Connecticut in 1974; second trip to Japan in 1984 to co-curate Kyoto Metal: An Exhibition of Contemporary Japanese Art Metalwork; introduction to Japanese system of artisan apprenticeship; early efforts as a writer and poet; the influence of poet Gary Snyder; summer teaching position at Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; teaching job at San Diego [California] State University in the mid-1970s; rattles and pipes series; exploring the Western landscape; the power of the snake image; taking a teaching position at University of North Texas, Denton (1976- ); first trip to Japan in 1980; differences in artisanal/metalworking practices in Japan and the United States; teaching workshops at various craft schools, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina; Haystack School of Crafts, Deer Isle, Maine; and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, compared with teaching in a university; the pros and cons of the gallery system; work with the Nancy Yaw Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan; the challenge of commission work; National Parks Project, Denton Center for the Visual Arts, Denton, Texas; the role of haiku and text in his pieces; series 1,001 Views of Mt. Mu; series Snakes in Heaven; the influence of his wife and children; trip to India and organizing Colour & Light: The Art and Craft of Enamel on Metal, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, 2001; trip to Australia; involvement with the Society of North American Goldsmiths, Enamelist Society, and American Craft Council; subtle issues of environmentalism in his work; his affinity for metalsmithing and enameling. He also recalls [Rudolf] Staffel, Robert Winokur, Italo Scanga, Jan Brooks, Mike Riegel, Rachelle Thiewes, Eleanor Moty, Albert Paley, Shumei Tanaka, Ken Glantz (Ken Chowder), Randy Thelma Coles, Sandy Green, Mickey McCarter, Gene Pijanowski, Hiroko Pijanowski, Toshihiro Yamanaka, Helen Shirk, Ana Lopez, and Sarah Perkins.
Biographical / Historical:
Harlan W. Butt (1950- ) is an artist, metalsmith, and educator in Denton, Texas. Mija Riedel (1958- ) is a writer and independent scholar in San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound mini discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 19 min.
Provenance:
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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Art teachers -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Art, Asian  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Buddhism  Search this
Metal-workers -- Texas -- Interviews  Search this
Weaving  Search this
Japanese tea ceremony  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.butt09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw990c0174f-3e27-4a2f-bccb-8d302a50d30d
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-butt09
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Fritz Dreisbach

Interviewee:
Dreisbach, Fritz  Search this
Interviewer:
Frantz, Susanne K.  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Alfred University  Search this
Glass Art Society  Search this
Hiram College -- Students  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Pilchuck Glass Center (Stanwood, Wash.) -- Faculty  Search this
Toledo Museum of Art  Search this
University of Iowa -- Students  Search this
University of Wisconsin--Madison -- Students  Search this
Bailey, Clayton, 1939-2020  Search this
Bernstein, William, 1945-  Search this
Boysen, Bill  Search this
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Chihuly, Dale, 1941-  Search this
Dailey, Dan, 1947-  Search this
Eisch, Erwin, 1927-  Search this
Giberson, Dudley  Search this
Halem, Henry  Search this
Labino, Dominick  Search this
Leafgreen, Harvey  Search this
Lipofsky, Marvin, 1938-2016  Search this
Littleton, Harvey K.  Search this
McGlauchlin, Tom, 1934-2011  Search this
Myers, Joel Philip, 1934-  Search this
Noffke, Gary  Search this
Tamura, Ruth  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
Extent:
121 Pages (Trancript)
21 Items (Sound recording: 21 sound files (8 hr., 41 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Ohio -- Description and Travel
Date:
2004 April 21-22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Fritz Dreisbach conducted 2004 April 21-22, by Susanne Frantz, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Tucson, Arizona.
Dreisbach speaks of growing up in Ohio, in a family of educators and deciding at an early age to become a teacher; taking high school art; pursuing a BA in art and mathematics at Hiram College; getting his MAT and teaching high school math; attending the University of Iowa to study painting; the impact of taking a summer class in glassblowing; visiting Dominick Labino at his studio; researching colored glass and glass chemistry; becoming Harvey K. Littleton's teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin, Madison; building a hot shop and teaching at the Toledo Museum of Art; teaching at Penland School of Crafts; creating the Glass Art Society with Mark Peiser after attending a NCECA conference; moving to Seattle to make glass colors for The Glass Eye; and working for Spectrum Glass Company. Dreisbach also speaks of the importance of community among glass artists; taking part in glass symposia in Frauenau, Germany; traveling around the country to teach workshops, known as his "Road Show"; making representational pop-style pieces as well as historical reference pieces; collaborating on a stained glass window with Gary Noffke; developing techniques for making goblets; working with Dante Marioni on a series of goblets; his commissioned pieces, including the Corning Pokal; engraving glass; his Mongo series; selling works through galleries; the influence of the Italian glass artists; teaching at Pilchuck Glass School; Dominick Labino's career and innovations in glass technology; being invited to give the Samuel R. Scholes lecture at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University; serving twice as Glass Art Society president; inaccuracies in the history of American studio glass; taking part in GAS conferences at Fenton Glass Factory; the importance of the rise of the university-trained glass artist in the 1960s; going to Pilchuck for the first time; meeting international glass artists; attending symposia at Novy Bor, Czech Republic; and his plans for the future. Dreisbach also recalls Tom McGlauchlin, Clayton Bailey, Erwin Eisch, Dale Chihuly, Bill Brown, Marvin Lipofsky, Joel Myers, Billy Bernstein, Dan Dailey, Dudley Giberson, Harvey Leafgreen, Bill Boysen, Henry Halem, Peter Voulkos, Ruth Tamura, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Fritz Dreisbach (1941- ) is a glass artist from Tucson, Arizona. Susanne Frantz is a writer and curator from Paradise Valley, Arizona.
General:
Originally recorded on 8 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 21 digital wav files. Duration is 8 hr., 41 min.
Provenance:
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.
Occupation:
Glass artists -- Arizona -- Tucson  Search this
Glass artists -- Italy  Search this
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Painting -- Study and teaching  Search this
Glass art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.dreisb04
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9f3b3b115-08fd-40c6-b8a5-8042b0c53c44
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-dreisb04
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Robert Levin

Interviewee:
Levin, Robert, 1948-  Search this
Interviewer:
Byrd, Joan Falconer  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Denison University -- Students  Search this
Glass Art Society  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Pilchuck School -- Students  Search this
Southern Illinois University (System) -- Students  Search this
Bernstein, William, 1945-  Search this
Brown, William J. (William Joseph), 1923-1992  Search this
Dreisbach, Fritz  Search this
Handler, Audrey  Search this
Levin, Robert, 1948-  Search this
Littleton, Harvey K.  Search this
Peiser, Mark, 1938-  Search this
Ritter, Richard Q.  Search this
Extent:
32 Pages (Transcript)
3 Items (Sound recordings: 3 sound files (3 hr., 14 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
2004 December 11
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Robert Levin conducted 2004 December 11, by Joan Byrd, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Burnsville, North Carolina.
Levin speaks of growing up in Dundalk, Maryland; participating in theater in high school; attending Denison University; becoming interested in ceramics and glass; attending graduate school at Southern Illinois University; working as an assistant to Fritz Dreisbach at Pilchuck Glass School; teaching at Penland School of Crafts; becoming resident glass artist at Penland; influential artists; moving to Celo; the North Carolina craft community; the element of play in his work; mixing glass colors; keeping variety in his work; the process of making sculptural and functional pieces; the influence of nature and other cultures on his work; including political and social statements in his work; making mixed-media pieces; working on commission; making Judaica pieces; the glass blowing process; being part of an international glass tradition; participating in the Glass Art Society; the reasons he enjoys teaching; attending GAS conferences; participating in regional art organizations; his home studio and the equipment he uses; how his working process has changed; designing a series of awards; his interest in music and guitar; the qualities of glass; and the importance of intuitiveness in creating his pieces. Levin also recalls Audrey Handler, Bill Boysen, Bill Brown, Richard Ritter, Bill Bernstein, Mark Peiser, Harvey Littleton, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Levin (1948- ) is a glass artist from Burnsville, North Carolina. Joan Falconer Byrd (1939- ) is a professor in the art department, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 14 min.
Provenance:
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.
Topic:
Art -- North Carolina  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Glass artists -- North Carolina -- Interviews  Search this
Jewish art  Search this
Glass art  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.levin04
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9d0dd5e53-130f-4a94-a999-7b0af81a6552
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-levin04
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Boris Bally

Interviewee:
Bally, Boris  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Carnegie-Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) -- Faculty  Search this
Carnegie-Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) -- Students  Search this
Comedy Central (Firm)  Search this
Massachusetts College of Art -- Faculty  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Snyderman Gallery  Search this
Society of Arts and Crafts (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
Tyler School of Art -- Students  Search this
Velvet da Vinci Gallery  Search this
Works Gallery  Search this
Agro, Elisabeth R.  Search this
Ballay, Joe, 1938-  Search this
Bonner, Jonathan, 1947-  Search this
Cianci, Vincent Albert, Jr., 1941-2016  Search this
Dahm, Johanna  Search this
Ebendorf, Robert, 1938-  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983  Search this
Gialamas, Rosemary, 1962-  Search this
Greenbaum, Toni  Search this
Holt, Steven, 1957-  Search this
Ilse-Neuman, Ursula  Search this
Kangas, Matthew  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Kowal, Dennis  Search this
Kumata, Carol  Search this
Künzli, Otto, 1948-  Search this
Lechtzin, Stanley, 1936-  Search this
Metcalf, Bruce, 1949-  Search this
Nasher, Patsy  Search this
Nasher, Raymond  Search this
Raab, Rosanne  Search this
Schaffner, Alexander  Search this
Simon, Marjorie  Search this
Skov, Mara Holt  Search this
Warhola, Paul  Search this
Wood, Joe, 1954-  Search this
Extent:
4 Sound discs (Sound recording (5 hr., 55 min.), digital)
109 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound discs
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Haiti -- description and travel
Switzerland -- description and travel
Date:
2009 May 26-27
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Boris Bally conducted 2009 May 26-27, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Bally's home and studio, in Providence, Rhode Island.
The artists speaks of his current studio in Providence, Rhode Island; working without a studio assistant; the benefits of working with studio assistants without an art-school background; apprenticing with Swiss metalsmith Alexander Schaffner when Bally was 19; his own de facto apprenticeship program with his studio assistants; his parents as role models; his vision at age 19 for his career plan; his early interest in CAD; growing up with Swiss-born parents, both with art/design backgrounds; visiting Switzerland as a child; his father's studies with Buckminster Fuller in the late 1950s; his mother's class with L. Brent Kington, whom Bally later studied with; growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; his first home metal shop at nine years old; his first formal metal class at about 14 years old; making and selling jewelry throughout his teens; informal apprenticeship with Jeff Whisner; his father's design firm, launched in his last year of high school; summer studying at the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts; year-long apprenticeship in Switzerland; watching Schaffner make and sell a wide variety of objects, which later informed Bally's own perspective; his continuing relationship with Schaffner; undergraduate studies at Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; studying with Daniella Kerner and Vickie Sedman at Tyler; transferring to Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to study with Carol Kumata; making a "happiness machine"; transition from jewelry to larger sculptures; using found and scavenged materials; meeting Rosemary Gialamas (Roy) and their eventual elopement; moving to the Boston area; work as an industrial design model-maker; the New York art scene of the 1980s; representation with Archetype Gallery, New York, New York; slow but steady artistic recognition and commercial success of his functional objects; Sliding Perfections, flatware; teaching Gialamas metalsmithing and collaborative works by the two; early teaching experience in adult education classes in Cambridge, Massachusetts, then at Massachusetts College of Art, Boston; return to Pittsburgh in 1989, where Bally took a teaching position at Carnegie Mellon in the design department; studio on Bigelow Boulevard; difficulties in his marriage; a commission from the Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, Massachusetts, and the beginnings of his traffic sign pieces in a collaborative piece with Gialamas; starting his platters series; the dissolution of his marriage to Gialamas in 1993; meeting Lynn, whom he later married; his love of teaching and his teaching philosophy; teaching at Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina; move to Providence, Rhode Island, to devote his time to studio work; the pros and cons of craft and arts schools versus university settings; the intersection of art, design, and industry: his Humanufactured line of products; functional work in the late '80s, and the influence of a trip to Haiti in the 1980s; bottle cork pieces; Trirod vessels; "More than One: Contemporary Studio Production" exhibition, American Craft Museum, New York, New York, 1992-94; philosophy of making; working in series form; truss pieces; perforation pieces and Vessel with a Silver Heart (1993); armform series; "Jewelries, Epiphanies" exhibition, Artists Foundation Gallery at Cityplace, Boston, Massachusetts, 1990; inclusion in One of a Kind: American Art Jewelry Today, by Susan Grant Lewin. (New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, 1994); series Dig Wear and Eat Wear bracelets; Calimbo vessel and the Fortunoff prize; gold Tread Wear brooches in the mid-1990s; creating his first chair; moving from hand-made solo work to furniture and a design and production focus; starting to patent his designs in the mid-1990s; further exploration of design and technique in his chairs; "GlassWear: Glass in Contemporary Jewelry," Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York, 2009; Pistol Chalice and work with the Pittsburgh gun buyback program; traveling exhibition for the project; Gun Totem; Brave necklace; BroadWay armchair; Subway chair; new techniques for graphics on the furniture; his relationship with former scrapyard Paul Warhola, brother to Andy Warhol; commission work, and the importance of commerce in his career and worldview; commission for Comedy Central television network; the changing craft market and the boom times of the 1980s; work with galleries, including: Patina, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, California; Snyderman-Works, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Nancy Sachs Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri; the Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, Massachusetts; seeing one of his pieces used on a set for a daytime television soap opera and in the movie Sex and the City ; the recent "green" (environmentally conscious) trend; blurring boundaries of design and art and craft; growing acceptance of artist-made and -designed multiples; pros and cons of computer technology in art and craft; the pros and cons of the DIY (do-it-yourself) craft movement; influential writers, including Rosanne Raab, Marjorie Simon, Steven Skov Holt and Mara Holt Skov, Bruce Metcalf, Toni Greenbaum, Matthew Kangas, Gail Brown; his involvement in the Society of North American Goldsmiths; making metal benches for his children. He also recalls Heather Guidero, Julian Jetten, Pam Moloughney, Dennis Kowal, Ursula Ilse-Neuman, Bob Ebendorf, Jason Spencer, Rob Brandegee and Ava DeMarco, Stefan Gougherty, Flo Delgado, L. Brent Kington, Curtis Aric, Ralph Düby, Steve Korpa, Joe Wood, Joe Ballay, Yves Thomann, Andy Caderas, James Thurman, Nicholas (Nico) Bally, Elena Gialamas, James Gialamas, Elvira Peake, Ronald McNeish, Johanna Dahm, Jerry Bennet, Kathleen Mulcahy, Nelson Maniscalco, Tom Mann, Otto Künzli, Stanley Lechtzin, Christopher Shellhammer, David Tisdale, Dean Powell, Daniel Carner, Donald Brecker, Robert Schroeder Phil Carrizzi, Lucy Stewart, Elisabeth Agro, Rachel Layton, Sarah Nichols, Peter Nassoit, Dan Niebels, Mary Carothers, Ward Wallau, Ivan Barnett and Alison Buchsbaum, Jonathan Bonner, Raymond and Patsy Nasher, Beth Gerstein, George Summers Jr., Pavel Opocensky, Buddy Cianci, David Cicilline.
Biographical / Historical:
Boris Bally (1961- ) is a metalsmith and designer who lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island. Bally was educated at Carnegie Mellon University and Tyler School of Art.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 11 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 56 min.
Provenance:
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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Sculptors  Search this
Topic:
Art and computers  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Designers -- Rhode Island -- Interviews  Search this
Jewelry making  Search this
Metal-workers -- Rhode Island -- Interviews  Search this
Models and modelmaking  Search this
Metal-work  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.bally09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9254c25f1-255e-47a7-b4db-21ae1609db8f
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bally09
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