Walking on [Solid] Glass

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cast glass art by Walter Gordinier can be seen nationwide in chapels, hospitals and even private homes. It also appears in Pacific University’s Forest Grove campus library, at the top of the stairs.

Gordinier ’73 did not always work with glass. As an art student at Pacific, his interests lay in ceramics.

When he began working with glass, though, he realized he could put art in front of people where they could use it every day. 

Now, his pieces serve as parts of structures: countertops, ceilings, bridges, even flooring. He works with interior designers, architects and building owners to create unique pieces. Each work is made by layering pieces of glass in a large kiln, creating new colors in a process Gordinier compares to painting.

His art is tested and approved for normal weight and use as building materials, and instead of drilling holes, he affixes his creations with the same tape that is used on Boeing aircrafts.

He cannot pinpoint a single project as his favorite, but Gordinier said the project at his alma mater was special; it made him feel like a student again.