We Used to Be Workingglass
November 8-December 20, 2019
Reception: Friday, November 8, 6:00-8:00pm

The Brookline Arts Center is pleased to present We Used to Be Workingglass by John Bassett.

“Most of us, bottles, plates, glasses, ashtrays used to work.  Now we just lie around trying to look beautiful or make people laugh.”

Artist Statement:
“I’m happy in the rich, associative world of recycled glass and other found objects including windows and construction scrap. I focus on that most conventional quality of glass, its transparency. Not flat, not round, my work might be called glass relief. I like the richness of shape and texture produced by slumping and fusing. I like layers. Though often flat my work tries to create illusions of space between overlapped layers of color and by using mirror scraps includes the space in the room around the viewer. I do panels for windows, commissions, and glass that can be shown on interior walls and doesn’t need strong backlighting. I’m interested in light, structure, space, balance, and color in that order. And I like things that are funny. If my glass makes someone laugh, that’s good.”

John Bassett is mostly self-taught in glass. He went to the Harvard Graduate School of Design and worked briefly as a draftsman.  He quickly moved up to better pay and shorter hours as a union carpenter. When divorce made him a single parent he became a self-employed builder. He lives in Brookline with his wife, Christina Wolfe, where their four kids, Andrew Wolfe, Sarah Bassett, Julia Wolfe, and Oliver Bassett thrived.

His uncle, Richard Bassett was an artist and encouraged him to see, to think about composition and balance, and to paint and draw.  A clever and generous man, Joseph LeBeau worked for his grandmother and made wonderful toy machines from scrap wood, recycled nails, and left over house paint.  He gave these toy machines to any kid who wanted them.  John learned from Joseph LeBeau the joy of making things, the possibility of using recycled, discarded materials, the possibility of making something from nothing, and the fun of sharing.  John has done glass since 1979.