Anna Skibska’s work sits at the intersection of sculpture, architecture, three-dimensional line drawing, and even storytelling. She uses a powerful acetylene torch to melt and stretch glass rods, creating slender and transparent threads, that are then joined to create perfectly balanced sculptures. Her signature technique, known as the Anna Skibska Technique, was developed in the early 1990s.
Skibska graduated from the Painting program at the Academy of Art in Wroclaw, Poland in 1984. She later was a professor of fine arts and architecture at the Academy of Art. In 1988, her work was selected for the respected New Glass Reviewjournal, and the Corning Museum of Glass recommended her as an instructor at Pilchuck Glass School. She was grateful to escape the artistic isolation of communist Poland to teach at Pilchuck. Prior to immigrating to Seattle in 1996, she had already exhibited her work extensively throughout Europe and Japan. She went on to exhibit internationally, including in the Tuileries in Paris, Musee-Atelier du Verre, Museo del Vetro in Murano (coinciding with the Venice Biennale), National Museum in Wroclaw, and in a solo exhibition at the Seattle Art Museum. In 2004, the flameworking studio in Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle, WA was officially named the Anna Skibska Flameworking Studio. Anna Skibska continues to be an influential artist in the Seattle art community.
Anna Skibska using glassmaking techniques in a masterly fashion likes to reveal the metamorphoses of forms. Using a small acetylene torch, she ‘stretches’ glass rods, creating slender and transparent threads, that are then folded and joined to create ethereal, perfectly balanced sculptures. Embroidering the ‘incorporeal’ mass of the glass with the same ability as a sculptor Anna Skibska manages to create imperceptible compositions of glass, “geometric spiders’ webs” on which light plays, crystallizing like frost on a winter’s morning, revealing the Euclidean nature of the frozen water crystals. A play between the visible and invisible that leads to the essence of absence of gravity and the lightness of her compositions.
“Trained as an architect, then in fine arts, now recognized as a sculptor of glass, I am not interested in glass per se. It is only one medium that conveys my thoughts, embodies my visions. I work with space, time, light. Sometimes I do collages, photography, film. Sometimes I design small sculptural forms like jewelry. Sometimes I design interiors—just for my proper, artistic hygiene. I believe that architecture is a crown for art, sound and silence, light and dark, not mere brick and steel. Architecture and art are strongly connected: Fine arts do not decorate architecture; architecture is not a shell for fine arts. They are an integral part of each other, and this relationship interests me, as do monumental forms. I develop my thoughts via a unique technique that serves me well: I like to wrap space, embrace time, and trap light, working on them simultaneously from the same beginning.”