Earth, air, water, and fire are considered the universe’s fundamental materials. This concept is the basis for the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art‘s group exhibition “The Four Elements”. Curator Madeline Beck gathered a group of artists whose work is relevant to at least one of the elements in some way. Artists Doug Pisik and Robert G. Burch collaborated for their pieces; Pisik is a wood artist while Burch works with glass and metal. The two joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes to talk about the joint effort, which got a little dicey at times.
“I knew that the forms I created were going to be damaged,” said Pisik. “I soaked the wood for several days before we blew into them. And the wood was designed – was engineered – in such a way that once the glass was formed, we could separate the wood from the glass before it all completely burned up.”
Burch picks up the process from there. “When the glass comes out of the furnace it is like 2300 degrees, and it acts a lot like honey,” he says. “So if you get enough on the end of a piece of steel, you can kind of just drip it, and it’ll flow like water, really slowly, or like lava. And so we basically poured molten glass on the wood until it took shape, and then put that in a kiln and cooled it down. And … Doug ran out with a hose … and put out all the fires!”
“The Four Elements: A Group Exhibition” is on display at the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art through June 20.