Bonner Springs Two purple jellyfish swim over a field of pink jewel anemone, blue tube sponges, a cluster of East Pacific pink coral and a stand of purple-tipped anemone.
This is not the description of a National Geographic video of a coral reef; rather, it’s an intricate glass sculpture by artist Cathy Richardson, all encased within a 3.25-inch-wide globe.
The 15th year of Marble Crazy at Moon Marble Co. in Bonner Springs will showcase 20 glass artists, like Richardson, from across the country who create more than your typical marbles. Richardson is the featured artist at this year’s glass art spectacular Friday and Saturday. Her work even inspired this year’s event poster and T-shirt, which features Moon Marble’s iconic “moon man” going snorkeling.
Where: Moon Marble Co., 600 E. Front St., Bonner Springs
When: Noon to 9 p.m. Friday, with artist demonstrations until 8 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, with artist demonstrations until 4 p.m.
Bonus: The Kansas City Marble Collectors Club will host a third day of marble activity 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Overland Park Holiday Inn.
Admission: Free for both events
For more information: Call 913-441-1432 or visit marblecrazy.com.
Bruce Breslow, co-owner of Moon Marble, said many of the artists attending Marble Crazy, as well as several local glass art collectors, are clamoring to get into Richardson's invitation-only demonstration today prior to the public events
“I’ve had a lot of artists from around the country calling, wanting to see her doing her work, and they’re bummed if they can’t make it (to Marble Crazy),” Breslow said.
Though Breslow and Richardson have been acquainted for years, it will be Richardson’s first Marble Crazy appearance.
Richardson, a Minnesota-based artist, started out as a geologist, earning a doctorate from Harvard in 1977. She turned to glass art in the 1980s, beginning with stained glass and then lampwork — building sculptures with glass rods over an open flame — in the 1990s.
She also has experience with blown glass and furnace work — creating sculptures from molten glass heated in a furnace — and in the last decade, she has perfected a technique of vacuum-encasing her three-dimensional sculptures in clear glass.
“My pieces are challenging because I do build them up fairly tall, which makes them difficult to encase,” she said. “Some of my sculptures or setups can be a couple of inches tall, rather than being fairly flat, more typical of a paper weight.”
While she also creates floral scenes and some desert scenes, Richardson traces her fascination with underwater scenes to an experience snorkeling along the Great Barrier Reef. She said what she saw has inspired her artwork ever since.
“I’m drawn to sea images because there’s such a huge variety between the colors, textures and light,” she said.
Her son, a glass artist in his own right who focuses on floral pieces, will join her for Thursday’s private event before Marble Crazy. They only occasionally have been able to do collaborative pieces, so Richardson said she was excited to work with him.
“In the end the customer gets to have a little bit of both worlds,” she said.