Thread Spun blog interview with local San Diego artist and glassblower Aviva Curran

After Hours Disc 5: Glass & Reason with Aviva Rafaela Curran

After Hours 11.4.21
Discussion 5: Glass & Reason
with Aviva Rafaela Curran

Aviva After Hours Thread Spun Blog
Photos by Kim-lien Le
Thank you for joining us for our latest edition of After Hours at Thread Spun, a series that aims to reflect our values of education, expression, and empowerment.  We believe firmly in the nexus between people and their individual creations and expressions and their wider communities. After Hours exists to share the ideas of local southern California makers, creatives, and academics and hopes to foster connection and spark discussion and creativity. If you like what you read and haven't had a chance, make sure to check out earlier editions on our blog. Read on for our interview with local glassblower, Aviva Rafaela Curran.
Where are you from, and does it affect your work?
I’m American-Israeli and grew up in Northern California and also lived in Israel for 10 years.  My background definitely influences my work. I started blowing glass in Israel, which is where the some of the oldest glass in the world has been discovered. Actually the oldest written text about glass blowing comes from the Torah, and my great grandfather was a glassblower. I feel very connected to something greater than myself blowing glass and painting.
Aviva After Hours Thread Spun Blog
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What motivates you to create?

Most of my work is about transmuting what we think we know and seeing others as a reflection of yourself. It’s ultimately about peace building and connecting with our higher selves. 
Of course much of my work is also based in Jewish traditional narratives and in Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) and is a response to my experience being a part of the Orthodox Jewish community. 

Ultimately I think what I create is a reflection of my human experience! 

I think being an artist is sort of like a type of OCD, if you don’t make whatever you can’t get out of your head it feels like something is totally off until you create it! That’s my experience anyway. I feel that people have a romantic idea of what the “artist process” is, but it’s really just someone getting a crazy idea, trying to bring that into reality, and then thinking “oh my god this is such a hassle, why did I put myself through this!?!?” until you finish. Artist process debunked!

Do you have a preferred medium?

I love fire, which is ultimately what led me to glass, but it’s not the only medium I work in. I’m an oil painter and also work in ceramics, more recently. Although I’m a total hot-head, I wouldn’t call glass my preferred medium. I think it really depends on what project I’m working on, or where I’m at personally. I bounce between glass and painting, I’m in the process of bridging the two. As long as my audience feels like they’re a part of my world then I’m doing my job.

That's so awesome your great grandfather was also a glassblower, do you feel your styles are similar or different?

I actually don’t know what my great grandfather’s glass looked like because all of his work was lost, my grandfather didn’t even really know his father that well but my grandfather painted and drew just as a hobby. Our styles are different but I think that’s because every person is different.
Aviva After Hours Thread Spun Blog
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Who are some of your favorite artists in history?

  • Susan Valadon (look her up she was a badass!!)
  • Salvador Dali 
  • Frida Kahlo 
  • Constantine Brancusi
  • Cristo and Jean Claude
  • Anais Nin
  • Marina Abramovic 
  • Nikki de Saint Phalle-google her!!! Everyone in San Diego needs to know her work and visit her sculpture park in Escondido

After Hours Thread Spun Blog | Interview with San Diego Glassblower

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Do you have a favorite quote that inspires you?

“ I could not live in any of the worlds offered to me — the world of my parents, the world of war, the world of politics. I had to create a world of my own, like a climate, a country, an atmosphere in which I could breathe, reign, and recreate myself when destroyed by living. That, I believe, is the reason for every work of art.” - Anais Nin
Follow Aviva's art journey HERE
Shop Aviva's Glass & Art HERE
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