The Carter Blog

Carter ARTicles

For the love of art!

Sep 12, 2022


Michelle Padilla, Digital Content Strategist

Part of  these categories:: Exhibitions

When glass artist Justin Ginsberg agreed to work outside at the Carter pulling thousands of glass threads from a kiln heated to 2,000+ degrees, he probably wasn’t expecting record-high temperatures in Fort Worth all summer. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, June was one of the hottest on record. And July and August were no different, according to NBC-DFW.

A man places a long metal pole, a punty, into a furnace full of molten glass.

Ginsberg gathers molten glass to pull into long threads.

Justin Ginsberg, Shaking the Shadow [in progress], 2022, glass, courtesy of Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, © Justin Ginsberg Courtesy of Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, © Justin Ginsberg

Yet, nearly every weekend Ginsberg and his team fired up the furnace and pulled glass threads for hours. Mondays brought some relief as he was able to work in the air-conditioned Main Gallery hanging those threads from a metal frame mounted to the 25-foot-high ceiling to create his sculpture Shaking the Shadow.

Now that Ginsberg’s outdoor creation in the Texas heat is complete, we wanted to share some statistics on what it took for Ginsberg to create Shaking the Shadow.

  • Shaking the Shadow is made up of more than 9,200 glass threads
  • 150 pounds of glass were used to make the sculpture
  • 7,723 threads were pulled at approximately 25 feet long. Sometimes these threads broke during installation, so you might notice some shorter threads.
  • Together, the glass threads end to end equal 221,760 feet, or 42 miles
  • In pulling the glass threads, Ginsberg took 330,151 steps, or over 146 miles
  • 1,319 visitors stopped by to watch Ginsberg working on weekends
  • Hydration was important, and while Ginsberg and his team lost count of the gallons of water they each drank, on the hottest days it was over two-and-a-half gallons per person!
View of a Carter gallery with a person standing atop a lift and two people working below.

Ginsberg and team hang the glass threads on a frame on the Carter's ceiling.

It took a village to make Shaking the Shadow. Ginsberg had seven people assisting throughout the process (in addition to a fleet of Carter staffers making his work possible):

  • Jeremy Scidmore, a professor at University of Texas at Arlington (UTA), assisted with technical issues with equipment and fabrication
  • Katerina Verguelis and Amy Stephens, both professors at UTA, and Phoenix Sanders, an undergraduate glass student, assisted with pulling and hanging threads
  • Mitch Weick, an undergraduate glass student, helped with hanging the threads
  • Blake Boles and Tyler Rosenkrantz, both alumni of UTA’s undergraduate glass program, assisted with the installation

Visit Shaking the Shadow in the Carter’s Main Gallery through December 18, 2022.

A man kneels on the floor of a Carter gallery arranging threads of glass.

Ginsberg arranges and untangles the threads after hanging them.