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Artists Kirkpatrick & Mace: Transforming mundane everyday objects

Posted on March 20, 2020 at 3:30 PM by Lilah Anderson

“The large scale 'Still Life' sculptures confront the viewer and awaken our appreciation of the visual world around us. This makes us look outside ourselves and recognize the celebratory aspects of everyday life, our dependence on nature, its cycles and seasons.”

- Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora C. Mace 

At a time when finding beauty in the everyday may seem challenging, we want to highlight Zanfirico Pear. Learn more about the dynamic artistic team that created this work on art in the reACT exhibition#WomenKnowStuffToo.

Artists Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora C. Mace were introduced to each other by studio glass artist Dale Chihuly in 1979 at the Pilchuck School of Glass in Tacoma, WA. Since then, they have worked collaboratively for 40 years. Signing all of their works of art together, Mace and Kirkpatrick are found in museum collections across the country and recognized for their innovative contributions to studio glass. Kirkpatrick and Mace were also the first women to teach at Pilchuck. No stranger to Ames, Kirkpatrick was born in Des Moines and completed her undergraduate degree at University of Iowa, before attending graduate classes in glass at Iowa State.

Transforming mundane everyday objects into large-scale blown glass works of art, Mace and Kirkpatrick challenge the viewer to reconsider the world around them. These whimsical sculptures, often fruits, use highly skilled techniques such as zanfirico to achieve a striking result. In the traditional Venetian glass making technique of zanfirico canes of glass are gently heated, elongated and twisted to form intricate patterns that are then fused to clear blown glass. Zanfirico Pear is on exhibition as part of #WomenKnowStuffToo: A Celebration of Women’s Expertise in the Arts andKirkpatrick and Mace perfectly exemplify such expertise and innovation in their field.  

~ Lilah Anderson, Educator of Visual Literacy and Learning

Left Image:
Joey Kirkpatrick, Heather Gray, Flora C. Mace, and William Morris with hotshop team, Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington, 2006. Image from

Right Image:
Zanfirico Pear, 1997 by Joey Kirkpatrick and Flora C. Mace. Gift of the artists in memory of Virginia Kirkpatrick with additional funds provided by Bruce McKee. In the permanent collection, Brunnier Art Museum, University Museums, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa. UM2015.125

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