Habitat is a weekly series that visits with artists in their workspaces.
This week’s studio: Thaddeus Wolfe; East Williamsburg, Brooklyn. “Sometimes people call them illuminated sculptures but I call them lamps. I don’t want to make it pretentious,” Thaddeus Wolfe said, holding one of his pieces. The glass artist, from Toledo, Ohio, is currently preparing for a solo show at R & Company in Tribeca, which opens September 8 and will showcase new pendants, vessels, and “illuminated sculptures,” to borrow the gallery’s term.
While in the studio, Wolfe balances multiple projects at once and typically works on three to four pieces at a time. “I’ll spend a few days working on assembling the foam,” he said. “It only takes an hour or two to blow glass, and a few hours to make the mold. I usually only blow glass three days a month. The preparation, polishing, and casting takes the longest time.” Wolfe started out studying fine arts before eventually receiving a BFA in glass at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Eventually he moved to New York, where he’s lived for the past 12 years. He’s very strict about his music choices. “Usually I’ll listen to the news until around noon,” he told me. “I like WFMU radio and I’ve been digging this Beach Boys album Friends recently. Then I’ll listen to embarrassing music when everyone leaves.”
In addition to glass artistry, Wolfe is also an avid mushroom forager, and suggests Wolfe’s Pond Park in Staten Island and the North Woods of Central Park for foraging. Several pieces in his upcoming show will incorporate color schemes and patterns found on certain mushrooms. Below, Wolfe takes us around his studio and shares more inspirations and insight into his process.
ALL PHOTOS: KATHERINE MCMAHON