Every piece of Tandem Glass is a testament to the decades of experience and vision that Terrill Waldman and Charlie Jenkins share and produce in tandem with one another. One leads, one follows, both move together toward one goal—that their next piece will be better than the last.
About the pieces:
What started as seeing how various shards and fragments of cane and broken pieces looked when applied to clear glass is now a annual design staple that sells out. Mosaic pieces
differ not just in size and appearance, but also in price. “This allows us to offer glass to anyone regardless of income,” says Jenkins. “They can afford a piece of Tandem Glass. That’s very important to us.”
Other utilitarian pieces, such as pitchers, raise the age-old question of whether art is functional or decorative. Waldman and Jenkins agree they want their efforts to be used as
designed, but can understand if a patron opts for the pure sculptural aspect.
“We want people to use the items, to pour and drink from them,” says Jenkins. “I found out recently that an artist uses our hand-blown mortar and pestle to grind the pigments for their paint, which thrills me that our art is helping to create more art.”
“People with arthritis and multiple sclerosis have shared that they love the Mosaic line for its tactile quality—the way it feels in their hands, that it’s hard to drop,” says Waldman. “How awesome is that?”
Beyond the collaborative Mosaic line, Waldman and Jenkins produce a variety of limited-run, higher-end collectible pieces. Waldman’s large “slinky” vases are crafted using old truck springs as a form—the still-hot glass is unwound coil-like while at the correct temperature. Certain creatures in Jenkins’ animal line require being thrust into water to achieve a realistic looking and feeling skin.
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What glass artist or other artist do you admire most and why?
Terrill Waldman: I was going to say Tapio Wirkkala or Sottsass but then as an artist I thought I should choose someone living. Nancy Callan who is from the East Coast is doing great things with color and pattern and she has tremendous skill and tradition behind her. Plus she is a really nice person. I'm a maximallist though. It's hard not to name ten!
TW: I love technically exacting work. Getting a specific color I'm trying to create and exploring what color does so that I can create and recreate a quality of color and light that I love is very important (and tremendously satisfying) for me. However once I've done that work the pleasure in the playfulness of our mosaic line kind of takes over. It's good I have a foil to my tightly controlled work. When we make the mosaic pieces its kind of like finger painting.....at 2100 degrees
What piece would you like to make that you haven't yet?
TW: I'm developing these pieces right now that have somehow named themselves Threadly. They are sort of new territory in that they are a meeting place for my super tight and super loose work. They are really painterly and probably the most time consuming slow-process pieces I've done to date. That can always be problematic as a small art business but I always skew in that direction because it makes what I'm doing more unique and original.
Your favorite drink and place to enjoy it?
TW: I love super bitter, hoppy I.P.A's. I'd love to mention a particular one but we have so many awesome beer brewers close to us in Maine. When Charlie and I power down the studio at 4:30 we often have a beer by our pond out back. We call it "pond-gazing" and I cannot wait until its it warm enough for pond gazing this spring. In the winter though, we like to watch the sunset over the Eastern River in front of our studio. It's always stunning.
Describe your favorite meal?
TW: This one is super tough. I'm really omnivorous. I'm a steak and eggs girl but I love making vegan specialties like a faux alfredo using cashews instead of dairy. I started doing it with cilantro and lime over rice noodles. It makes everybody happy too: gluten and dairy-free, veggie, and so tasty. Actually Charlie does all the cooking though so whatever he is making!