Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

If you celebrate Christmas, have a wonderful day! If you don't, have a wonderful day too! Settle in with some hot chocolate and a warm blanket and enjoy the season (unless you live in a warm climate... in which case, get a nice tan!). Here are some FWP artworks in shades of red and green to fit with the holiday.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Artist Spotlight: Guido Gerlitz

This post is part of a series spotlighting the range of artists and musicians involved in Floating World Projects. See all.

In January several members of Floating World Projects are traveling to Hebron to film a documentary about the Al-Salam glass factory. Sculptor and Executive Director of Public Glass in San Francisco Guido Gerlitz will be joining them as a representative of his gallery. With a BFA in Glass and Ceramics from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MFA in Glass from California College of the Arts, Guido works to "bring a leading edge perspective and understanding of the glass genre to contemporary art". He tests the limits of the material, evoking energetic and thoughtful abstract shapes as well as recognizable wares with splashes of color.

Since 2009 he's been the director of Public Glass, a non-profit institution specializing in education and professional glass studios including blown, cast, kiln, torch and cold-work. Next year a show of collaborative works from Floating World Projects will be exhibited in their gallery, in part as a fundraiser for "The Road to Hebron" documentary.

"Contiguous Form - Red with Black Cane", 2010

"Gesture 1", 2004

"Teal Goblets", 2010

"Octonese", 2003


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Artist Spotlight: Dafna Kaffeman

This post is part of a series spotlighting the range of artists and musicians involved in Floating World Projects. See all.

"But I have come to detest life" (Embroidery by Yoav Weinberg), 2010

Coming up in January, several members of Floating World Projects will travel to the West Bank to make a documentary focusing on the Al-Salam glass factory in Hebron. Before going into Palestine, they'll stay with artist Dafna Kaffeman, a lecturer and coordinator of Glass Studies at Bezalel University in Jerusalem. She studied glass art in Amsterdam and lampworking in Venice, often combining different materials with the glass medium and creating a more tactile effect.

Her works are incredibly close and detailed, taking advantage of the fragile nature of glass as a medium and working in assemblages of small pieces. Many of them take organic, seemingly soft shapes formed by hundreds of tiny hard parts.

"Tactual Stimulation", 2007

"Animality", 2004
Her 2006 exhibition Persian Cyclamen features a range of handkerchiefs embroidered with phrases in Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic and abstract geographic outlines. Intricately-crafted glass plant forms rest upon them, symbolizing larger concepts of life and placing the pieces in context of the Isreali-Palestine conflict. They were displayed lying down on low pedestals, creating a more intimate viewing.

"Fence line in Red, Pinus halepensis", 2006

"Arabic is not spoken here. From the article by Jack Huri and David Renter, Haaretz, March 13, 2006. Sea Squill", 2006

"Persian Cyclamen", Lorch-Seidel Galeri, Berlin, Germany, 2006

Her most recent series Mantis Relgiose takes a similar approach, incorporating texts from Israeli newspapers and letters this time embroidered by Norwegian woman and Israeli men. The former didn't understand Arabic or Hebrew, and so their embellishments are purely aesthetic, while the latter added accents as commentary. Dafna complements the handkerchiefs with glass plants and insects.

"And my family planned to ask for her hand" (Embroidery by Yair Shif), 2010

"One day before I set out for the operation" (Embroidery by Michael Golan), 2010

Some of her work is currently on view at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in the exhibition Studio Glass.

Dafna's official site
Profile at WheatonArts

Friday, December 10, 2010

Floating World Projects Newsletter

We've been working hard on the launch of our monthly newsletter, filled with news updates, artist profiles, delightful anecdotes, music updates, and general information regarding various happenings. If you'd like to sign up, there's a handy box to your right in our sidebar! Just type in your name and email address, and you'll receive a confirmation email with a link to add you to our list. Our newsletter will only go out about once a month, so I promise we won't flood your inbox! 

If you have any trouble signing up, you can email me at and I'll add you.

Below is co-founder James McLeod's 2010 reflection from the first issue we sent out last week:

Hello and Happy Holidays from FWP!

As 2010 comes to a close we would like to take an opportunity to thank everyone that has helped us in all of our achievements in 2010. It has been an exciting year here at Floating World Projects with many new developments, none of which could have happened without the generous support of our collaborators, sponsors and friends in the international art community.

Looking back to three years ago to the conception of FWP, I can recall how distant all of this seemed. The idea began with a simple conversation one evening in Istanbul overlooking the Bosporus straight. I was with my colleague Leo Tecosky and we had the idea to create an art project that could help share our perspective of a city and a community half way across the world with our communities back home. When we analyzed our concept, we quickly realized that it was far more complex than a just a story about a city or a community that we wanted to share; our conversation was about socially constructed prejudices that exist and what we can do to help dismantle them.

Three years later we are still here and evidence of all of our hard work can be seen with our new web presence. In September 2010 we launched our new website with updated examples of all the multimedia projects we are currently working on. This is a huge step for us, compiling of all of the work that we have done over the past three years in one, easily accessible place. In addition, our new web content and social-networking manager, Alexandra Kittle, has outfitted us with this newsletter, a facebook page, a blog and twitter account that are updated on a regular basis. Since we have been primarily self-funded in the past, we are also happy to announce that we now accept much needed donations on our website.

Our events in 2010 began with a month long collaborative residency at the Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul for the month of June. Six artists from the USA and Turkey joined together to collaborate on glass artwork and the result was an overwhelming success. This residency was conceived of three years ago and was more productive than we ever could have expected. The next stop for FWP in July 2010 was a preliminary research trip to the West Bank to begin work on a new project; a documentary of one of the worlds’ oldest glass studios that is still operated by the same family since the 13th century.

In October 2010 upon return to the USA FWP incorporated as a non-profit organization and enlisted the help of our current staff Alex Kittle, Penny Saftler, and Sylvie Agudelo. We are currently preparing for our next trip to the West Bank in January 2011. In addition, we have two Exhibitions scheduled for May and September of next year and an additional residency at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in June. The residency will be the counterpart to our collaborative work last summer and will involve four Turkish artists visiting us for the first time in the USA.

Please keep in touch and feel free to follow our activity as we have a busy year ahead. Thank you again for all of the support from our friends and sponsors and we wish you a safe and happy new year to come.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Artist Spotlight: Gülfidan Özmen

This post is part of a series spotlighting the range of artists and musicians involved in Floating World Projects. See all.


Glass sculptor Gülfidan Özmen graduated from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University with a focus on Ceramic and Glass. She has worked in several glass studios and been a part of multiple installation projects and group and solo exhibitions. She has been a lecturer at Mimar Sinan since 2008. Her glass work incorporates vibrant colors, linear patterns, and playful shapes for varied and eye-catching abstract effects.

Her 2009 solo exhibition "Optical Impressions" featured colorful shapes and hanging pieces that toyed with ideas of three-dimensionality and juxtaposition of textures. They bring the 2-D illusions of op-art into a sculptural space while still playing tricks on the eye, often adding bright pops of color to black and white compositions.

From December 7th-31st, 2010, her work will be shown in the solo exhibition "Silhouettes" at the Ormo Art Gallery in Istanbul. For this series Gülfidan has brought in more clear glass materials and round forms.

Here are a few of her pieces made with other Floating World Projects artists during a visit to Istanbul.

Gülfidan's website
Check out her blog