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Entry 15 video from Clare Stadlen
ARTIST: Clare A. Stadlen
Displays: Hangs from ceiling
Height (w/out hanging wire): 25 in
Max Width: 20 in
Weight: 12 lbs
"Families" is made of nineteen hanging components of fused glass (14), glass beads (4), and blown glass (1); copper wire, silver solder, clasping barrel swivels, plastic coated multi-purpose wire, and an aluminum tube.
My mobile is called "Families" because, as a psychotherapist, I have frequently spoken of mobiles as a metaphor for family dynamics. In order to use the visual image, I would often say to my clients, "imagine a mobile here..." and I'd allude to a spot in the room. After using this analogy for a while, it occurred to me that I needed a mobile in my office, so I set out to find one. I scoured art shows, galleries, and "Third Fridays"; I even looked online. But none spoke to me. Eventually, I decided I would need to make my own mobile - and I wanted to make it out of glass. I knew nothing about working with glass, so, while sitting over coffee and my computer at the Mad Hatter one Friday afternoon in 2011, I googled, "Glass classes in Durham, NC." By Monday morning I was cutting, grinding, and fusing at Christal Cerrone's glass studio. Glass became a family passion: My daughter became a regular at Christal's camps and I was there whenever I had a big enough gap in my work schedule. It took a while to make enough pieces that felt right for my mobile and during that time I also took a weekend workshop in glass blowing and bead-making. When I was finally ready to assemble the mobile (which felt ominous), I decided I wanted it to hang from copper wire and for each piece to be free to turn on its' own. Since I didn't like the bulky look of twisted copper and wanted a cleaner line, I bought a ball-point-pen sized soldering torch and taught myself how to solder. It wasn't so difficult, once I got the hang of it, and what fun it was! For the pieces to spin freely, a friend suggested barrel swivels with interlocking clasps, which I found in the fishing section of a sports supply store. I tell people that my mobile gestated for about 5 years and has finally emerged. It was hanging in my office only a few weeks when I heard about the mobile exhibit at the Carrack. What's been especially fun about seeing it hanging is that everyone notices something different in it. I love to hear people's ideas of what they see in each piece and how the shapes, colors, levels, placement, and movement, become an individual and personalized expression of their own "families."