Toots Zynsky’s sculptural vessels serve as a canvas for her fused glass paintings. Zynsky has received numerous awards and recognition from the Rakow Commission, Corning Museum of Glass and two from there National Endowment of the Arts Visual Fellowships for her unique technique. While in Europe, a friend and colleague fir Zynsky’s invented (with her guidance) a machine that would make glass threads. Thick colored glass rods (or cane) are pulled into hair-thin threads to a thickness of less than 0.5 mm. Toots Zynsky works with over 60 different colors, laying these threads into a flat circular shape, one color on top of another in creating many layers. They are then fused and slumped in her kiln at temperatures that reach 640 degrees celsius, manipulated and squeezed to give the piece its own final undulating form – a technique Toots Zynsky names “file de verre.”
Toots Zynsky was in the first program at RISD working for Dale Chihuly. In the early 80’s, Zynsky left for a two-week vacation to Europe and didn’t return for 16 years. Settling in Amsterdam, she joined a group of experimental glass artists and renovated a small factory. She then moved to Paris in the early 90’s and some years back now moved back to the United States.
Toots Zynsky was born in Massachusetts and received her BFA at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1973. Zynsky has had solo and group exhibitions in over 50 museums and is in more than 70 museum collections world-wide.