VIEW VIDEO of Christian Zvonik, Josh Poll and David Walker.
Zen Glass Studio - A Collaboration
Christian Zvonik, Joshua Poll and David Walker are three Florida-based glass artists who work collaboratively to create works of art that push the boundaries of their glass medium by their unique combination of two great glass traditions: flame work and Venetian-style glass blowing. Flame work or lamp work is the art of blowing and sculpting glass on a gas-fueled torch. The Venetian technique refers to the age-old method of melting and blowing glass out of a furnace and glory hole in what is commonly referred to as a “hot shop.”
Some of the benefits of using a torch are the amazing possibilities for detail in sculpted form including the precision of color and pattern. In the hot shop, grand scale and fluid form can be achieved.
David Walker was introduced into the world of glass while studying marine biology at Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida. While he was between jobs, David happened to meet a man named Robert Mickelsen who was looking for an assistant. For the next three and a half years, David worked and studied under Mickelsen, perfecting his own skills while trying to incorporate as much of his master lamp worker’s 25 years of experience. Walker and Mickelsen worked very well together, sharing a passion for expression and a love of the sea. Since neither of them had a formal art background, they freely approached the medium of glass from any angle they wished, and they were never afraid to experiment and try new things. Walker credits Mickelsen with giving him the courage to fully attack the medium while still maintaining the highest level of quality and workmanship.Joshua Poll is a self-taught artist with 17 years experience in all facets of glass art: mosaic, casting, furnace glassblowing and flame working. In August 1998, Josh relocated to Tampa, Florida, and in March 2001, while looking for new inspiration, he attended a Robert Mickelsen workshop. Mickelsen’s work had always intrigued him, and now he had a chance to learn from this renowned glass artist. While attending this workshop, Josh met David Walker, Mickelsen’s studio assistant. In March 2002, Josh attended another Mickelsen workshop, this time it was a figurative class with a live model that gave him a completely new outlook on sculptural work. Soon thereafter, Josh and David combined forces to form Zen Glass Studio and Gallery in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Christian Zvonik, a Sarasota, Florida native, moved to Seattle, Washington shortly after high school and immediately fell into the vibrant glass art scene there. In 1996, Christian began blowing glass at The 5th Avenue Glass Studio under the instruction of David Bennett, a gaffer for Dale Chihuly. Within that first year, Christian assisted many of America’s top glass talents who were at the epicenter of the studio glass movement in this country. Christian then went on to work throughout the entire West Coast seeking opportunities to work beside internationally acclaimed artists like David Bennett and Lino Tagliapietra. Now, after 16 years, Christian has returned home, proud to be partnered with David Walker and Josh Poll at Zen Glass Studio creating compelling and innovative new works.
Contact Galleria Silecchia for more information on American glass artists, Christian Zvonik, Josh Poll and David Walker.
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