Simple Fire: Lara Saget and Kate Rusek

Trotter&Sholer is pleased to present Simple Fire, a two-person exhibition by Kate Rusek and Lara Saget. This exhibition features works from both artists’ sculptural practices. Through the heated processes of glass and ceramic making, they burn away, impress upon, and respond to materials. Both Rusek and Saget have harnessed the transformative power of combustion.


The biophilic forms that emerge from Rusek’s kiln are the result of collaboration between the artist and machine. Coating discarded materials in ceramic, she compiles clusters and collections that grow, respond and emerge in her hands. Inside a kiln, the bits of textile, paper and organic waste are burned away, leaving behind small, intimate vessels; an organic creation of space deeply aware of absence. This work is part of Rusek’s methodical and deeply considered commitment to transforming materials from waste into a future unknown. Rusek’s practice focuses on metabolizing grief through a careful stewardship of materials that would otherwise be lost to a landfill.


Saget’s works are love letters to the natural world. Her practice incorporates found natural materials including stone, rocks, coral, and fallen pieces of tree. She weaves these into her work, in some cases casting molds of rocks and marble that she returns to the places she found them. In other cases, she blesses sea life that once lived as a tchotchke in a gift shop, cremating the life in molten glass. Her sculptures of cast glass Joshua Tree branches show reverence for the trees while also highlighting that these majestic wonders may be nearing their end as casualties of climate change. Saget’s process is laborious. She’s devised ways to haul heavy rocks and materials to her studio, and invented methods to unite molten glass and stone, a theoretically impossible task because of heating and cooling rates. Saget orchestrates situations that allow for the two materials to unite; ultimately trusting that they were once one to begin with.


Both Rusek and Saget understand that process and heat work as kinds of collaborators, embracing a practice that relinquishes some control. This fluidity allows each artist to return to their practice with new ideas and methods of harnessing energy.


Simple Fire will be on view at 168 Suffolk Street through Dec. 20th, 2023.