Paulus Tjiang is an accomplished glass blower. His oriental heritage inspires him to look for balance, but as a member of the sandwiched Generation X, it’s dynamic – more like juggling. Fire and flames in the process of glass making intermingle with thoughts of fancy and fantasy. Vivid colours, cartoon humour, and elegant forms are the result. Paulus graduated from the Ontario College of Art, in 1988. From 1988 to 1991, he refined his glassmaking skills as a resident at Harbourfront Craft Studio. He shared the joy of making art with children and the young at heart, working with Inner City Angels, Mariposa in the Schools, Cedar Ridge Creative Centre, Mooredale House and with grant support from the Ontario Arts Council’s Artist in Education program. His glass work can be seen in private and public collections, across North America.
“I encountered Venetian glass blowing technique, in the woods, of northern Washington State. In 1987, there was a reclusive camp-like school setting, called Philchuck, where artists from around the world gathered to teach and share.
The techniques were centuries old. However, I was born into the era of Loonie Toons and Hanna Barbera. I was intrigued by the traditional techniques. I felt a connection with history, working in the traditional techniques, but my heart lived in a cartoon. I realized that even the most formal gatherings improved with laughter. The notion that fun and whimsy did not have to be exclusive of elegance and precision, has driven my work to this day.
As glass making in history grew from the creation of functional containers, I try to honour tradition, by making designs that are functional, whenever possible. Most recently, I’ve looked at Funerary Urns, Jugs and Cups, for celebrating the rituals of life.” P.T.
With his wife, potter Monica Johnston, Paulus operates Frantic Farms Studios in Warkworth, Ontario.