Joel and Candace Bless
"Combining our aesthetic views and diverse skills, we work as a team to craft objects that define elegance with a lively, fresh spirit. We find reward in the process as well as the end result, and we hope our work speaks to others and ultimately becomes a joyous part of their lives.
Having long been interested in lighting, Joel found it natural to combine glass with light when he began blowing glass. Candace has a lifelong love of art. With her work in glass, she bridges the boundary between two and three dimensions. Together, Candace and Joel find that with glass, the multiple interactions among color, light, texture, and form provide an intriguing realm for functional work that can subtly accent an environment or dominate it boldly.
Over 30 years, Candace and Joel developed many color patterns for visual texture. Large shades are built with glass layering, blowing, and shaping. The process gains momentum, reaching a crescendo with a final spinning to achieve full size. While the outcome is uncertain until the glass cools, Joel masterfully coaxes the medium to achieve desired results. For metalwork, Glasslight uses a unique method of bending steel. Bases and hangers are expertly assembled with concealed welds to balance and flow with the glass.
Candace and Joel met while students at RIT in the 1970s. Candace majored in printmaking at the School of Fine Art. Joel gained basic skills at the School of American Craftsman's newly opened glassblowing program and later took a summer course at Tyler School of Art. Building and operating his own studios since 1979, he is mostly self-taught. Candace desired to incorporate her printing background more thoroughly with glass and with experimentation and books discovered her own way in glass fusing.
Selected Exhibitions & Awards
American Craft Council Baltimore Show, Baltimore, MD, Baltimore Convention Center, 2008, 1993,90,89,88,87, 85, 84
American Craft Council Show, Rhinebeck NEw York, Rhinebeck, 1993, 90, 89, 88, 87
Philadelphia Buyers Market of American Craft, Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia Convention Center, 1994-2009
Philadelphia Furniture & Furnishing Show, Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia Convention Center, 1996-2005
Immaculata University Art Show, Immaculata, PA, Immaculata University, 1990-2005