Joel & Candace Bless
The work of Joel and Candace Bless exploits the unique talent that glass has for bending and reflecting light. Each piece is molten glass captured and frozen in time. Joel's early interest in lighting led him to appreciate the properties of glass, and he enrolled in the glass blowing program of the School of American Craftsmen at the Rochester Institute of Technology. His wife Candace is also a graduate of RIT where she majored in Printmaking. She has applied her background in two-dimensional design, intaglio, and collage to her knowledge of glass to produce functional art that bridges the boundary between two and three dimensions.
In 1982 Joel began exploring 'vertical casting' which is the principal technique used to create his signature cast glass judaica. Molten glass is dripped directly into graphite molds and as the glass cools, random contours are formed to create a one of a kind texture. In 1990, one of Joel's lamps was selected as part of a traveling exhibition entitled 'Art That Works: Decorative Arts of the 80's Crafted in America', curated by the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery in Washington DC.