Richard Remsen – Thoughts on Glass

“My opinion is that all good artwork is storytelling. So what is the story I am telling? Am I just making a vase for flowers? Or is there some interesting story that I want to express,” says Richard Resmen, an artist at Maine Art Hill in Kennebunk.

Artist Richard Remsen

“Icons, like the Lobster, are very simple. When people see them they recognize what they are,” shares Remsen. “It draws on the history of their memories, and it gives an added dimension to the work.”

Remsen studied at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and received his BFA in Sculpture at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. As an artist, Remsen studied glass blowing with Dale Chihuly, Fritz Driesbach, Dan Dailey and apprenticed with Dominic Labino.

Remsen returned to Maine after his time at RISD and established a sculpture studio specializing in bronze sculpture as well as blown and cast glass, in West Rockport, Maine. He has a versatile mix of tools and old technologies. His glass shop, one of the first hot glass studios in Maine, continues to be the catalyst of new designs. One of which is his lobster claw.

“With all my training, I still need to have that fresh look, that child-like attack or purpose,” Remsen says. “When you see children draw they take off. All children are born artists. The task is to retain some of that natural ability as the techniques become more complex.  I have to strip away all of it and  get back to the childlike approach to being spontaneous.”

Glassblowing is only one of Remsen’s skills. He loves the diverseness of the material and how it forces him to think fast and get right to the heart of the work, the story of it.

“It is such a spontaneous process. The glass is hot. I have to be moving. There is color. It’s like painting, but I use light and optics. Trying to figure out how the different colors will blend,” says Remsen. “Unlike painting where color is applying color on top of color, with glass you are working with opaque color and translucent color and transparent. They all blend to give you different effects. That is intriguing.”

Remsen has a collection of pieces at The Works on Maine Art Hill, part of Studios at 5 Chase Hill Road in Kennebunk. They are open every day at 10 am. FMI visit or call 207-204-2042.