Chardiet Mesa #31


Purple, black, and gold glass chair with an abstract shell shape and a conical shape on the seat.

José Chardiet
b. 1956 Havana, Cuba; lives and works in Missouri Heights, CO
Mesa #31, 1989
Cast, blown and carved glass
26 in x 11 1/2 in x 10 1/2 in
Acquired in 2012
Gift of Dani and Jack Sonnenblick


Visual Arts

Grade Range



Critical analysis


Museum trip


Personal Connection worksheet

About the Artist

José Chardiet was born in Havana, Cuba in 1956. He emigrated with his family from Cuba in 1960 and settled in New Haven, Connecticut. He received his BA from Southern Connecticut State University and his MFA from Kent State University in Ohio. His glassmaking studies led to his many years of teaching at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he held the position of Professor of Glass and Sculpture. Chardiet was also a faculty member at Pilchuck Glass School in Washington, Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine.

Chardiet stated, "One constant in all of my sculpture is a greater concern for the interior or void of the piece rather than the walls that define it. Drawing from topics as diverse as Spanish still-life painting, architecture, the human figure, woodwind instruments, and African art, my goal is to create sculptures imbued with a spiritual and inner life. Using the natural transparency and translucency of the material allows the viewer to look beyond the surface, to get to the core or soul of the sculpture. The interplay between the different glass forms suggests family connections and relationships."

Chardiet is recognized internationally for his sculpture and his work can be found in the collections of over 20 museums. For 14 years, he maintained his studio in Pawtucket, RI. In 2014, he relocated to Colorado and established his current studio.

Learning Goal

To use critical analysis to describe the characteristics of Mesa #31 by José Chardiet.

I Can Statement

I can use critical analysis to describe the characteristics of Mesa #31 by José Chardiet.


Critical analysis, sculpture, mesa, abstract, realistic, still life


  • Define and discuss critical analysis.
  • Introduce or review the vocabulary.
  • Elicit information about Havana (location, climate, capital city). 
  • Discuss and explain the concepts of realistic and abstract art.
  • Is the glass sculpture more realistic or more abstract?
  • What does the glass sculpture bring to mind?
  • Why do you suppose the artist chose this particular shape?
  • Have the group describe the colors (bright, dull, warm, or cool). 
  • Do the colors affect your mood in any way (cheerful, calm, or not at all)? 
  • What kind of mood do you suppose the artist was in when he created this still life?
  • Discuss the artwork in terms of lines (straight, curvy, or diagonal).
  • Have the students describe the shapes (organic, geometric, rectangles, circles).
  • How do you suppose the glass feels to the touch (smooth, cool, hard)?


Elicit critiques (I like or dislike the glass because …); record the responses.


Describe a shape that you would like the artist to create in glass.

Florida Standards

Visual Arts Standards Grades K-5

  • Vocabulary: VA.1.C.3.1 / VA.2.C.3.1 / VA.3.C.3.1 / VA.4.C.3.1 / VA.1.S.1.4/ VA.2.S.1.4 / VA.3.S.1.4 / VA.4.S.1.4 / VA.5.S.1.4
  • Interpret and Reflect: VA.K.C.1 .2 / VA.1.C.1.2 / VA.2.C.1.2 / VA.3.C.1.2 / VA.4.C.1.2 / VA.5.C.1.2
  • Artist’s intent: VA.5.C.3.2
  • Identify shapes: MAFS.K.G.1.2 / MAFS.4.G.1.2 / MAFS.5.G.2.4
  • Critique art: VA.3.C.3.3 / VA.4.C.3.3 / VA.5.C.3.3

Visual Arts Standards Grades 6-8

  • Vocabulary: VA.68.C.3.1 
  • Interpret and Reflect: VA.68.C.1.2
  • Artist’s intent: VA.68.S.1.5
  • Describe art from selected cultures: VA.68.H.1.1
  • Critique art: VA.68.C.3.3

Visual Arts Standards Grades 9-12

  • Vocabulary: VA.912.C.3.1
  • Interpret and Reflect: VA.912.C.1
  • Describe art from selected cultures: VA.912.H.1
  • Critique art: VA.912.C.3
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