George Ponzini, an internationally recognized glass artist, creates functional and sculptural pieces with an uncommon style of assemblage. Architecture, art deco and modern art influence his lively work that he calls Neo-Deco. Engaging and elegant, George’s glass includes sculpture, stemware, martini pitchers, candlesticks, perfume bottles, bowls, mirrors, bud vases, sconces, shelves and even custom chess sets, tables and chandeliers. Stunning composites of slumped and constructed elements juxtapose with free form and geometric shapes ingeniously. Abstract and complex, George’s built pieces weave together modern and post-modern sensibilities to highlight glass’s color and light. Echoes of 20th century art deco and architecture deepen his work’s meaning, but his style also heralds futuristic urban design. For over thirty-eight years, George’s built structures of glass planes have defiantly departed from traditional glass art.
Methods and Materials
George approaches designing with the loosest of concepts, relying on his relationship with the material and his ability to stay open to an evolutionary, organic exchange. “I enjoy the spontaneity of the design process – the climax being when the last piece of colored or textured glass brings the design together creating the final piece – a three dimensional collage.”
Galleries and Exhibits
George Ponzini’s work is in galleries, notable exhibits and collections in the US, Europe and Japan: The Glasmuseum in Ebeltoft, Denmark, The Renwick Gallery, Vassar College, Nicolaysen Art Museum, and The International Exhibition of Glass Craft in Kanazawa, Japan. George has served on the faculty of the Sharon Arts Center in Peterborough, New Hampshire. He has been a Vermont Council of the Arts Fellowship Recipient, and he earned a Grodin Award for Excellence in Design and Craftsmanship.
History and Influences
George found glass art at New Hampshire’s Franklin Pierce College in 1974.
“Taking my first stained glass course on a whim was my introduction to glass. I was always intrigued with the stained glass windows in church as a child.” Soon he was learning stained glass and furniture design at Virginia University’s Arts School of Crafts. His current style was influenced by his studies at Pilchuck Glass Center and at North Carolina’s Penland School of Crafts. From Sonja Blomdahl at Pilchuck, George deepened his understanding of the importance of a unique color sensibility that infuses his work.
“I’m still fascinated with glass itself. As a medium, glass has seemingly endless possibilities. Even after 30 years I am still conceiving new ideas: a dining room table, bathroom accessories and a table lamp.” Other influences are his urban childhood and travels abroad. “My work is definitely founded in my urban roots in New York City. I was fascinated with the city’s art deco buildings and modern architecture. More recently, on a trip to Milan, I was inspired by Italian contemporary design.”