Trace 2719 by Etsuko Ichikawa which is on display at Winston Wachter Gallery until August 8.
"Trace 2719" by Etsuko Ichikawa which is "on display" at Winston Wachter Gallery until August 8. Courtesy of Winston Wachter
Seattle-based artist Etsuko Ichikawa's new body of work—aptly called New Traces—is currently hanging online at Winston Wachter Gallery. The show is composed of her glass pyrographs which are made by dragging molten pieces of glass across paper, leaving charred traces on the surface. To me, some look like fragile fossils of extinct deep sea creatures. Others look like the microscopic guts of a cell, suspended in animation for our viewing pleasure. But, above all, there's a deep sense of movement to her work that animates her pieces beyond the two-dimensional surface of the paper.

Watching the process of how her pyrographs are birthed into the world is key to understanding and appreciating her work. In this video from the Museum of Glass, you can see how she uses her whole body to create these drawings, dripping and whipping the molten glass quickly across the surface. "The performative part of glass blowing became a part of my work, doing glass pyrograph work," she says in the video. "It's really intuitive, moving my body and using glass as a material to draw." The glass looks like hot, quickly hardening honey as it leaves its black trace on the thick sheets of paper. It's a memory of heat, a delicate mark born of fire.

New Traces will be online until August 8—don't miss it.

Trace 2119 is also on view at Winston Wachter.
"Trace 2119" is also on view at Winston Wachter. Courtesy of Winston Wachter Gallery