Making art is a direct reflection of my journey through life. My approach is centered in letting go of preconceived notions of both process and outcome. This requires a quiet yet playful frame of mind, allowing me to create without questioning direction. It is a slow unveiling of form out of chaos and spaciousness—allowing enough stillness in mind, and then saying yes to what appears. The Sufi poet, Rumi, eloquently speaks of this as being played like a hollow reed.
This approach is supported by the beauty and solitude I experience living on Vashon Island. In a paradise of woods, gardens, streams, and sea—a place far removed from the hustle and bustle of contemporary life—I find the quiet pulse of life revealing herself.
Concepts and Medium
Conceptually my art weaves stories relating to essence and matter, chaos and form, fragility of nature, and the developing human spirit. I see everything as a dance of life; everything in constant motion, transforming and evolving in a universal flow of upward movement. This is seen in both the natural world, and in human consciousness. Patterns in life will always collapse if they are not supported by an upward movement. Nature does this so eloquently; we as humans, a bit more clumsily. But nevertheless, we are constantly moving and evolving, manifesting from the unknown—bringing forth form out of the formless.
Currently, I am focused on a kiln glass casting process that allows me to create final art pieces from multiple small-scale castings. These "constellations" have an installation quality and scale; they explore ideas around chaos and form, and focus on humans’ relationship to nature. I stack small glass pieces molded from tree branches; the piles depict the upward and transformative universal movement— creating intentional and precarious forms. Glass is the perfect vehicle and medium. It is able to express the emergent forms in their complete and vulnerable essence; solid and translucent, resilient and fragile.
As a planetary community we are becoming increasingly aware of our natural world, our human potential, and the inseparable connection between the two. I believe we are moving toward a new way of experiencing reality; a reality giving weight to expanded ecological and transpersonal awareness, leading to new paradigms of expression. My art is an illumination and expression of this new reality, and so is the vision of Steppingstone.
The vision of Steppingstone emerges from this universal flow of upward movement and inevitable transformation. It is about creating a vibrant and supportive crucible for great art—an intimate environment inspired by intentional space, personal and transpersonal inquiry, community, nature, and new paradigms of planetary potential.
Rob Snyder, a Northwest native, is an accomplished glass artist living and operating his studio on Vashon Island, Washington. Rob’s unique work from kiln cast glass has been nationally recognized in solo exhibitions, museums, private and corporate collections, group shows, and various publications. Creating art for nearly thirty years, Rob was an early pioneer in the glass fusing movement. Over the years he has made important contributions as an artist, designer and builder of glass equipment, assistant to notable fine artists, glass technician, and teacher.