Artist Giles Bettison has a way of making glass look as soft as linen. His unique, kiln-formed creations often have a warm and inviting quality to them.
Artist Giles Bettison has a way of making glass look as soft as linen. His unique, kiln-formed creations often have a warm and inviting quality to them. All of the adjectives we typically associate with glass—hard, brittle, jagged—seem to melt away when looking at one of Bettison’s pieces. It takes significant skill to turn such a cool, splintery medium into something that looks downright cozy.
It follows, then, that Bettison’s latest exhibition would have a name like Solace. Hosted by the Bullseye Gallery, the show will kick off with an introductory talk by Bettison, in which he’ll discuss his muses and techniques.
One of these techniques, known as the Murrine process, has come to define much of Bettison’s work. Murrine involves creating designs within an elongated glass rod. After heating and stretching, the rod is cooled and cut into cross sections, revealing the initial pattern or image. The method often results in intriguingly warped layers of glass.
Bettison, who hails from Australia, has become known throughout the world for his distinctive contributions to the medium. He has had highly successful showings in both America and Europe. His work sometimes looks like Paul Klee’s mosaic, geometric paintings rendered in three dimensions. The two artists certainly share a penchant for lively, organic forms that exude a playful energy.
The Bullseye Gallery provides the perfect setting for Bettison’s craft. The gallery is an extension of the Bullseye Glass Company, a producer of colored glass and advocate of glass art in a variety of fields. Since the early ’70s, the company has provided a mainstay for Portland’s creative community, and even offers classes for beginners in glasswork.
Located in the Pearl District, the Bullseye Gallery has a history of presenting high-caliber work to the public. The gallery works exclusively with artists who specialize in kiln-formed glass. The current exhibition, entitled Expanse, comes from the mind of Jessica Loughlin.
Like Bettison, Loughlin is originally from Australia, but their work is tonally distinct.
Loughlin’s muted, calming, occasionally somber glass images bring to mind wide-open vistas and barren landscapes.
The contrasts between Bettison’s and Loughlin’s work reveal the wide variety of moods that can be evoked through glasswork.