SEQUIM — Blue Whole Gallery’s next exhibit reaches from the mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Driftwood sculptor John Bertholl and glassware artist Sheri Whestine are the featured figures for the Sequim gallery’s “From the Shore to the Sea” exhibit in February.
The two well-established artists in the region have joined the Blue Whole Gallery recently, and this is their first showcase in the front windows.
“Their original artwork presents the nature and the spirit of this area in a refreshing manner,” gallery representatives said.
The gallery at 129 W. Washington St. will host an exhibit opening from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.
Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Masks and social distancing are required in the gallery.
About the artists
Bertholl was born, raised and worked most of his life in Juneau, Alaska. After moving to Sequim in 2014, he became interested in driftwood art and joined a local driftwood club.
“I began experimenting with different tools, techniques and mediums,” he said.
“I have added air plants to several of my smaller pieces, which I believe brings out the beauty and natural flow of the wood.
“A special project of mine is the ongoing creation of the Sequim Driftwood Band. All of the replicate musical instruments are formed out of the same piece of driftwood. I have added a new instrument to the collection each year.”
Carefully thought out
For Whestine, each piece of glass in her creations is carefully thought out, designed, hand-cut, assembled, fused, then slumped or draped (bent into or over a mold). Most pieces, whether large or small, have up to 80 hours invested in their creation.
The fusing process takes about 20 hours, she said, and reaches a peak temperature of 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the process. The slumping or draping process also takes on average 14-20 hours, sometimes much longer.
“Since 2006, I have been exploring the possibilities glass offers, which seem limited only by my imagination,” Whestine said.
“I love how a solid, flat piece of glass can be, merely by adding heat, transformed into a thing of beauty, either by intent or chance. I love the predictable unpredictability of warm glass. I can have an idea in mind and create specifically for the desired effect, but there are sometimes things that happen in the kiln which simply cannot be controlled. I can cut pieces of glass and arrange them with a specific design in mind, or I can put lots of random pieces together and let fate decide the outcome.”
See www.bluewhole gallery.com for more information.