2020 Letter from Artistic Director Ben Wright

Greetings fellow artists, thinkers, makers, and material enthusiasts,

The extensive program laid out in this catalog represents the forty-ninth year of existence for Pilchuck Glass School. Although the offerings have changed radically in format and content over the years, we retain the pioneer spirit and commitment to discovery that was integral to our founder’s grand experiment. As the glass field continues to expand and diversify, we remain committed to both honoring our roots and embracing the innovation and evolution that has made Pilchuck an international center for the study of glass.

You will notice over the coming years a series of program sessions that focus intensely on individual countries or regions. As we approach our 50th Anniversary, we will take the opportunity to celebrate the guiding influences that have shaped Pilchuck from every corner of the glass globe. It has truly been an international endeavor and we will honor this by presenting a peek into the future of glass for these regions as we look ahead to the next 50 years.

Building on the momentum of the upcoming GAS Conference in Sweden, we will begin this new Cross-Currents series with a session focused on the Scandinavian region. This Nordic invasion will be followed by The Jam Session, an opportunity for a cacophonous campus-wide exploration of the glorious potential of community generated noise, sound, and music.

Families Valued will continue the important work of my predecessor, Tina Aufiero, to make the Pilchuck campus and programs accessible and meaningful to artists with families. For the first time ever, we will run a concurrent Youth Camp, creating a rare supported opportunity for parents and their children to participate in the Pilchuck experience for a truly intergenerational learning environment.

Loquacious will present classes from a wild group of glass artists who embrace storytelling and narrative in their practice. At the other end of the spectrum, Intelligent Design will be a session dedicated to advances in the design and fabrication of utilitarian and decorative objects.

We will conclude the summer with Builders, which will pay tribute to the original necessity of Pilchuck’s pioneers to provide for their own shelter through a wide-ranging look at approaches to both traditional and unorthodox glass fabrication and construction.

Throw in an action-packed Pre-Session, our largest Fall Program ever (Fall 1, Fall 2), youth outreach programs, and an expanding slate of residencies, and you have a myriad of ways to enjoy the Pilchuck experience.

So, come learn with us, come make with us, come jam with us, and come join the Pilchuck Family. See you all on the hill!


Ben Wright
Artistic Director