“If you’re not taking your art as far as you can take it, what are you doing with it?” -Maccabee Shelley
I would like to introduce to you Maccabee Shelley. He is a very talented artist who displays his artwork in the Gatov-West gallery, located at CSULB. Like every artist, he has his own inspiration, work method and techniques. However, unlike most artists, Shelley creates his sculptures out of used glass. I found his work very inspiring and I believe everyone should be able to appreciate art through Shelley’s eyes.
When asked about his inspiration, Shelley explained how he loves using every day materials such as glass and creating the unthinkable. He retrieves most of the glass he uses in his projects from the recycling center on campus or donations. Shelley proceeds by crushing all the glass and then separating the glass he wants to work with first and putting it in a kiln to fire. He states that the various glass material melts at different times. Due to this process he cannot have a set image for his finished result. He said he has no idea how his work will turn out so he simply works with what he has at the moment and is constantly altering it. This explains the immense variety within his glass sculptures.
During this interview I learned several interesting facts. For example, Shelley remains in fear of one of his glass structures exploding. Although the glass has been broken down and fired, it it not a solid. There is still movement within the “crystal-like structures”. Brown colored glass is the most common, along with green, and blues. However, the brown and green color comes from rust on the glass. The most fascinating part of this process for Shelley is appreciating the little things. He pointed out how some parts of the glass bottles remain in perfect condition after they have been fired. For example, Shelley described how a complete bottleneck rose to the surface of one of his artworks and in another a complete barcode was visible.