Vase #5935 in Tangerine, designed by Wayne Husted in 1959, made for 1 year only. Signed
Measures 9 inches tall x 6.5 inches diameter.
#5935 in Tangerine, designed by Wayne Husted in 1959, made for 1 year only. Signed with sand-blasted signature.
Shown at left (bottom) is designer Wayne Husted, in 1954, drawing in chalk on the factory floor to convey his design to the finisher who is producing it. This dynamic dance was at the heart of every piece Husted created for the Blenko Glass Company.
Husted received his Masters of Fine Arts in 1955 from New York’s renowned Alfred University, arguably one of the most progressive fine and applied arts programs in the country at the time. As design director for the Blenko Glass Company, his first job out of college, Husted saw himself first and foremost as an artist. Modern art was his starting point as a designer and references to it abound in his work.
This design represents the most sophisticated iteration of a motif Husted explored several times in 1959. The rhythmic application of the six disks on the body is noteworthy. Typically, the full impact of a design, for efficiency and cost reasons, rests in the overall form or profile and not in applied details. Precious few Blenko designs buck that trend, and any that did required strong advocacy on the part of the designer in order to justify the cost.
The disks are clearly essential to the design’s reliance on a cubistic repetition of circular forms. The vase consists of a complex triplicate repetition of round elements; disks on a ring on a cylinder - all cohering into a clean, modernist form. To a student of art or design history, Sonia Delaunay is an obvious reference as she was renowned not only for her paintings but her contribution to design, particularly textiles. Delaunay is closely associated with Orphism, a later development from Cubism. Rather than focus on obscure movements and manifestos, look to Delaunay’s painting (below) Rythme, 1938, oil on canvas, 182 x 149 cm, (Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris) and see the strong connection to not just this work but to the progressive aesthetics of geometric abstraction in all its forms.