the artist

Karla Trinkley

Karla Trinkley

Trenton, NJ

Karla Trinkley

Pennsylvania-based artist Karla Trinkley is best-known for her unique approach to glass through use of the pâte de verre ("cast glass" or, literally, "glass paste") technique.  In this process, glass is coarsely ground, placed in a mold, and then heated until the particles fuse.  Karla first became fascinated with the process while a student at the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia in the 1970s.  During this time, Trinkley began to experiment with the connections between the mediums of glass and porcelain.  The pâte de verre method allowed her to create a new object that appears deteriorating, aged, and even ancient.
*From the Minneapolis Museum of Art

Karla Trinkley studied painting in college, then began creating objects out of fragile, translucent pieces of porcelain.  She quickly became frustrated with the limitations of this material and turned to glassblowing and slumping to achieve the effects she desired. Eventually, Trinkley discovered pâte de verre which is a method of casting glass that offered an opaque material ideal for her geometric designs and glittering color.
*From the Smithsonian American Art Museum

The pâte de verre technique employed by Trinkley is achieved by combining ground glass and pigments in a mold.  When fired, these materials coalesce, and after cooling the mold is removed.  The resulting form recalls an ancient Roman cage vessel, made of carved glass, termed a diatretum.
*From Cleveland Museum of Art

Fast Facts

Name: Karla Trinkley

Place of Birth: Trenton, NJ

1976 Bucks County Community College
1979 B.F.A. @ Tyler School of Art
1981 M.F.A. @ Rhode Island School of Design

Notable or memorable instructors or mentors:
Rudy Staffel, Dale Chihuly

Particular field of study or class work:
Ceramics, Glass

Major influences:
Nature, Architecture

Favorite materials or media:
Clay, Wood, Glass

Gallery Representation (when Convention Center acquired artwork):
Heller Gallery NYC

Stay in Touch

Sign up to receive news about the PCC Art Collection at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.