George Bucquet Works

George Bucquet

Mad River Glass studio, established by glass sculptor George Bucquet on the California north coast is washed with light from Humboldt Bay.  The pieces that emerge from the studio capture that sea light in hefty bowls, utilizing the glass instead of water or air to suspend animal and plant images.  Fish and turtles seem about to the surface; birds and flowers display their plumage.  Here, a process has been refined with an eye to the optical play of light and color, as well as to the mass and feel of the pieces.

Bucquet works closely with a small team of artisans, who combine their skills in a variety of processes.  A new sand mold is carved for each piece, and a fresh batch of colored glass is mixed from sand, soda ash and other ingredients.  The custom furnace, heated to 2350 degrees brings the glass to its optimum melting temperature.

Working together with precision timing, Bucquet and his assistants pour the hot glass, thick and translucent as honey, into a handmade mold, pressing it into shape.  After twenty hours of cooling in an electronically timed oven, or up to eight days for some large pieces, each bowl is hand painted using a metallic palate of gold, silver and copper leaf.  Each piece of the limited editions is then signed and dated.

In this small studio, an old custom of skilled handcraft is kept alive.  By designing and fabricating his own equipment, the artist has adapted traditional metal casting techniques to handle the demands of glass.  The result is heirloom quality decorative glass in original contemporary forms.  

George Bucquet began casting hot glass at Penland School, North Carolina in 1984. During his seven years working there he became a resident artist. After completing his studies, George moved to Arcata, CA, where he has continued to develop new and innovative techniques for creating his original contemporary forms. George's work is found in galleries around the world and in the private collections of Rupert Murdoch, Bill Gates, Irvin Borowsky, Noel and Janene Hilliard, and the Estate of Jerry Garcia. His work can also be found in the permanent collections of the U.S. Embassy, Ottawa, Canada, the Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Lausanne, Switzerland, the Asheville Museum of Art, NC, the National Liberty Museum, Philadelphia, PA, and the White House.

     "I enjoy and appreciate many aspects of hot glass, but it's the aesthetics of cast glass that has held my attention for the last 24 years. I love the whole process of designing work and overcoming the technical challenges that seem to come with each piece. In the end, it's simple beauty that moves me most, and I feel successful and grateful when it moves others."