American Design Hot List 2014
Glass artist John Hogan makes incredible work in his own right, but his influence on design can also be felt through his recent collaborations with folks like Ladies & Gentlemen Studio (chandelier above) and Erich Ginder.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
American design, like most things American, is a mixture of many international influences and approaches. American designers combine and playfully rearrange traditional approaches, constantly breaking unwritten rules. The results of this mash-up tend to yield objects and products that pay tribute to important movements of the past while blazing trails anew.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
This year I’m focusing on a couple of new collaborations, the branding of my glass fabrication and consulting company, and pushing my own work in new directions. I love to collaborate. It’s a way to guarantee something totally new and exciting for me. Not going to spoil the surprises, but I’m super excited for current developments that will debut at ICFF.
In addition to collaborative efforts I have been helping designers to develop and realize their ideas in glass. More and more I’m hearing designers saying they have wanted to work with and implement glass into their lines but don’t know how to go about it. This year I am officially launching “Ballard Assembly,” offering services in development as well as fabrication. Glass can be shaped, colored, and textured in many ways. Helping designers to understand specific approaches towards focusing and developing a vision is the first step. My range of speciality includes both off hand and mold blowing, casting, and cutting and polishing glass. I work with a network of specialists in finishing designs across the spectrum of glass cutting and shaping processes.
What inspires your work in general?
My work is constantly evolving. I have some exciting new approaches that are coming out in my current works and will continue to develop in the coming year. Recently I’ve been inspired a lot by the culinary world. Chefs like Ferran Adria and Grant Achatz are working creatively on a whole different level. Experimental culinary has the potential to excite all five senses, which for me as an artist is very exciting and intimidating. These chefs work in an organized and well-documented system that indiscriminately and creatively considers anything and eliminates or promotes things without forced foresight. It’s very much a mix of science and art. The results in many cases are truly new. This highly organized and experimental approach focusing on the specialized skills of a team is the way I’m trying to work more and more with glass. I’ve been told that some of my works make people want to eat them. This type of unexpected, excited response is precisely what I’m trying to achieve with glass and light.