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Kari Russell-Pool

Artist Statement

My work serves as a visual journal, and often employs recognizable objects and forms. Because viewers bring their own experiences to these objects it gives me the freedom to play at the edges with my own stories and commentary about society. My roles as a daughter, wife, mother, and sister often make me long for control, so instead my work is controlled; carefully obeying my precise dictates. My innate ability to kill house plants was the initial impetus to create botanical work, but the thin line between creating artifice and infusing the inanimate with life is what kept me hooked. A flame-worker, I create form from pattern using a torch and techniques I developed as a student after studying with Ginny Ruffner. Rods made from gathered molten glass are tinted with colored glass powders and pulled into long finger-width lengths. This allows me to create my own unique and luminous color palette as well as incorporate blown elements into my structures.


Kari graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1990 with a major in glass and a minor in printmaking. She is married to fellow glass artist Marc Petrovic. The pair met while students at CIA, and will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary this year. They share two children, a studio, and a semi obedient dog named Hank. Kari has taught numerous workshops and classes both in the United States and abroad. Her work can be widely seen in private and public collections most notably The Charlotte Mint Museum of Craft and Design, The Chrysler Museum of Art, The Corning Museum of Glass, and The Smithsonian Museum of American Art.  Kari was named a recipient of the Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award for the years 2017 and 2019. When not working, she can be found endlessly rearranging her perennial garden.