After graduating from Pacific University in 1973 with Art Honors and Teaching Assistantship, Walter Gordinier went on to bring a new vision to the world of fine art. After a mere 16 years in 1989, he had already begun work as a world class glass artist by pioneering a concept and new studio practice for creating and siting large scale, cold cast glass for architectural/interior features.
Taking this cold cast glass, Gordinier began creating functional architectural glass such as glass counter tops, stairs, bridges, floors, and fine art castings such as glass paintings and landmark architectural glass installations – something that really hadn’t been done before. By the time 1993 came around, his extraordinary work with fine art glass was justly realized when he received the AIA, ASID, IBD Citation Award for outstanding collaborative design and use of conventional materials to yield highly innovative design with exceptional detailing.
Simply creating this new fine art glass practice was not enough for Gordinier however. Approximately 7 years after pioneering the concept, Walter Gordinier sought to enhance the quality of his work. In 1996, he orchestrated the development of large scale, technically sophisticated computer-programmable kilns for the specific production of monolithic cast glass. This forward-thinking method then understandably altered the way in which glass art was constructed from that day forth.
Effectively paving the way for those interested in pursuing a future as a glass artist themselves already, Gordinier still felt the need to do more. In 2004, he instituted a studio assistantship program for artists who wanted to establish themselves, their vision and their work. He hoped to provide them with an opportunity to learn the realities of real world dynamics relative to working in the realm of fine art – a hope that’s still in place as the program continues on.
For 30 years now, Gordinier has been leading the way in establishing Portland, Oregon as a world center and place of destination for kiln glass – the most notable being cold glass casting, where all the glass is handled with bare hands. By visiting his studio and reviewing his portfolio, you will find that his areas of expertise include functional architectural glass and sculptural/architectural glass, which includes landmark installations siting contemporary sculptures both nationally and internationally. The diversity of Gordinier’s castings and how they have been incorporated into the fabric of our daily lives, landscapes, architecture and the interiors of our buildings is unmatched and he is continuing to redefine those creative envelopes to this day.
Often signed on to projects as a lead project artist or interior design consultant, Gordinier’s client base ranges anywhere from private collectors and corporations to institutions and public art settings. As more and more individuals come to recognize the importance and beauty of functional glass art as something that can command attention all on its own, we can only predict that Walter Gordinier’s work will continue to be as prosperous as ever.