Charles L. Holden, 1958-2019, was a glass artist and instructor who created significant cast-glass sculptures that were shown in national exhibits. He took first place at the 2015 Workhouse Glass National. He also made custom functional glass.
His art explored themes of both isolation and belonging. As he expressed in an artist statement, “For me the form of a shelter is a metaphor for many of our needs, hopes and dreams. I imagine things solid, stable and attainable. But in reality they are shifting, tilting and drifting out of reach.”
Holden received his BFA from Middlebury College, and MFA in Film and Video Production from University of North Carolina, Greensboro. He was largely self-taught in glass, but he studied at Pilchuck Glass School and was a teaching assistant there.
Of glass as a medium, Holden wrote:
“I choose glass for its predictable formal qualities — solidity, transparency, color. It allows me to work both on the surface and in the interior. But I also like glass for its surprises. Colors mix unpredictably. Highlights change as the day goes by. I’m never quite in as much control as I like to believe.”
Holden’s glass studio was the center of his artistic life since 1998, but he was unable to use it during a long illness. He bequeathed it to Lisa Schnellinger, who is developing it as a resource center for glass artists: Fused Light Studio.
These photos show just a few examples of his work on display at a recent Open House.