Exhibit preview: What’s in a Goblet at Glass Axis

From the June 21, 2012 edition

An artful shape that was once a symbol of royalty, goblets are now in the same visual family as pimp cups. Before drawing the palpable conclusion that Lil Jon ruins everything, consider the new Glass Axis exhibition “What’s in a Goblet,” which showcases 35 goblets made recently by Ohio artists.

“They use this to really express themselves artistically,” said curator Eva Ball. “If you can make a good goblet, you can really show off your technique.”

For example, Nate Ricciuto, a Columbus artist whose distiller won top prize in this juried exhibition (chosen by judges Jeff Mack of the Toledo Museum of Art’s Glass Pavilion, and Jen Burton and Collin Castore, artists and owners of The Barrel and Bottle in the North Market). The symmetrical, multiple-part piece is an example of razor-sharp skill meeting innovative design.

Using the final object to speak to the material itself (e.g. goblets made of melted recycled glass) is another important theme of contemporary Ohio goblet-making that’s evident in this show.

Works get fun, too; one goblet dons a mustache, another a sculpted Max from “Where the Wild Things Are.” Stop by the opening and closing receptions for drinks from local mead and wine slingers. Personal chalice not required.