About the Designer
KT Hancock is an artist based out of Seattle, Washington. Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Jewelry/Metalsmithing and Sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Hancock studies themes of adornment within her work. Upon graduation, Hancock began her career as a metal’s specialist and glass/metal lighting designer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was during this time that Hancock began her assistantship at Cergol Forge and began forging steel. It was shortly after that Hancock attended Pilchuck Glass School for the first time and ignited her love of glass. After receiving scholarship, Hancock continued her education at Penland School of Crafts in the Ironworking and Woodworking studios and moved on to apprentice at Cherrywood Flameworking studio in Austin, Texas. Upon completion of her apprenticeship, Hancock moved to begin fabricating for Smith Shop Detroit. During this time in Detroit, Hancock fabricated architectural glass and metal lighting fixtures while assisting with production blacksmithing. Currently Hancock is working as the toolmaker for Spiral Arts, adjunct instructor at Pratt Fine Arts Center and is the founder of Velvet Nugget Studios.
Hancock’s explorations of adornment can be found through the creation of jewels and jewelry-like objects. Adornment of the body has been under investigation through centuries of making. It is this mark of preciousness, beauty, sexuality and esteemed value within the pieces that draw the audience and maker in. The repetition of these shapes through history has perpetuated the cultural identity of gemstones being something of high value. There is an inherent preciousness in the forms of gemstones that is highlighted by these encased glass objects. Through the isolation of a cultural obsession of gemstones and their contributions to status, this work is a study on what Hancock believes to be valuable. Hancock’s work takes a more utilitarian approach to objects and their value and focuses on the principles of object reconstruction and fabrication. Within this, the functional value of an object is completely removed. This kind of display of an object alters the perception of the viewer by removing any sort of original value, and replaces it with a value of materials and charged sentimental recognition. Through the use of steel structures, the glass conforms to the general cage shape. However, there are moments where the glass pillows outwards, distorting and manipulating the general contour of the gemstone. The use of glass and metal is metaphorical for life and its preciousness. The metal cage creates a structure to support the encased glass, but also endangers the glass that is within it. The steel structures create guidelines for the glass to inhabit and provide moments of strength. When the glass breaks through the contours of the cage, the blown out areas display moments of fragility. It is the contrast between these two elements that Hancock finds the most exciting and relative to the life we live. Two atoms in a molecule inseparably combined.
Craftspersons of Velvet Nugget Studios
Taylor Ames was born and raised in the Seattle, Washington area. Beginning his career at Seattle Glassblowing Studio, and currently working at Dale Chihuly's Boathouse, Ames has worked at a number of different glassblowing studios throughout Seattle. Ames has worked for artists such as Dan Friday, Jason Christian, Dale Chihuly, and James Mongrain. With an interest in audio and glass, Ames explores work around the ideas of reverberation and sound. While attending Pilchuck Glass School, Ames studied under Mark Zirpel and Abram Deslauriers where he further developed these audio investigations.