My glass vessels and sculptural works are blown and/or sculpted from borosilicate glass (commonly known as Pyrex) with a special torch using a process called flame work. By utilizing a torch I can achieve much more control and detail than I can with traditional glass blowing. I start with a section of clear glass tubing or rod, which I rotate in the flame of the torch until it is molten. Once it is heated to about 3000 degrees Fahrenheit, I roll the section in powdered colored glass to form a base of color. After several coats of powder I use various techniques to design a piece. Some of these techniques are using colored glass rods and painting on the glass, or taking shards of color and inlaying them into the piece. There is a multitude of techniques, some dating back to the Egyptians and Romans, and some of them are just recently developed here in the United States. The piece is then blown and/or sculpted to achieve the final form. The work is then placed in a hot kiln to anneal. Finally, after the piece has cooled, it can be cold worked. For me the cold working process usually consists of sandblasting the glass, which finely etches the surface, and battuto, which is engraving or carving the glass.
The inspiration for my work has always been nature. The contrast between the highly technical process of flame work and the seemingly spontaneous, organic beauty of Earth’s creations drive my work. Growing up in southwestern Oregon sparked my fascination with nature and its many wonders. I try to imitate its natural patterns, textures, colors, and forms. I seek to explore our complex relationship as humans with our planet. Glass, consisting primarily of the most common element on Earth, silica, is a remarkable medium to capture the gracefulness, fluidity, and flow which surrounds us. I feel lucky to work with it.
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