Debra Adelson

In recent years, the global conversation regarding climate change has become part of our daily lives. I decided to reevaluate my part in our ecosystem, and after years of working with plastics, I began a quest to find eco-friendly materials. I now choose to work with glass, not only because it’s renewable, but also because it is a process driven material with a long history. Through years of experimentation, I have developed my own approach which blends traditional glass cold-working, jewelry making, and lapidary skills. Using a combination of interdisciplinary and unconventional techniques allows me to push the boundaries of my materials in ever evolving ways. The glass technique I use is called ‘cold-working’ because I sculpt the glass in its solid form while at room temperature, submerging in water to keep it cool and preventing it from shattering. To begin, I formulate the color by laminating several sheets of colored glass to a thicker block of optical glass. I then cut the resulting slab with a wet diamond saw and sculpt it using flat-lap wheels or a slow spinning, water-fed lathe which grinds the glass with either stone wheels or carbide grit. I hand-fabricate the settings out of sterling silver or gold using traditional jewelry making techniques including sawing, raising, forging, soldering, and stone-setting. My goal is to convey a visceral feeling of depth and movement. I explore environmental themes and seek to emulate the fleeting beauty found in nature.

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Collingswood, New Jersey