Building: W-7, 705
Medium: Flameworked Glass, sculpture, jewelry
Facebook: Metro Glass Artisans
Candi Cochrane Durusu is of a generation who came of age in the 1970s, learning design by necessity. If they wanted jeans that fit, they bought men’s jeans, ripped and resewed them until they were tamed and tailored to flatter a woman’s figure. If they couldn’t afford designer clothes, an expedition to the thrift store or consignment shop brought out repurposed clothes, refitting them to their needs. One summer, out of sheer boredom, Candi made a pair of leather sandals with beaded macrame uppers. Do-It-Youself was honorable and it seemed to be worth the time. These exercises in practical design were worth the time, anyway, until imports from Asia became cheap, raising children became all consuming, and a full-time job made time so dear that these “crafts” were covered by detritus of others needs. Yet, the refinement of taste and the application of design sense in everyday life never ends, even if one loses touch with their media for a while.
Candi first studied lampworking with a class at the Corcoran School of Art with John Winter in 2008. She had more time to devote to art and knew she had found the right combination of sculptural design and challenging material in glass. As time and classes progressed she became more interested in borosilicate/scientific glass and studied for several months in 2013-15 with Robert Kincheloe at the Workhouse Arts Center. She is inspired by the kinetic sculptural works of Bandhu Dunham, the abstract voluptuousness of Deborah Carlson’s sculptural glass and prints, and the natural beauty of Margaret Neher’s floral sculptural work. She is currently a Resident Artist in Building 7 at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, Virginia and a member of the Virginia Firebirds a chapter of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers.
Glass as a material is very old, but it’s applications are also very modern. With technical improvements as a material, it is increasingly being incorporated in our lives at every practical level. Candi looks to the art movements of early half the previous century: Modernist, Surrealist, Netsuke carvings from Japan and the Objet Trouve sculptures of Marcel DuChamp for grounding. She believes the interwar period between the World Wars I and II, in particular, was a time of cultural shift that forced many once traditional people to accept a quickly modernizing world into their daily lives. Shifting paradigms, new materials disrupted daily lives. Surrealism and playfulness in words, music and art were a method of relieving the stress of change. Shifty, unpredictable and unstable, glass has as much surreal humor as any material. A Jungian at heart, Candi looks for the old stories of change, the humor even, that the glass wants to express in the new items that come out of her hands.