Swirling colours, emotions, nature, and awe-inspiring fascination, this is what Wesley Neal Rasko captures in his unique pieces of glass work. Glass, a medium most cannot associate fluidity and flexibility with, is what Wesley finds to be the most romantic. It was always this way. He was always attracted towards art in some form or manner. Humble beginnings are what help Wesley make pieces of art that people are able to connect so well with. As a child he was always doodling, drawing, or creating one thing or the other.
“I didn’t have many friends and as such the avenue of art gave me a way to escape into my own ‛world.’ ”
His escape to the world of art became not only a way for him to channel his energies in an effective manner; it also became an important connection with nature and people. His father’s influence in shaping his love and passion for art is undoubtedly great. He reminisces about the times his father would take him on the road with him and buy unique pieces of art directly from the artists. This helped set a precedent for when Wesley himself would become a well-known artist. On a memorable trip Wesley walked into Bohumil Elias’s studio; he was mesmerized by the Master at work. It is still a mystery to Wesley, exactly what it was that compelled Bohumil to offer him an apprenticeship, but it was time for Wesley to be preened for the world of art.
“I’ll never know why Bohumil offered me to stay and learn with him, it could have something to do with the jaw-dropping reaction I had to his work upon first seeing it, like a child in a candy store or the first time a little boy sees a porno magazine…AMAZED!”
Formal education served as a stepping stone for Wesley, but it was his apprenticeship with Bohumil that helped him find his unique flare in creating art. He learned and learned as much as he could about the magical medium of glass, finding a friend, a painter, a teacher, and a mentor in his Master. The next thirteen years Welsey spent learning from trial and error, painful as it was, at the end of it all, his art was able to leave a blazing mark.
The process of creating a single piece of unique art can span over 4 - 6 weeks. From a simple idea that sparks the basis for a piece of art, it takes creating sketches again and again and being meticulous enough to note down even the slightest of detail for materials to be used in the piece to complete an exclusive piece of art. The idea can spring forth from anything present in emotions, nature, memories, and feelings. The piece above symbolizes the sensuality of nature’s most romantic creatures: women.
At some point in his artistic career Wesley would love to partner with great artists such as Janice Taylor, because her use of bright, vivid, and contrasting colours attracts him; Jules Slangen (Holland) and Takeshi Ito (Japan), because of their expertise in the use of the magical medium: glass. Wesley loves exhibiting his work and finds great joy in how easily people are able to connect with glass as an art medium.
“Many of my sculptural ideas evolved around emotions, and it is not a medium that is seen commonly. Especially the combination of glass and stone has a powerful presence. If I am blown away during the creative process, I can expect the viewer to have a similar reaction.”