Monday, March 18, 2019
Carol Glenn Rolls Out Her Crater of the Moon Series
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Carol Glenn shows off her drying shelf that she can roll around her studio.
 
Sunday, December 30, 2018
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Carol Glenn hardly thought she would find inspiration in the location her husband Scott Glenn was assigned to while working on Stephen King’s psychological horror series “Castle Rock.”

“They told us we were going to be in Boston. But Boston is just where we landed—the filming location was actually north of that,” recounted Glenn. “But my sister said, ‘I’m going to get you out of there,’ and she took me to the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Concord. And that’s where I saw a piece of pottery that made me stop in my tracks.”

Glenn learned that the glaze that had excited her so was a crawl glaze—so named because the glaze recedes during firing to create cracked surfaces resembling reptilian scales or lichen.

 
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Carol Glenn has rolls of bubble wrap and boxes ready and waiting as she pondered which pieces to take to Ochi Gallery this week.
 

Some might consider it a defect. But Glenn has used it to create an interesting new line of work that she’s dubbed her “Craters of the Moon” series.

It will be on display at Ochi Gallery at 119 Lewis St. in Ketchum’s light industrial area through Feb. 2 as part of a new exhibit titled “Inclined to Blur at the Edges.” And Glenn will be present for an opening reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31.

Glenn so named her pieces after the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve east of Carey because so many people told her the new look reflected the craggy nature of the sharp a’a lava  and smooth pahoehoe lava flows there.

 “Everyone who sees it says, ‘Craters of the Moon!’ ” she said.

 
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“Ceramics takes a lot a lot a lot of work,” said Carol Glenn.
 

This isn’t Glenn’s first exhibition at Ochi Gallery. Her large-scale paintings splashed with black paint have been exhibited there. So has her dinnerware, which was the subject of the coffee table book “Carol Glenn,” photographed by Kirsten Shultz.

“I had made so many of my dinnerware pieces because everyone wanted them,” said Glenn, whose work is in private collections across the country. “So I wanted to do something totally different. I put on a lot of the crawl glaze, and when I opened the kiln it was like nothing I’d ever seen before! It was smooth where the glaze fell off and scaly where the glaze did not fall off.”

Then Glenn took it one step further, making jagged cuts in her pieces with a grapefruit knife.

“Whooh!” she said demonstrating how she makes a cut. “It’s so empowering.”

 
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Carol Glenn says her new Peter Pugger machine will allow her to remix clay that gets discarded from pottery pieces so she doesn’t waste anything.
 

Slashing her pieces of pottery is necessarily a premeditated act because she must make the cutting at the right moment when the clay is not too soft or too hard.

She creates her piece on the potter’s wheel. Then she covers it with plastic allowing her to dry it in controlled fashion over a couple days.

At just the right moment she cuts it.

When it’s completely dry, she sands the piece and fires it. Then she applies the glaze and fires it again.

 
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Carol Glenn shows off some of her paintings made a few years back.
 

Every step is so different—that’s part of what I like about it,” she said.

Glenn, a Brooklyn native, came to Sun Valley 35 years ago, to take ceramic classes at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts. The Center, which was then on what is now the campus of the Sun Valley Community School, brought in some of the biggest names in art at the time, including painter Ed Moses, printmaker Sam Francis and Raku artist Jim Romberg.

Carol hired a guide to take Scott, who was just getting his feet wet in the acting industry at the time, on a tour through the Sawtooth Mountains. And he was sold on moving to Sun Valley.

Carol was racing ski gates years later when she casually mentioned to a fellow skier she was looking for a studio.

He invited her to look at a studio that an artist couldn’t work in because it was too clean and perfect. Maybe you’ll get some ideas for yours, he said.

Glenn fell in love with the studio, which was tucked away in the woods near Ketchum. And when Scott asked her what she wanted for her 25th wedding anniversary, hinting that he’d even spring for a vacation to Bangkok, she replied immediately.

“He said, ‘Anything you want.’ And I said, ‘How about a house?’ He okayed it over the phone—that was 25 years ago. We’ve been married 50 years—we celebrated our golden anniversary on Sept. 10,” she said.

Some might think that Glenn would be hidden away working in Sun Valley in the middle of Idaho’s rugged Central Mountains. But pursuing her work here has actually opened up opportunities she might never have had elsewhere.

“Everything happens to me as I stay and work in Sun Valley!” she said. “I don’t have to go anywhere. I just keep working and it happens.”

Case in point was a woman who saw her work and recommended her for the prestigious Moonhole Fellowship from the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. Glenn was awarded the fellowship and got to take her entire family all expenses paid for six weeks to the Grenadines.

Another friend sent a picture of her work to the Craft & Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. And, next she knew, the curator had put a price on one of her pots and put it in the museum’s online auction.

“It’s an amazing museum—there are young, young clay artists making things out of clay I could never imagine—like very nice piles of shards in the middle of the room,” she said. “Talented,crafty, but wild at the same time.”

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Glenn has an affinity for art. Art seems to run in her DNA, with several artists in her family. Among them, her cousin Peri Schwartz, who paints edgy self-portraits and abstract still-lifes of bottles and jars.

 And Carol’s brother Gary Schwartz, who is one of the world’s foremost Rembrandt scholars and the author of books on Rembrandt, Pieter Saenredam, Johannes Vermeer and Jheronimus Bosch, as well as a myriad of catalogues and articles on Dutch and Fleming art.

Even as she works on her new line of ceramics, Carol Glenn is working with local editor Karen Oswalt, layout editor Drew Furlong and photographer Kirsten Shultz to finish a new book.

This one is contains 50 years of love poems that her husband wrote for her. She hopes to have out in time for Valentine’s Day.

It’s titled “Room Service,” a nod to the many years the couple spent living in hotels while on film locations.

“Scott has written a poem every year for 50 years. I took them to Karen, who is brilliant with a good  sense of poetry, and had her read them to see if we should keep them in a drawer or share them. And she was very enthusiastic,” she said. “Even Scott has liked the process. I think it will be quite beautiful.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Learn more in Eye on Sun Valley’s video interview with Carol Glenn on Eye on Sun Valley’s TV show on Cox Cable Channel 13. The show airs at 7:30 tonight—Sunday—and repeats at various times the rest of the week.

INCLINED TO BLUR AT THE EDGES

The opening reception will be 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31, at 119 Lewis Street in Ketchum.

The show will feature Glenn, along with Los Angeles fiberglass sculptor Thomas Linder; textile artist Christy Matson; painter, photographer and sculptor Rob Reynolds; painter and book artist Brittany Sanders, who is the youngest artist represented in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition Highlights from the Permanent Collection, and Brian Wills, who creates with rayon thread and paint.

Ochi Gallery is open from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays Jan. 2 through Feb. 2 or by appointment. For information, email gallery@ochigallery.com or call 208-720-0651.

 

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