Heady Art deserves recognition, respect in creative community

Our modern world is bursting with countless forms of art.

It can come in an almost infinite number of mediums.  There is art that predates our modern society by thousands of years, as well as new and exciting forms that are being made today.

  Many people think of art in its classical sense, such as music, paintings, sculptures, or anything else one could find in a museum. Yet beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Therefore, many forms of art are sometimes viewed as anything but art itself.

Manufactured glass first appeared around 3500 B.C. in the area known as Mesopotamia, as a replacement for naturally occurring obsidian.  In the millennia since its first man-made production, glass has become one of the world’s most iconic forms of art.   

The world is full of different forms of glass-inspired art, ranging from the stoic stained glass of cathedrals, to exquisite jewelry that line the cases of the world’s museums, all the way to the relatively new medium of glass art known as “Heady Art.”

Heady Art is the upper echelon of the sometimes-debatable form of glass work that is also known to the world as contemporary pipe making.

The term Heady Art refers to the immensely unique works of the low-melting borosilicate glass that are created to stand out and be as visually captivating as possible.  Every piece is crafted to stand out and be a one-of-a-kind work of art.

Even with the countless hours of labor that the artists pour into honing their craftsmanship, the work they create is sometimes viewed either as not a valid form of art, or, even in some cases, as a crime.

I am here to say that Heady Art is not a crime.  An artist should not be chastised for creating art, even if if promotes an alternative lifestyle.

bongThe amount of work and ingenuity that goes into making a piece of glass worthy of the exclusive moniker is fairly enthralling.

Tru Chalk, a Texas-based artist and South Plains College alumni, has shared the creative process during the past few weeks.

Watching as the work is melted down from solid rods of glass to form different sections of the current project is captivating in its own right.  The glass is melted and shaped on a torch that is firing away at 1500 to 2500 degrees, mere inches away from the artist’s face.

The artist shapes the piece by sections. Each section can be a variety of colors, and they can be mixed and matched to achieve the desired look the artist is aiming for.  The glass can be shaped into a nearly infinite number of shapes and sizes.  The end result can be one of endless forms, ranging from a simple tube to some of the more complex works, such as Tru Chalk’s “Meditator.”  The endless amount of possibilities that glass artists can achieve is only limited by their own imagination.

Art is subjective to the person viewing it. While one may not see the value in a form of art, there is a growing number of glass collectors around the world.  These collectors help keep the market alive and well.  It is not unusual for a well-known artist’s work to reach sky-high prices.  There are pieces of work that have sold for tens of thousands of dollars.  Again, art is subjective, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

While some people will scoff at the idea of Heady Art being a legitimate art form, the industry will keep on glowing bright due to the already strong and growing communities that support their artists.  You can see more of Tru Chalk’s work on Instagram by searching TruChalkGlass.

Author: Kyle Ewing

I am a sophmore preparing to transfer to Texas Tech in the Fall. Currently, I am a photographer and writer for the Plainsmen Press at South Plains College.

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