Scott Chaseling: Expressing feeling and experience through glass

Scott Chaseling: Expressing feeling and experience through glass

By Chase Myers

The art of glassblowing can be dated back as far as 1500 B.C. when it was first discovered that minerals combined with sand under heat and pressure create an easily moldable liquid form of glass.

A Carbondale artist who uses a modern combination of glass techniques to create glass sculptures is Scott Chaseling, who is showcasing some of his work at an exhibit from Nov. 18th through Friday at the Vergette Gallery in the Allyn Building.

Chaseling was born in Tamworth, Australia, but moved to different parts of the world for most of his life. He said his work is about constantly traveling.

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“I’ve never lived in one place longer than four years in my life,” he said. “I’ve lived in Paris for a year. I’ve toured in Japan for a year, lived in Berlin for three years. I’m going back to Berlin now. It’s taken me everywhere.”

Chaseling began studying art and sculpture in high school and was interested in the idea of creating. After graduating as a sculptor, he was briefly unemployed until he discovered glassblowing and was given a three-month apprenticeship as a glass blower, he said.

When conceptualizing his art, Chaseling strives to be inventive and not create something that has already been done. Such innovation comes from combining different techniques, like glassblowing and glass fusing, he said.

A piece of work that utilizes this combination is a collection of glass bottle shaped sculptures with various color assortments on the base. You can notice in the detail of the bottle where the different colors are fused together.

Chaseling will also be featuring one of the pieces he is most recognized for in an exhibit called “Close,” which includes scattered glass buckets with glass chain links hanging into each bucket.

“What I try to do is make [the glass chains] roughly my height, so each length of chain becomes, in a sense, a self-portrait,” he said.

He then makes two life-sized chains, which take about 90 minutes each. He concludes the piece by creating the bucket, which takes about an hour.

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Chaseling has four different pieces displaying at the exhibit, two of which are called “Picture 1” and “Picture 2.” The two are photography pieces that display a grid of multiple printed photographs that create a larger picture. He also fuses photos of different objects or landscapes to his original photo to add color variations.

“To me, they’re photo documents of my time here,” he said.

Chaseling said he cannot distinguish a favorite art form between glassblowing and photography.

“If you’ve seen glassblowing, it’s a social thing. You’ve got an assistant. You’ve got the music going on in the studio,” he said. “That to me is more mathematical, trying to figure out all the fusing and pulling the sheets together, but [photography] is just me at home with a laptop, just chilling.”

Due to the portability of his photo collections and the ability to work on them as he travels, Chaseling said he plans to make more of these snapshots in the future and eventually wants to collage some together.

As a traveling artist, instead of taking influence from external sources, Chaseling remains true to his feelings when creating his work, he said, whether it’s glassblowing or photography.

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