Treg Silkwood, a glass artist for more than twenty-five years, possesses a reverence for glass and its ability to illuminate the mysteries of the world around us. “The true magic of glass is in its ability to capture and manipulate light,” he writes. “Looking through glass has enabled people to see the world in innumerable ways. It was only by harnessing the magnifying power of glass that our ancestors gained access to understanding the nature of the very big and the very small.”
In his sculpture, he coaxes this mercurial medium into striking forms that express the beauty of nature.
Working with Candace Silkwood, his wife and artistic partner, Treg creates a breathtaking array of impeccably crafted seashells, fossils, acorns, pumpkins, and other natural forms. Here at Artful Home, we are particularly enamored with his pumpkins. Lush, ripe, and detailed with coiling stems, these symbols of a fruitful harvest and the abundance of fall are incredibly lustrous and exquisite in Treg’s hands.
One of the things we especially love? His use of color. In addition to shades of classic orange, he creates pumpkins in vibrant hues that transform these pieces into something truly fanciful.
Growing up in Montana, Treg was a creative, outdoorsy kid who loved working with his hands. In college, he planned to go to medical school, but switched gears and transferred to Alfred University to study art. Treg refers to his time at Alfred as “a revelation.” Here, he was exposed to artistic disciplines, techniques, and media that he had never considered before. He concentrated on mixed-media sculpture and cast glass, and in 1996, graduated at the top of his class.
After college, Treg worked for five years at Greenfield Village in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, where he crafted historical recreations of early American glassware. This experience gave him the opportunity to refine his glassmaking techniques. It also sparked his interest in blown glass as an artistic medium.
After pursuing graduate studies at Illinois State University, Treg became one of the first gaffers for the Hot Glass Road Show of the Corning Museum of Glass. In 2002, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he and Candace Silkwood formed Silkwood Glass. Today, he works as an independent glass artist and instructor while also serving as an active board member, artistic director, and senior glass instructor at the Bay Area Glass Institute.
In addition to his pumpkins, Treg creates diverse sculptures inspired by forms in the natural world—especially shells, coral, and other treasures from the ocean.
Other pieces are inspired by woodlands: stones and branches, leaves and acorns. Treg explains, “I want anyone who sees my creations to experience the same joy and excitement that I do when exploring life’s natural wonders.”
We certainly experience a sense of wonder and delight when we gaze upon his colorful, richly detailed glass sculpture—especially his pumpkins. Whether as seasonal accents, symbols of abundance, or simply beautiful works of art, these pumpkins are stunning pieces that reflect Treg Silkwood’s incredible craftsmanship and keen eye for the beauty of the natural world.