Studio Visit: Nao Yamamoto

We sit in the hotshop at Pratt Fine Arts center in Seattle, to watch Nao Yamamoto make her glass work. Over and over again, molten, colored glass bits are brought to her at the gaffer’s bench. She adds them one by one to a cylindrical vessel, rotating on the end of a long metal pipe. The final piece will have as many as 240 individual bits covering the surface.

“The gathering of small pieces makes me feel the power of life. Each one is insignificant, but when gathered together they are overpowering” she remarks.

This idea inspires her current body of work, Vessels of Life, as well as her Ripple series, in which she creates raindrop-shaped forms covered in hundreds of round glass pieces that reflect light in various directions. Her work is very labor intensive to make, and it shows in the finished pieces. The repetition of small details becomes meditative and creates rich textures that capture the eye.

Nao was born in Japan, and after getting her BFA at Tama Art University in Tokyo, she moved to the US to pursue a Master’s degree in Studio Art and Design from California State University, San Bernardino in 2014. She’s been living and working in Seattle ever since, and her focus and dedication have been duly recognized. In 2017 she was chosen to create the Seattle Mayor’s Arts awards and is currently working on a large commission for the Special Olympics.

Vetri is proud to showcase her work in the gallery during her Artist Spotlight from March 1st – 18th, 2018.