“Art as a form of communication takes over where language leaves off.” This assertion by glass artist Jeffrey P’an crystallizes his belief in art’s power. Art, he feels, “is very well equipped to communicate things that are not usually said in words.”
From his studio/factory/store in the heart of Mystic, Connecticut, P’an is communicating his interpretations and reactions to life, nature and music through his glass creations. His art is desired by a growing list of collectors all over the world.
Working with a diverse palette of colors and textures, P’an’s artistry distinctively makes glass the star. “What I try to do is create an ever-changing world with the transparency.” His techniques for blending and layering geometric shapes and patterns result in designs of luminous acuity that accentuate, rather than overpower, the crystalline character of the glass. A vase becomes a medium to portray arrays of shades, hues, tones and patterns that both entertain and startle our visual frame of reference.
“The first step, and the most creative part of the process, is to come up with what I want to see,” P’an said. He lays out a mosaic of different colors, parts and pieces. “That allows me to really plan the relationship of the colors and patterns to each other. When I’m designing, I’m working in three-dimensional spaces that depend upon the transparency, looking through the glass, getting that interaction of color and pattern and texture to create something that’s more than just a pattern wrapped around a vase. You can see angles, you can see vastly different colors. A vase is a static object. But what I try and do more than anything is bring it to life in a way that resembles life.”
That’s an aesthetic instinct that cannot be taught. It distinguishes an artist from a manufacturer. The emotional genesis of P’an’s creations make a persuasive case that artists are born, not schooled. Glass art really found him, he said. It didn’t begin until he was beyond college, when a high school friend invited him to his studio in Westerly, Rhode Island. There, he witnessed glass blowing for the first time and “it just drew me in. I got the chance to do it a little bit and found out I was actually pretty good at it. So, I just kind of ran with it from there.”