Born in Kansas City in 1946, Dutch spent his
childhood in Missouri. He received his degree
from the University of Missouri after studying
Art and Art History at Wagner College in
Bregenz, Austria. Upon graduation he turned
to sculpture, working in clay and woodcarving.
By 1975 he was living on the south coast of
Oregon and casting his sculptures in glass.
He established his own glass studio and
gallery in 1990, where he created large-scale
blow-glass vessels as well as his cast
sculpture. Now he works exclusively in
kiln-casting, with a focus on figurative forms
cast in crystal.
The first time I struck a wood chisel with a hammer and felt it cut through the wood, I
recognized that this feeling felt familiar to me - and I enjoyed it. So I began carving in
wood. The same feeling occurred the first time I plunged my fingers into clay and
began shaping it, this seemed to be what my fingers were made for. Simply put, I
sculpt because it makes me feel good. I need to sculpt and draw. When deprived, I
become unhappy. For me, sculpture is of the senses, it is all about touching and
seeing, not the domain of the intellect.
Briefly, that's why I sculpt, now I’ll attempt to describe how I choose what I sculpt. The
choice is vital because there's a lot of time involved in creating a crystal sculpture,
and conviction is necessary to bring it to completion. The choice is part intuitive, but
not mere whimsey. Once again, for me it is about what excites me. The concept must
contain enough energy to enable me to stick with it and bring it into reality. How I
make this choice is something I deal with each morning all over again, so it's
changing. I rely on sketches to help visualize the project. Rather than try to create
guiding principals, I think, at my age, it's truer to look at what I've done, and derive the
principals from the evidence. I am drawn to portraying the female figure, and always
have been. I've enjoyed working with horses and crows and cougars, and I can be
carried away with abstraction, but the human form is my home. I could write a lot on
this subject, but basically we get back to the question of “what is sculpture”? So many
books written on painting, so few on sculpture, yet sculpture was first, and so
powerful that the Islamic faith doesn't allow the human form in sculpture. I don't know
what this all means, but these days I find myself contemplating the works of sculptors
like Mailliol, Lachaise and Zuniga, with whom I feel an affinity.
For me,the integrity of the sculptural medium is a primary consideration, because it
gives a sculpture the ability to endure the passage of time. This is important to me
and one of the reasons I chose glass as my medium, because it resists
deterioration. However, creating a sculpture in glass is challenging. The viewer
usually considers the subject of a sculpture to be the artist’s only consideration.
Though that may be true for sculptors in some mediums, sculptures in glass demand
consideration from conception to completion. My ever present concern is how my
artistic concept will adapt to the limitations of glass, as well as exploit the properties
of light as it reflects from and passes through the finished sculpture.
Sculpture in most mediums is solely about form, but sculpture in glass, and especially
crystal is an interplay of light with form, and this is why a crystal sculpture has so
much more energy than a sculpture made from a base material such as bronze.
Although glass sculpture was present in the ancient world, and rediscovered in
Europe in the late nineteenth century, it is with the advent of the Studio Glass Art
Movement that glass as a medium for sculpture is being re-explored and taken in new
directions. Bronze is the most common medium for sculpture, and there exists an
industry to accommodate the sculptor that wishes to have his or her work cast in
bronze. No such industry exists for casting glass, and with few exceptions the glass
sculptor must make his or her own molds and do the casting in his or her own furnace
or kiln. This may present a limitation to the growth of glass sculpture, but as an artist
and craftsman, I appreciate the integrity of an object of art that is created from
beginning to end by the hands of the artist.
Our Studio Glass Art Movement is now four decades old, and it has taken this long
for those of us creating kiln cast sculpture to gain mastery of the medium. In the
sculptural medium of glass, there exists a potential for expression that has only
begun to be realized.
All work has been created and cast by Dutch Schulze. Contact: email@example.com, (541) 347-4723
PO Box 1516, Bandon, Oregon, 97411
All images and sculptures are copyrighted.