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Curt Sullan

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Curt was born in Florida and soon moved to Chicago where he was raised.  Having a great interest in art from an early age, Curt went to work at the National Zoo in Washington DC as a graphic artist for several years.  Curt then pursued a career in construction law and also has been focused on creating sculptures of glass and steel since 2000.

Curt Sullan’s Sculptures 

It is difficult to categorize my sculptures.  My sculptures are an amalgamation of many different concepts including; constructivism, modernism, brutalism, contemporary, as well as minimalism.  My desire is to use elements that have not been combined before in a particular manner.  My father was a Chicago architect and I am significantly influenced by architectural elements. Steel and glass is a tribute to humankind's urban accomplishments.  I search for handsome beauty which respects the past but creates unexplored results.  I seek to produce meditative pieces that can be as engaging as watching a fire, the birthplace of both glass and steel.

I have always been intrigued with uncovering lost memories tied up in the subconscious.  Like Marcel Proust's book Remembrance of Things Past, glass refractions trigger long lost memories, like distant fish in a murky pond.  I enjoy the contrast between the translucence of glass and solid steel. Contrast is an important aspect of life.  Without night, one cannot appreciate day... cold-hot, and death-life.  Perspective is also an important part of glass.  Because of its translucency, there is an added dimension of perspective and contrast within a piece of glass which is not found in any other material.  This fourth dimension makes glass especially interesting which captures light shape and depth.  The way in which light enters and leaves the glass in contrast to the steel is captivating.  Additionally, raw and aged steel provides diverse and colorful textures which enhance the overall effect.

Casting large glass pieces is a complicated process and requires many months of cooling time so that the glass does not shatter.  Some controlled cracks are intended, others are not. Often over half of the kiln run will be discarded from breakage.  The full process involves using recycled glass and re-purposed steel.

I've worked for many years with thicker and larger pieces of glass. There is simply no book that specifically describes how to cast large pieces of glass.  The only way to achieve the desired result is through years of trial and error.  Thick glass is especially challenging.  For every inch of thickness there is generally several weeks of cooling required.  Most of my pieces have to cool for 3 months or more. And it is not until the end of that period that the piece can be closely examined to determine if it is acceptable.

Process Videos

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