Glenn Abel has always had a deep appreciation for the natural world, drawing upon it for inspiration and design. He has a residence for 25 years in the Ashland, NY, in the Catskill Mountain region of the state. The forests, rolling mountains and exquisite sunsets contribute endless material for landscape designs. The graphic imagery of white birches contrasted against dense forest backdrops has permeated his work and was the catalyst for creating his first landscapes in glass. Given Abel’s professional design background, his pieces are graphic in both content and composition. Although his work primarily encompasses landscape and figurative imagery, he is always pursuing new ideas, techniques and visual concepts.
He employs several techniques, the most obvious is casting and fusing. Another less obvious technique is what he calls “lensing.” This process generates convex surfaces on individual pieces of glass, and in turn those surfaces refract light and magnify it. This technique lends itself particularly well to landscapes, especially designs that incorporate leaf patterns, allowing for multiple convex surfaces and the ultimate glow of the piece. Although representational in content, Abel does not attempt to depict the scenery, but rather capture a feeling or a sense of place, creating a balance between the visual statement and the glass itself, so the viewer will see both simultaneously.