Her glass sculpture titled Play Things won Kaila Mock, senior glass, sculpture and photography major, first place a the International Glass Arts Society Conference in June.
“It’s really overwhelming (to win this award),” Mock said. “It’s very prestigious and quite an honor.”
Mock’s win, a large glass socket with nine plugs held in a rough-hewn wooden box, was the first time an Emporia State student received a first place prize at the conference. But for Mock, glass is more than just an opportunity to win awards.
“Glass is really versatile,” Mock said, “you can do anything you want with it, that’s what makes me still excited about it even now.”
Mock started out as a sculpture major but grew tired of it quickly. It was then that she discovered glass. She said that glass blowing felt fresh after and that there was always something more to do with the medium.
At the conference, Mock was in competition with around 80 other students ranging from undergraduates to graduates from all over the world. The competition was judged by a panel of experts in the glass field.
“Winning this award is a major accomplishment for an ESU student because it shows that we can compete at not only a national level but an international one as well,” said Patrick Martin, associate professor of art.
Mock said that every student was required by Martin to bring a piece of work to the conference, a rule that other schools didn’t have.
“After the competition, I was able to talk to the judges and they said how surprised and impressed they were with the quantity and quality of ESU’s submissions to the contest,” said Roberta Eichenberg, associate professor of art.
ESU has the only university glass program in the state and is one of the few in the region. Martin said that since glass is such a unique medium that the program allows students the chance to work with area experts that they may not have gotten a chance to work with elsewhere.
The International Glass Conference is a yearly event that is usually held in the United States and is open to art students from all over the world.
Well over 1,000 people attended this year’s conference, which was held in Seattle, and ESU had ten students in attendance.