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April 12, 2014

Glass artist's work burns with intensity

There is an intense fire to artist Robert “Bobby” Sharp’s new series, “Woodstock ‘69.”

Sharp, lead artist and owner of B. Sharp Studio, has created a multi-dimensional expression of some of the famous photographs by Baron Wolman, of Rolling Stones Magazine, when he captured Woodstock in all of its rock ‘n’ roll glory. Sharp has taken the images and recreated them on broken glass making a collage of many facets using some of the most telling pictures of rock ‘n’ roll history including Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan and Janice Joplin.

“The photos by Baron Wolman are intense,” Sharp said. “I want to make them more intense. This is a real passion right now. You see, when I grew up, it was hippies and Harleys. I grew up listening to really good rock ‘n’ roll. When I saw these in my mind, shattered like they are, it added a dimension. Any way you look at these, you see something a little different.”

Sharp has been working professionally in glass for about 14 years. He has a series of botanicals and butterflies that has been well received, according to the artist. In addition, he is contracting with Drogen’s of Oneonta for custom light fixtures — but his emphasis at present is the Woodstock series. He recently expanded the work into a line of T-shirts featuring his collage of broken glass paintings.

“I wanted to mass-produce these pieces, but ... the Jimi Hendrix estate ... told me what I could do and what I couldn’t do,” Sharp said.

One of the sidelines of building a studio is attracting artists who are interested in similar pursuits.

David Morales, master glassblower and sculptor, has partnered with Sharp in Mountain Glass, a subsidiary of B. Sharp Studios. Morales, who is from Delhi, traveled throughout the United States before coming back to his roots and studying glass crafting at Cornell University under William Gudenrath.

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