In 1998, Mary Shaffer participated in Glass: A Group Exhibition at Grounds For Sculpture. Mary Shaffer first explored slumped glass in the early 1970s, combining it with found materials. A recurring theme is one in which she marries the glass with discarded metal tools selected from a pile in her studio. Sheets of glass are heated into a plastic state, then allowed to slump, or sag, over sections of the tools or minimal geometric forms. The hot glass is cooled, arresting the fluidity, producing a folded or gracefully draped state more akin to fabric. Shaffer’s work in every medium reveals a fascination with the effects and manipulation of viscosity, leverage, balance, inertia, mass, and space.
Shaffer’s work is in collections at the American Craft Museum, New York City, NY; Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY; and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, NY; The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI; The Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, Ohio; plus prestigious art institutions in France, Switzerland, Japan, Germany, Denmark. During her career Shaffer’s works have been exhibited at numerous galleries and museums. At present, Shaffer divides her time between New York and New Mexico.