This Pioneering Glass Artist Has Used Clariant’s Pigments
for 25 Years
Sidney Hutter always knew he wanted to be an artist but didn’t expect to be a pioneer of the American Studio Glass Movement.
He received his Master of Fine Arts at the Massachusetts College of Art and his Bachelor of Science in Art at Illinois State University, and was among the first artists in the world to experiment with laminated glass techniques.
His works are included in many important public collections including The Corning Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art,The Toledo Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts Boston and the White House Collection of American Crafts which is part of the National Archives at the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library.
We sat down with Sidney to learn more about his journey to becoming an artist and his work.
"The Verti and Verti Fan series, for example, were highly influenced by my musical interests in the 80s. I used the planar, rectilinear, and architectural qualities of plate glass to mimic the keys, notes, and movement of music."
When did you develop your affinity for art and why glass?
I have always been surrounded by art. I grew up frequenting Chicago art museums with my parents who had a great appreciation for culture -- my dad was a psychology professor and my mom a Spanish and French professor who spoke seven languages.
Though not much of an artist in grade and high school, I always liked building things and thought I might be an architect. All this changed one semester when I took a crafts class. Enjoying it so much I went on to take a glass blowing class and the rest is history.
I fell in love with glass and glassblowing, and would practice the craft everyday. I appreciate glass for its many qualities and metaphors it evokes (hard, soft, sharp, smooth) and also because it’s highly utilitarian -- we use it in our homes every day as drinking glasses, as windows, as table tops, and more.
Who has inspired your art?
I particularly enjoyed the works of Mark Rothko, Pablo Picasso, and Paul Klee -- very modern and contemporary. I also grew up in a prefabricated Lustron house with geometric panels. I think this had a great influence on my design aesthetic.
What inspired you throughout each phase? I can see that your portfolio consists of pieces that look wildly different -- from fan-shaped objects to cubic hearts.
Overall, I’m inspired by the history of glass and the vessel form. I’m also inspired by architectural vessels whether they are a small container or a large building. I am deeply influenced by modern and contemporary art and design, machines, nature, and humanity. And music, always, playing in the background of my studio.
The Verti and Verti Fan series, for example, were highly influenced by my musical interests in the 80s. I used the planar, rectilinear, and architectural qualities of plate glass to mimic the keys, notes, and movement of music.