Kay Leroy Ruggles Directional Industries, Inc.
Umbo Stacking Chairs
Kay Leroy Ruggles, designer
American, 1932 - 2012
Directional Industries, Inc., manufacturer
American, 1963 - 1975
Umbo Stacking Chairs, ca. 1970
73 x 44.7 x 45.7 cm (28 13/16 x 17 5/8 x 18 inches)
Gift of the Estate of Samuel Cate 2003.97.2
An intricate interplay of color and form, this vessel exemplifies Thaddeus Wolfe’s contemporary approach to traditional glass-making techniques. The artist first created this form in Styrofoam, which was then covered in plaster to make a mold. Layers of colored glass were blown into the mold, both filling it and leaving random voids, then the plaster mold was destroyed, leaving the unique work. Innovatively employing cameo-glass techniques, Wolfe exposed the colored layers by carving geometric facets into the surface, while also leaving smooth expanses. The resulting vessel references naturalistic mineral formations as well as modern art and architecture—particularly Brutalism’s muscular modularity.