Designer Profile: Alison Berger Glassworks

May 8, 2010

Describing her style as romantic modernism, Alison Berger uses hand made techniques to creates a variety of glass products, from sculptured chandeliers and floor lamps to vases and vessels.

Based in West Hollywood, California, Alison wasn’t always working with glass, as she started with a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Rhode Island School of Design, and then went onto Columbia University School of Architecture where she became an architect. Having worked with Bausman-Gill and Associates as well as Frank O. Gehry Associates, both architecture firms, it wasn’t until 1995 that Alison decided to concentrate on glass design full-time.

Apart from studying to be an architect, Alison also studied glass blowing for more than 25 years and was an apprentice with Dale Chihuly.  Each piece that she makes is hand blown, annealed for two to three days, and then is hand finished and in some cases, hand etched.

When asked about her major influences, Alison said “My work is influenced by the glow of fireflies, candlelight,16th Century scientific objects ,  the first and last hour of sunlight know as the Golden Hour, and  found objects I come across in my travels.”

When asked about the best thing about being a designer, Alison said “Freedom. I’m able translate the things that inspire me, whatever they may be, into physical objects”, and the worst is “the struggle to balance and perfect what I see in my mind’s eye.”

Alison has had various amount of success with her work being part of the permanent collection at the Corning Museum, and she has also had her work displayed at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York.  Alison has also been part of many exhibitions in the United States, Europe and Asia, and has designed objects for film and music videos including work for Madonna’s Bedtime Stories.

A statement from Alison Berger:

Light is my medium, glass is my material and memory, elusive as it is, my theme. The pieces for this collection are based on the visual vocabulary that societies create to manifest their beliefs, desires, and rituals. Victorian fly traps, military hat forms, candlelight, apothecary jars, and devices of measure are examples of the objects that have inspired this work. I am drawn to these pieces because they are simultaneously enigmatic and revealing in what they say about the cultures that invented and utilized them. Rendered in glass, altered in scale and stripped of decoration, their essence is exposed. Nostalgic replication is not the goal; rather these pieces represent a reimagination and reinterpretation that makes them feel simultaneously contemporary and old world. Like memory itself, these glass objects, sculptures and furnishings transcend time and place.

Visit the website of Alison Berger Glassworks – here.