Thaddeus Wolfe

New York,
The rough, geometric textures of Wolfe’s otherworldly glass creations are like nothing we’ve seen before. 

What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
American design is strong and pluralistic now. I’m amazed how many independent studios/designers are producing great pieces. I find it hard to keep up with everything — even just what is going on in New York. I assume this is partially due to the time in which we find ourselves, both economically and culturally. More designers have decided to form their own businesses rather than working for larger companies. The venues to exhibit and show the work and the market to support it have grown significantly in recent years.

There appears to be more emphasis now on formal aesthetics than on ironic/ jokey concepts, which were prevalent in the recent past. This shifting of the aesthetic is an important development. It reflects a maturity of ideas behind what is being made, and that that well-made objects have an inherent value when the are visually exciting.

I also particularly enjoy seeing so much great new work in ceramic. I hope the same thing will happen in glass.

What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
Coming up this year, I will have work in two shows this November through R & Company — The Objects Show, and The Salon: Art + Design at the Park Avenue Armory. This December will be my first time exhibiting at Design Miami, also with R, which I am very excited about. Beyond that, I am planning for my first solo exhibition at R & Company, which will be in 2015.

What inspires or informs your work in general?
Working in glass with all its possibilities and inherent limitations has definitely informed the scope of what I am able to do. I have largely focused on a singular technique of blown-cast objects for some time now. This has allowed me to thoroughly explore and develop color, pattern, surface and the intuitive construction of the forms. I gain insight into what I am doing from a lot of visual sources in my environment and otherwise. I am interested in the organic deterioration of surfaces in my urban surroundings, Czech cubism, visual complexity in simple repeated structures in minerals, plants, and other natural phenomena, and recently poroid patterns in certain bracket-fungi (the undersides of shelf-like mushrooms). My goal is a synthesis of visual input/ideas from the natural and unnatural worlds into something more complex and abstract which does not necessarily reference any one specific thing.