Being a maker is a form of my spiritual practice. Primarily using glass, I examine states of transparency, reflection, light, and optics, to evaluate imperfections of our perception. The act of creating takes me to a place in my mind where I am thoroughly completely at ease. Time seems to dissipate and I am no longer important. I long for this mental state of emptiness; where I become completely present in the moment. Everything I experience is connected through process, and the repetitive movements of making become ritual thus defining my craft. My practice becomes a deep quest of the self, where I interrogate what it means to be human, or to be conscious at all.
I am interested in where the soul lives and how it experience life through our bodies. I find movement to be a fundamental aspect of perception- almost like a sixth sense. The body is a vessel for which we move through the space of the world. Space is often viewed as a void, empty or open but to me space is full, rich and can be manipulated.
The beauty I have found in repetitive patterns throughout nature engage my curiosity, and reveal a deeper order in all living things. I question the human experience to unravel the way that we see the world. To view everything as interrelated, we allow ourselves to remove the limits of perception, and just be. In realizing a connection to nature, one begins to realize a connection to oneself.
Intrinsic to my practice is the circle. A symbol for cycles, movement, continuation, and the universe. Circles are present in the natural world and in the celestial bodies. They are present in my life being a glass artist- constantly rotating the material around its own axis. Circles define my style as a hoop dancer, where my body rotates on its own axis. Through all my creative endeavors, my work engages the viewer in self contemplation; perhaps creating a moment of reconnection with themselves.
Emily Kuchenbecker was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin. She received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, with an emphasis in Glass. Emily is currently a first year graduate student in the Craft and Material Studies Program, at Virginia Commonwealth University. Emily has studied at the Pilchuck Glass Studio, Penland School of Crafts, and Oxbow School of Art, She recently attended the 365Haridwar artist residency in Haridwar India. Since 2016, Emily has continued to serve as the Co-Chair of the Digital Media Committee for the Glass Art Society.