SCC marks 14th anniversary International Flameworking Conference

Joyce Scott

Salem Community College celebrated excellence and diversity in glass art and science at the 2014 International Flameworking Conference.

The featured artists, Joyce Scott and Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen, captivated the over 200 attendees, March 28-30.  SCC honored Scott as a distinguished American treasure in the arts and Willenbrink-Johnsen for her extraordinary contributions to contemporary glass art.

“Life gives you many opportunities to shine and garner the glow of knowledge, joy and accomplishment from others,” said Scott. “Few allow such a luxuriant experience as the International Flameworking Conference.”

“The excitement throughout the weekend was phenomenal,” said conference chair Paul J. Stankard, whose leadership helped establish the IFC in 2001. “There was such a generous spirit of sharing.  It was a joy to watch.”

The IFC culminated on Sunday with concurrent, group demonstrations – Celebrating Innovation through Collaboration -- led by Marshall Hyde and Mike Souza. Hyde was joined by Shane Fero, Marc Petrovic and Kari Russell-Pool in a demo titled, "Imagination, Imagery and Inquiry." Souza, Tim Drier, Kiva Ford and Sally Prasch teamed up to present "Iconic Scientific Glass." Afterwards, glass artist and SCC instructor Jenna Efrein moderated a panel discussion on the collaborations.

The IFC was an eye-opening experience for a group of students and instructors from GlassRoots, Inc. in Newark, N.J. The organization strives to transform lives, especially of underserved youth, by fostering life-long learning and creative self-expression through glassmaking. "Sometimes working in glass can feel like one is in an abyss, but conferences like this remind us of how extensive and strong our community is,” said Jennifer Johnson, an instructor at GlassRoots. “This conference was educational, inspiring and mind-opening for all of us from GlassRoots and we are grateful for the opportunity to attend.”  During the IFC, the College honored Joe Barker and Joe Luisi as pioneers in scientific glass technology. The former longtime owner of Greatglas in Wilmington, Del., Barker now serves as a mentor to SCC scientific glass technology students. Luisi was SCC’s instructional chair for 21 years following a distinguished career at Ace Glass. SCC’s current instructional chair, Dennis Briening, a 1977 SCC graduate in scientific glass, gave a well-received lathe demonstration at the conference.

The International Flameworking Conference is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. For more information about Salem Community College’s glass programs and the IFC, visit www.salemcc.edu/glass.