Ever since I was a child I have been a “maker of objects.” Introduced to the glass medium at the age of sixteen through a summer art program, I remain inspired by this seductive material to this day. The field of glass, in my opinion, is the definitive combination of process and creativity and it offers a wide variety of experiences. From designer to fabricator, and from student to teacher, I have followed a fulfilling path. This occupation has led me to studios and events around the world, and allowed me the opportunity to work with some of the greatest maestros and designers of our time.
Over time my work has evolved into two distinct veins. One is the practice of blown glass art. The other consists of poured and manipulated cast glass forms. The first comes from a devotion to craftsmanship and a love for the tradition of glass blowing. The second technique allows me to explore the material through a free-form sculptural approach. I believe that in a thousand year old tradition such as glass, it is a challenge to be innovative. The fusion of these two methods gives me a distinct voice in the nebulous world of visual art. I have applied my concepts to the culturally familiar icon of the vessel, using it as a vehicle for my distinct vision.
I wish to engage my audience by creating work that is active on many different levels. My intent is to invite the viewer to explore by drawing them into a piece to stay for a while. This is accomplished through the use of recognizable forms, controlled pigmentation, and process illuminating details. Some elements are bold and immediate such as the rich color veils, while others are subtle and solicit discovery. In a world where glass is smooth and refined I am attracted to the raw and the honest. I celebrate this rugged elegance within my work. Perceive process of manufacture is as beautiful as the finished product. Very often bubbles, mold marks, and natural scaring are seen as flaws. I use them as design elements, signposts of the past that give the work history. I want to embrace this past of where a work has been, and how it arrived into its present state. A number of these pieces play with the contours and lines of the human form. Other works mimic modern architectural structures effectively embodying the equivalent dynamics of volume, light, and space.
Some pieces require months of attention before realization. Each work becomes a personal experience. Aesthetically doors are opened for me throughout this progression. I have learned to step back and see how a piece wants to be finished without forcing it into preconceived convictions of art and design. This work has become a process of continual self-discovery I am compelled to follow along the trajectory it has set before me.
Oliver Doriss had the unique opportunity to experience the medium of glass at a young age, beginning his career as a glassblower in the studio environment at the age of 18. This initial contact guided him to follow his aspirations in glass as an apprentice at local glass shops. He received his formal education from The Massachusetts College of Art, receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1996
His desire to realize his artistic visions has brought him to a range of glass studios both national and international. He has been a central figure in the Seattle Washington area glass community as well as working nationally in Glassblowing classes taught by the innumerable Davide Fuin. He is an instructor at M-Space Glassblowing Studio in Tacoma, Washington designing the yearly curriculum and teaches summer workshops Urban Glass in Brooklyn, New York. At the Museum of Glass and Contemporary Art in Tacoma he works intimately with the Hot Shop staff, as well as coordinating special events programming to generate evening glass demonstrations.
As an accomplished artist, Oliver has designed lighting and interiors for public spaces as well as private establishments. His creations exist in many personal collections nationwide. Mr. Doriss has produced works for artists and designers such as the celebrated Dale Chihuly, and Donna Karan. His one-of-a-kind sculptures can be found in leading contemporary galleries around the country.