Toots Zynsky, ‘Blue Paradise’, 1986, Museum of Arts and Design

Series: Birds of Paradise series

Image rights: Photo by Ed Watkins, 2007

Gift of Carol and Don Wiiken, 1991

About Toots Zynsky

Toots Zynsky is known for her distinctive “filet de verre” technique that fuses threads of glass to achieve unmatched explorations of color. While completing her BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design, Zynsky helped found the Pilchuck Glass School, which ultimately made studio glass a mainstream phenomenon. Although her work is constantly evolving, Zynsky consistently experiments with color and form; in her early vessels, Zynsky fused glass with barbed wire and later, nets of glass with blown forms. Through the invention of her “filet de verre” technique Zynsky began melding layers of glass threads inside a kiln to achieve unique manipulations of color—a process that involved teams of people pulling thread but was simplified by her co-invention of a thread-pulling machine, which uses electronic software to create glass thread in a manner comparable to glass optical fiber.

American, b. 1951, Boston, Massachusetts, based in Providence, Rhode Island