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I met Darren Goodman for the very first time three years ago. He had telephoned several times to set up a visit to my gallery in order to view the collection of nineteenth-century Venetian glass housed there. The timing however, was never good for me. But he persisted -- he's a very persistent young man -- and on an afternoon I was free, he arrived at the gallery. His interest in the glass was evident at once, and we spent the afternoon inspecting pieces and discussing the intricate techniques which were both revived and invented in the nineteenth century. I even relented and opened the cabinets so he could inspect the pieces firsthand. I found his fascination intriguing, and as we inspected a vetro a reticellovase I asked: "Darren, can you do this?" "Yes," he answered.

And so he could. The next time he visited he presented me with a wonderful blue vetro a reticello vase he had made especially for me. His technique was superb -- equal, even superior to my nineteenth-century examples.

Not only was he interested in how I could be of help to him, he also wanted to show me how glass is made. And so we set off to Urban Glass in Brooklyn one sunny morning and pulled a cane -- a simple, but instructive, exercise. And from that cane we made together, Darren blew a vase.

He has mastered several rare and difficult techniques including incalmo, the seventeenth-century Venetian method of hot joining two different parisons of glass to produce a vessel of two or more colors or techniques.

So, reaching back to the past for guidance, Darren Goodman is creating twenty-first century vessels which are both indebted to the past and avant-garde -- a true continuum of the glassmakers' art.

Sheldon Barr

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