Sofia Through the Glass
Some of the most successful art discoveries have occurred due to serendipitous circumstances. How Napa artist, Sophia Harrison, happened upon her trademark technique of applying words under glass was such an example. She wrote:
“One night in my studio * ahem * laundry room, I set my wine glass on top of a magazine. When I turned my head to pick up the wine I noticed the word “explore” seemingly floating beneath the clear glass. Chance, destiny, does it even matter? A strange new excitement bubbled inside; I knew what I wanted to create. I would incorporate words into my art, and they would tell my stories.”
Formerly Marketing Director at Harrison Vineyards, Sofia is now
an ardent mosaic artist with a proliferation of work. Each piece contains carefully chosen words that reveal themselves under glass, phrases that tell a story. In explaining her artistic process, she states”
“…I use oil pastels and or acrylics to paint out my piece first and then scrounge through magazines to clip out the words that will tell my stories. Each word is glued onto the hand cut glass and affixed to my ‘canvas’. I hand sand and grout the piece and then paint the grout. It is very much like traditional mosaic work but I have created my own twist through the incorporation of the word. When light shines from behind my windowpanes they become a different piece all together; I rather like the way the light can effect the piece.”
"I gather words in much the same manner as a painter mixes paints," she explains. “I am drawn to the colors and texture of the background stock as well as the word itself. All of the clear glass I use is recycled and I will often paint the glass if it is not the color I desire.”
Magazine advertisements are her favorite source for words and phrases: "When taken out of context, they become either particularly funny or especially poignant."
"Sofia Harrison is one of those rare artists who possess the ability to transcend normal expectations and enter into a world strictly of her own creation. Her work speaks with many voices in her own distinctive style. Using the ancient art form of glass mosaics, Harrison affords herself the opportunity to tap into a wide variety of forms and shapes to evoke emotional responses both for herself and her patrons."
Gary Brady-Herndon for the Napa Valley Register
Distill my Heart
For Sofia, art isn't a choice. She creates because she has to. She is driven by the inner spirit that must tell the piece's story through the glass.
"My work embodies the collective thought patterns of our society: fractured but connected, expressing the combat of individuality, encompassing desire, spirit and reason. I am mixed. Media: paper, words, glass, paint, discarded and found objects, glue and grout."
In addition to making her mixed media works, Susan maintains that her favorite pastimes are, "Dumpster diving, mushroom hunting, cooking, jumping on the trampoline." Her latest artistic endeavors include creation of personalized wedding designs in which she adds personal information about the marrying couple, permanently encased in her original glass hearts. She is also working on a concept to represent racial stereotyping in schools.
Readers can see more of Ms. Harrison's work on her web site.