He spends a lot of time wandering through flea markets, thrift stores, and personal storage units, finding seemingly unimportant objects and the stories they could tell. He is currently developing several series of glass sculptures and installations which deal with concepts of nostalgia in objects.
Born in Charleston, SC, Wm. Austin Norvell worked in several mediums using mold making, before he was introduced to glass casting by Daniel Clayman at the Penland School of Crafts in 2005. This was one of two major experiences which define his life’s goal of creating meaningful glass.
Several years after his first experience at Penland, he hit a crossroads and decided to move in to a log cabin on the backside of Penland Mountain. He spent four years immersed in the craft community surrounding Penland School of Crafts, where he assisted and collaborated with other artists, took multiple workshops and experimented with a number of glass working techniques. After returning to Charleston, SC, he continued to experiment and push his boundaries with the material while deliberating and analyzing everything from the process to concept.
A random phone call from Murano, Italy earlier this year was the beginning of the second major influence. Within two weeks of receiving the initial call, Norvell was assisting Adriano Berengo and his casting team in creating cast glass work for renowned artists who typically don’t work with glass. Norvell sympathized with Adriano’s mission to create the finest casting studio in Europe along with his desire to bring the cast glass process into the forefront of materials used by the most influential fine artists. While he plans to continue the seasonal relationship with Berengo Studios 1989, Norvell has recently returned to his hometown of Charleston, SC.
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