Originally recruited by Dale Chihuly to join his graduate program at the Rhode Island School of Design, Steven Weinberg went on to create an innovative portfolio of sculptural crystal spanning four decades. Chihuly, a judge at the time, in the Young Americans in Clay and Glass competition in New York City, recognized promising talent. Weinberg won that competition and would go on to become a prominent figure in the burgeoning American Studio Glass Movement. A maverick even in the vibrant artist colony of that era, Weinberg was driven to innovate and destined to develop his own unique style and aesthetic. Stout determination and an individualistic passion to follow the road less traveled led Weinberg to diverge from the smoother and gentler path of many contemporaries to explore the heavier sides of life and the thickness of crystal. Eschewing the colorful free form blown glass embodied in the work of Chihuly and most of his students, Steven was drawn to more pure geometries and the interplay between interior spaces and solid crystal. Diligently working in his original Pawtucket studio and pioneering the development of novel processes and materials, Weinberg hit his stride. His technical virtuosity and expressive detail would earn him a lasting place in the American Studio Glass Movement. Early pieces, such as the "puzzle pieces" displayed in the portfolio section of this site, showcase his intuitive understanding of complicated arrangements and command of casting technique. His subsequent body of work, the cubes, explored the use of veiling, detailed mill work, and encapsulated bubbles to create vivid interior landscapes frozen inside solid masses of optical crystal. His interest in water forms and sea themes inspired his next important series of boat forms and buoys. The buoys, less glassy, but more earthy and ceramic like, recall his original love of clay. They reflect the dual nature of the artist and his steady defiance to follow anything that would seem too trendy. An artist who lived a hard, risk torn life, Weinberg imbued many later works with impressions of juxtaposed life lessons in his Icon series. Gorgeous shapes floating in solid house forms, these works are at once dreamlike and classical. The newest work is a push towards modern adaptations accrued in a lifetime of experience and display the love of clean geometry that has always been central to his work. Rising spheres have multiplied and become a metaphor for a relentless pursuit of excellence.
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