Meet the Artist: Curtiss Brock
MEET THE ARTIST: CURTISS BROCK
If you've ever seen our glass room, you have most certainly been entranced by the work of glass artist, Curtiss Brock. Curtiss is a revolutionary figure in the Southeastern glass community and continues to blow us away with the work he creates with the inspiration of the natural world.
Curtiss currently lives in middle Tennessee where he is a professor leading the glass studio the School of Art, Craft, and Design at the Appalachian Center for Craft at Tennessee Technological University. He is also a nationally renowned competition dog trainer! Curtiss gleans inspiration from various sources in nature, whether it be minerals of the Earth, the reflection of light on water, or the forms and shapes of the natural world.
The following excerpt is from his artist statement:
"Every single industry has been directly dependent upon our planet's minerals. We have grown so accustomed to this gift that many of us have come to take it for granted. Man's dependence upon fossil fuels is growing stronger than ever before. Even in a modern technological society we are facing a time when we must consider the implications of this dependence. My work is a simple gesture to try and make us stop to appreciate the power and great mystery of our planet."
How did you get started in glass? Who did you learn from?
Tell us about your most recent work. What was the inspiration behind it?
What does creativity mean to you and what fuels it in your life and work?
The word creativity is a bit loaded. For example, if I drive home from work a different way is that being creative? If I’m mowing my lawn in an unusual pattern is that creative?
I’ve done both of these things in an attempt to push myself to experience new things. Hopefully this type of thinking will lead me to working in a way that the viewer will experience new things when you see my work.
Tell us about a time you felt discouraged or full of self-doubt and how you moved past it.
What drew you to work with glass and what continues to bring you back and sustain your ambition?
Describe to us the feeling of being in your “flow” as an artist.
Flow by its very nature is a temporary state. It's difficult to get into “FLOW” because often the more you try to get flow the harder it becomes. So what works best for me is to try and build an environment that it could show up in. You do this by working very hard day and night hoping to experience that temporary state.
When you hit a “FLOW STATE” mainly we are talking about is a place where a collaboration happens between your ideas and what the material has to offer. You have to be open and listening carefully because it only comes as a whisper but if you listen carefully and hear the whisper it can be a wonderful collaboration.
If you could be anything else, what would it be?
I am a college professor and I love teaching. I get a lot of joy from helping people work with glass. In 2009 I was awarded the arts educator of the year. I also love training my dogs and I own a 4000 sq ft. training facility designed for working with dogs. Two of my dogs are obedience trial champions and one of my dogs has been invited to the national champions in Los Angeles five times.
What is the best piece of advice you were given early on in your career as an artist?
"You always hold the rights to your effort, but never to your results. Results are entitled to no one. At best, they are on loan and must be renewed each day."