Fabricator Dustin's typical day painting Basa's project in glass.

Public Art + Kilnformed Glass

May 20, 2019

At Bullseye Studio, we believe strongly in the power of public art to unite, inspire, provoke, and provide a vital civic good.

Likewise, we believe in the potential of kilnformed glass to energize art in the open. As a medium for sparking vivid sensory experiences with natural light and color, it is unrivaled. And its practical utility—for aesthetic integrity, for durability, and for maintenance ease—ensures 100-year building goals.

When artists, architects, designers, and public administrators begin to discover the possibilities of kilnformed glass, undiscovered dimensions of public experience emerge. Bullseye Studio exists to facilitate that kind of exploration. Our materials, equipment, expertise, and experience in applying the unique attributes of kiln-glass make us an ideal collaborator in the production of public art.

Bullseye produces materials that expand the possibilities for an architectural glass artist. Their fabrication team possesses a deep knowledge of the glass and a willingness to go the distance to achieve the artist’s vision.

Paul Housberg, Artist

The following collaborations demonstrate the wide breadth of ways artists are tapping the potential of kilnformed glass to create powerful public art.

Rendering of Lynn Basa’s glass artwork for the new Multnomah County Central Courthouse in Portland, Oregon. Fabrication by Bullseye Studio, project funding by Multnomah County Percent for Art, and project management by Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC). Image courtesy of SRG Partnership.

Lynn Basa | Translating Visual Qualities

Transparent kilnformed glass creates limitless possibilities for expressing depth, color, and illumination. But as Lynn Basa’s Multnomah County Courthouse project demonstrated to those who previewed it during this year’s Design Week Open House, opaque kilnformed glass can be equally powerful. It gives birth to its own ever-surprising interplays with light. Novel color compositions, interactions with natural light and shadow, the illusion of motion—these effects combine to provoke other-wordly sensations, enhancing subtle dimensions in the original artwork.

Bullseye Studio is up for whatever job I bring them and will get it done spectacularly. They remove all the production obstacles while retaining a faithful translation of the essence of the artwork.

Lynn Basa, Artist

The experts at Bullseye Studio bring creative problem-solving, tremendous skill, and professional project management to all their work. In collaboration with the artist, a stunningly beautiful artwork miraculously emerges.

Peggy Kendellen, Public Art Manager, Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC)
“The Five Hearths”. Kilnformed glass and cast concrete bollards designed by artists Crystal Schenk and Shelby Davis. Greensboro, NC. Photo by Crystal Schenk.

Crystal Schenk and Shelby Davis | Translating Powerful Themes

In their work, The Five Hearths, Crystal Schenk and Shelby Davis showcase how kilnformed glass can combine with other materials to powerfully establish the spirit of a place. The single-colored relief castings are framed by cast concrete and surrounded by focused lighting. Together, the elements of the installation express the stories and spirit of a region in a way that would be difficult to capture without glass’s depth, transparency, and color.

Willamette Park Capstones. Portland, Oregon.

Mayer/Reed | Translating Elemental Motion

The Willamette Park Capstones illustrate how kilnformed glass can evoke paradoxical perceptual experiences. In this case, the eye sees water, even rushing water. But it also spots a moment frozen in time, air bubbles forever rising through sumptuous blue. A certain slant of light from any given day, passing clouds casting shadows, a sheen of rain, the reflection of birds or children—the design of the thick kilnformed glass recruits everything around it into an ever-evolving, poignant performance art.

Ryuhei Nadatani’s hand-lathed and fused glass artwork assembled as backlit wall cladding for the Hokuriku Shinkansen train line at Toyama Station in Toyama, Japan. Custom colors produced by Bullseye Glass Co. Hand-lathed patterned kiln-glass by Bullseye Studio. Photo by Ryuhei Nadatani.

Ryuhei Nadatani | Translating Traditional Techniques

Ryuhei Nadatani’s design for Toyama Station celebrates traditional Japanese architectural woodworking with the help of kilnformed glass. By applying woodworking designs and techniques to kilnformed glass, the work marshals light and color to honor the rich history of Japan’s traditional woodworking craft.

I was searching for a material that was durable, timeless, maintenance-free and, well…a bit magical. Kiln-cast glass was the only material that provided all of the above.

John Wayne, Wayne Design Group

Ancient Material + Advanced Technology + You

Intrigued at the prospect of creating something new within public art? We would love to hear from you and help realize your vision. Bullseye Studio staff will work with you to develop configurations, colors, and specific attributes suitable to the unique needs of your project. Contact us today to learn more and request a quote: studio@bullseyeglass.com