North Salem artists’ collaboration displays the beauty of converging creative energy
When North Salem glass artist Moshe Bursuker saw plates made by ceramicist Bracken Feldman of Croton Falls at a festival last month, his inspired mind declared, “they need a dome.” Bursuker, of Evari Studio, is known for his inventive and expertly-blown glass sculptures and fixtures. His idea of creating glass domes to accompany ceramic tableware integrates each respective medium into a functional and masterful work of art. Feldman of Bracken Fern Studios has over 25 years of ceramic experience and was “excited for the opportunity to infuse ceramics with glass. They have been two of my passions for a long time,” she said. While these local artists have been supporters of each other’s work for some time, this is their first joint project which will debut at the North Salem Arts and Food festival this Saturday. The individual elements display the unique talents and personalities of Bursuker and Feldman while connecting at the base to compose a symbiotic statement piece.
The artists worked in tandem over the past month to design a small batch of 6-inch, 7-inch, and 8-inch ceramic plates and stands with accompanying glass tops. Bursuker, who has previously formed domes for retailers, said that this process is “a lot more fun” because they are “one hundred percent authentic and handmade, without any molds.” Instead of a replicated form usually created for retail, each piece will have its own individualized flair. This creative freedom allowed him to add personality to each top, such as one-of-a-kind handles handcrafted into elegant, elongated ovals, modern squares, and fascinating figure eights. While Feldman also followed the road map for proposed diameters, the process provided the opportunity to experiment with decorative edges, tiered bases, and textures within the plate.
Working in their respective studios, Burksuker and Feldman used calipers, a metal measuring tool, to monitor diameter requirements necessary for each to create their half of the form. This did not come without challenges. Calipers cannot touch the molten glass to definitively measure the dome. Feldman had to be particularly adept at incorporating the percentage of shrinkage in clay that naturally occurs during the firing process. Even with purposeful calculations and management during the execution, meeting the unique circumference of each piece at times required the pair to make some adjustments.
At certain stages, glass can be reheated during the blowing process to massage the diameter. Kiln-dried ceramic plates are more unforgiving and require being rethrown to meet the specific measurements of each dome. The two artists not only worked their mediums with delicate attention but also with each other to bring the highest level of quality to the project.
After completing their parts of the process, Bursuker and Feldman reconvened to evaluate the compatibility of their pieces and marry the two together. The result is two expertly created elements that together form one artisan piece. The success of this initial project has fueled their imaginations for future joint projects, including table lamps and other light fixtures.
This Saturday, the North Salem Arts and Food festival will celebrate and showcase the talents of Bursuker and Feldman, along with many other local artists. Bursuker and Feldman will present these collaborative dome-covered pieces priced at $175 for 6-inch, $225 for 7-inch, and $275 for 8-inch plates and will be available for purchase at their respective tents along with their own individual pieces.