By Kim Nagorski, Communications Coordinator for the Ohio Craft Museum
The Ohio Craft Museum will showcase exemplary work by 25 young artists in its current exhibition, In the Forefront: Emerging Ohio Artists, now through March 18. All of the artists got their start on college campuses across Ohio; many still work in the state. Glass and wood vessels by local artist Matt Takacs will be featured.
Kim: When did you know you wanted to work in glass?
Matt: While I was in high school, I was introduced to glass bead making, and I tried a couple of short glass-blowing classes and really enjoyed them. I worked in a manufacturing facility for a few years after high school, and then made the decision to pursue higher education. I was interested in learning about glass and glass art in a more structured way within an academic setting, and found that The Ohio State University offered such a program. I decided to begin my studies at Columbus State Community College, where I received an associate of arts degree, then transferred to OSU, where I majored in glass, and completed my BFA in 2016.
Kim: What drew you to glass as a medium?
Matt: Glass as a material has many unique properties. One particularly interesting property that attracted me was that it could be transparent and allow light to pass through. The physicality of the labor and process of glassmaking also really interested me. The glass starts as a very hot molten liquid, which is then gathered on the end of a steel rod or blowpipe. As the glass rapidly cools and solidifies, the artist and assistant(s) must work quickly and deliberately, using various tools and reheating the mass in order to achieve the desired form. The separation between the artist and the molten glass through tools, the quick pace, as well as the teamwork involved, are challenging, but it is an exciting environment to work in.
Kim: Where are you currently working?
Matt: I work at Glass Axis as a studio technician, maintaining the equipment and facility. I use the hot glass studio at Glass Axis, and I create flame-worked items on my torch in my home garage.
Kim: What process do you use to create your work?
Matt: I have a very loose process, and it depends heavily on the idea. I tend to sketch an idea, leave it for a while, then come back to it a few times, slowly considering the best technique and equipment that I can use to achieve it. In some cases, using my torch may be the best option; other times, it may be a combination of techniques, starting in the hot shop, then slumped in a fusing kiln. I have a wide range of interests, but animals, cartoon characters, variety within multiples, simple line drawings and stick figures often inspire me. I enjoy creating pieces that blur the lines between two-dimensional and three-dimensional, things that change with viewer perspective. My earlier job at a manufacturing facility has probably had a large impact on my tendency to make many multiples and groupings of the same object but with some variance in colors or sizes.
Kim: What does it mean to be included in this emerging artists show?
Matt: As I am just beginning my journey in the arts community outside of the academic setting, it is an important and big step to have my artwork displayed in a well-known and established museum like the Ohio Craft Museum. I feel honored, and I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the emerging artists exhibition.
In the Forefront: Emerging Ohio Artists will be on view Feb. 4–Mar. 18 at the Ohio Craft Museum, 1665 W. Fifth Ave., Columbus 43212. Hours: Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, 1–4 p.m. For details, see www.ohiocraft.org or telephone (614) 486-4402.