Since 2007, when William Morris retired with great fanfare at the peak of his glass-artist career, he’s been spending his time perfecting his stone-carving technique in Hawaii. Meanwhile, his unique body of work in sculpted and blown glass that channels non-European ancient artifacts continues to attract the attention of collectors, and fetch record prices. One large installation, however, has not sold. Mazorca, originally displayed as part of his 2005 mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma has not found a buyer. The more-than-8-foot-tall cornucopia of dangling glass objects that look like earthenware, shells, carved bone, and wood, will be restrung in smaller compositions, according to Lewis Wexler, who will be showing these works at the Sculptural Objects Functional Art Fair in Chicago this November. Morris’s brief return to the glass art studio was confirmed by his studio manager, Holly Lyman in an email exchange.
“He’s doing it himself,” said Wexler in a telephone conversation with the GLASS Quarterly Hot Sheet. “I saw them in progress at the barn. He’s hired the original team to help with the metal work and the ropes.” The Philadelphia-based art dealer estimated there would be close to a dozen of the reconfigured works but was not able to give approximate dimensions or prices, saying it was too early to say.
The reworked “Mazorca” pieces will be only one aspect of Wexler’s Morris offerings at the art fair in Chicago. The artist is also curating an exhibition of work by former team-members Rik Allen, Holly Lyman, Kelly O’Dell, Ross Richmond, Randy Walker, and Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen. Morris will not make the trip to Chicago, but will appear via Skype during a panel discussion of the work of his former team members who helped him create some of the most inventive and alchemical transformations of glass at a SOFA lecture at 12;30 PM on Friday, November 1st, 2013.