Wendy & harry BesetT
The glass vessel you see above is typical of the body of work Harry and I have been creating in our studio since 1993. This technique, which we call "Bisette`" gets its name from Bisett ( a variant on the french for light covering) and Bissou (little kisses) . Hence, “Bisiette`" - a covering of little kisses which speaks to the needlepoint quality of glass color I apply during the multi-layering process of each piece. The collaboration utilizes Harry's thirty plus years of experience as a glassblower and my lifelong interest in art and surface decoration.
Although I trained as a potter in college, painting was my ﬁrst love . A passion discovered, honed, set aside but never forgotten. Close to the time when our two children, now grown, began to discover life for themselves, I began re-exploring surface design in the form of image making in glass on glass from glass. With Harry's urging I began experimenting by playing with glass colorants. Through trial and error, instinct and knowledge, together we stumbled into a unique and proprietary art.
These landscape pieces combine two or three or more traditional glass techniques in a new and inventive way. A semi-solid core of clear or sometimes colored glass is covered with thin layers of ﬁnely pulverized, variously colored glass. I build the landscape imagery working forward in space, bit by bit, until the picture emerges. Next the entire structure gets dipped and encased in a thick or thin layer of molten glass. Harry's talented eyes and hands expand the form to its ultimate size and shape. As Harry's breath increases the size and changes the shape of the molten bubbles, the landscape stretches to its ﬁnal size. Hopefully, the image in the glass cooperates sometimes it does not. Harry's skill aims for a dreamlike distortion creating our trademark impressionistic quality.
Although there is a high loss rate due to the perilous nature of the process, we ﬁnd the exquisite charm and serenity of the outcome too compelling to stop. Each custom piece captures a permanent story of glass making and the majestic dignity of the mountainous agriculture in which we live, as well as the landscapes of my fantasies.
Our landscape pieces are very special to us. First introduced in 1996, the powerful imagery combined with Harry's innovative technical approach results in a unique and fresh style. The work you will see on this site is the culmination of years of blowing experience and technical development- Because of the perilous process involved in making this body of work, each piece is one-of-a-kind and should be purchased as such
For over twenty years, Wendy and Harry Besett have been designing and producing contemporary studio glass and selling it nationally and internationally to fine craft galleries, museum shops, and directly to customers. All of the glass is designed and blown in Hardwick, Vermont, using traditional, contemporary and innovative glass blowing techniques.
Harry had the opportunity early in his career of working with two of the world's most innovative glass artists- two years with Asa Brandt of Sweden, the first independent studio glass artist in Europe and three years with Josh Simpson of Massachusetts, a prominent American studio glass artist. Winning awards (such as the North American Glass Biennial Best of Show), honors (such as exhibiting glass at and being invited to the White House three different times) and participating in many national exhibitions, Harry continues the tradition of his mentors in making objects in glass that reflect a unique and personal vision combined with a deliberate sense of style and beauty.
Wendy, with a BFA in Ceramics, contributes to the design and development of all the work, while also handling all the necessary aspects of keeping a business running. Recently added studio space has created an environment in which her skills as a ceramicist and painter have been able to flourish away from the hectic tumult associated with the glass shop.
In addition to a full line of functional glassware, Wendy & Harry are currently making work which combines landscape painting with blown glass forms. Each piece captures our Vermont landscape and encases it in glass. The images are subjected to the movement and distortion inherent in shaping molten glass, creating a magical world so familiar to those fortunate enough to know the northern New England landscape.