Nick Chase. Leaf Bottle (detail), 2011. Blown vessel with sandblasted detail. Image courtesy of the artist.

Natural Elements

April 24 - April 24, 2018

Nick Chase & Deborah Freeman

Curated by Melanie Egan and Patrick Macaulay

A collaborative venture bringing together shared and discrete intersections between glass and ceramics.

As artists, Nick Chase and Deborah Freeman draw inspiration from the Canadian landscapes they travel in, the urban forests that populate our cities, the vast rock formations underlying the land and the waters that flow through it all.

This collection of work reflects their individual and overlapping perspectives on these landscapes; often distilling them to their fundamental elements – a leaf, lichen, ripples in the sand, water lapping at the shore.


Nick Chase

The inspiration for my art is derived from urban and natural landscapes. Starting with blown glass shapes, I emulate textures and patterns that I have found in the world around me. I apply these textures by sandblasting them onto or into blown glass. Through the use of colour and with the transparency of the glass my pieces become ever-changing forms when affected by different light sources. Whether it is a natural or urban landscape which has inspired me, glass returns it to a state which centres around an organic origin, for glass in its truest state comes from the earth.

– Nick Chase

Nick Chase was born and raised in Sackville, New Brunswick. He has spent time in the animation field and also as a wood worker. In 2002, he found his true calling when he attended Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario and completed the Crafts and Design Glass Program. Chase now resides in Toronto, Ontario where he creates his glass art. He is consistently influenced by the natural and urban landscapes around him and often refers back to his Eastern Canadian roots which are rich in vegetation and natural bodies of water such as the Bay of Fundy and the Atlantic Ocean. Chase is represented by several reputable galleries in Toronto, Montreal, New Brunswick and British Columbia. He has future plans to open his own glass studio in Eastern Canada.

Deborah Freeman

I produce functional ceramic ware to enhance daily living and gatherings with friends and family; to invite touch, use and contemplation. My interest in tableware stems from a lifetime of watching my parents generously serve meals to friends and family.

My work is inspired by my wilderness travels throughout Canada. These trips have produced an interest in natural processes and materials. As a result, my work is often about the methods used to form and fire the work, as well as the raw materials themselves. Process marks are intentionally left as a way to further communication with users and to explore the materials themselves. Contrasting clays are used to emphasize individual materials and their properties.

– Deborah Freeman

Deborah Freeman was born and raised in Toronto where she attended York University and earned a BFA in sculpture and a Masters in Environmental Studies. She is a recent graduate of Sheridan College’s Craft and Design Program and apprenticed with a highly successful studio potter.

Currently an Artist-in-Residence at Harbourfront Centre, Freeman has been creating functional pottery for over 20 years. Her work has been published in journals and books and she regularly shows her work in exhibitions, where it has won numerous awards. When not making pottery, she can often be found paddling a canoe or kayak through Canada’s waters.

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