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Robert Levin

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Glass Artist

Robert Levin is an acclaimed glass artist who is well known among art collectors all over the world. Over 50 years ago, Robert took a class in glass making at the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. He went on to teach and be an artist in residence at the school.  After Penland, he settled in the mountains of western North Carolina and built a studio there. Today, the area is known as one of the leading centers of Arts & Crafts in the USA.

Robert got into making Judaica objects through Belle Rosenbaum. Belle loved his work and commissioned Robert to make some mezuzahs in the 1980s. Belle featured Robert’s works in her 1995 book “Upon Thy Doorposts”. Robert’s mezuzahs are shown in the gallery here. They are unique works blown by Robert with colors that he mixes himself.

I was originally attracted to hot glass because of its liquid qualities and sense of immediacy. I have always tried to capture an element of the elegance, fluidity, and whimsy which I feel are inherent properties of glass. I have often formulated my own glass, including the colors I use, and have generally used opaque glasses or frosted surfaces, which tend to emphasize the overall form of each piece. I find that various aspects of my work take on much more personal connotations for me, although rarely in any explicit ways. This usually happens without my conscious knowledge; I may be looking at a completed piece and see something new in it -- something about myself or my work. This kind of dialogue with the work has become very important to me. I view many of the pieces I've done as extensions of this dialogue, and as an analogy for my attempt to integrate the various facets of my life -- the fusing of various parts, somewhat off-balance, but hopefully integrated into some sort of harmony. The glass itself can be a symbol of human characteristics: fragile, but durable; fluid, but hard-edged. This all has something to do with the possibilities for change and transformation, both with the material and with the person doing the creating. I think of my work as an act of communication, not only with myself, but with the viewer as well. Perhaps what is communicated is more of an attitude than a specific idea.