At first glance, Sophie Glenn’s work looks like wood. Instead, the Mississippi-based artist recreates classic furniture designs out of painted and rusted steel.
The artist: Born and raised in New York City, Glenn received degrees from SUNY Purchase College (sculpture), and San Diego State University (furniture design and woodworking).
She also has completed short and long-term residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, and the Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, TN.
Glenn lives and works in Starkville, MS, where she is a visiting assistant professor of sculpture at Mississippi State University and also maintains a studio.
In the beginning: Glenn began pursuing furniture design and woodworking in her last year at SUNY Purchase (2011-12), after taking a class with noted furniture designer Vivian Beer.
The goods & materials: Classic furniture designs, like Shaker chairs with woven seats, made of painted and rusted steel. Each one-of-a-kind piece is made with various methods of metal fabrication.
Glenn’s works pay homage to woodworking and metalworking as craft fields, while also being humorous and fun by often using pop culture titles and decorative elements.
What’s popular: “Gorgeous George” ($6,000), a Regency-style chair piece in painted and rusted steel.
But where traditionally there might have been a landscape or female nude on an antique wooden chair, Glenn has transferred an image of George Costanza (pictured right) posing in his underwear from a Seinfeld episode, “The Package.”
Also “Black Sheep” ($7,500), Glenn’s steel version of a corner chair. The seat is made from hand-spun steel wool (hence the title) in place of the more traditional rush.
Big break: The body of work, “Rust Never Sleeps,” began during her residency at the Appalachian Center for Craft (@tntechcraftcenter). It was recently the subject of a solo exhibition at the Metal Museum (@metal museum) in Memphis.
Awards & honors:
- United States Artist Fellowship nominee
- Tennessee Individual Artist Fellowship recipient
- LEAP Award Finalist through the Society of Contemporary Craft.
What’s next: A solo exhibition at the Appalachian Center for Craft, from Feb. 12 to April 20.
Where to buy: sophieglenn.com
Get social at:
- Instagram: arcburn_furniture