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brad pearson on the importance of form

Read glass artist Brad Pearson’s blog entry about the importance of form. Pearson maintains that form is the most important factor to consider when making beads.

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Kent Ipsen, an early pioneer of the studio glass movement, was one of Pearson’s professors twenty years ago. He tells this story about an Ipsen critique – the one that taught him about the importance of form:

“We were all told to bring in our best piece (a glassblowing piece). All of us trotted in with the best designs, dichroic glass, and glass bling that we could muster. My professor (Kent Ipsen) then proceeded to paint all of the work flat black. His next words have stayed with me for twenty years. “Now is it still your favorite piece?” When the work was all painted in a dull flat black, we sat down and got all nitty gritty on the form. That is one day I think we all learned a lot.”


Ipsen had an interesting way of getting right to the point and it certainly made an impression. I think you can substitute any medium, any object and ask yourself the same question: Are you focusing enough on form or does the latest technique, material or trend distract you?  Something to think about this morning.


I was happy to see that the only black on the glass marbles above was put there deliberately by Pearson. Hot stuff.

Pearson’s blog

Pearson’s website

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