Working with Glass

The creative process is a broad subject for an artist. Using glass, an artist must be familiar with their materials. Everything depends on the type of glass you are using and the material. Feeling the material and knowing the material helps in the creative process.


A lot of times when I design a window, say I design a specific application for a home, I take design cues from the environment. The architecture, the interior, the exterior, something has to speak to me to compose the design. I will take treatments from those areas to develop a design.


If I build an autonomous glass panel to hang in a window, then I will sit down with a piece of paper. If for example I were to build a round window, I would figure out what elements would fit within the round surface that speak to that round surface.  I think about curved lines and how they react with straight lines, how they react together to create a form that has substance. The way my mind works I will put lines and color in areas of interest in terms of a composition. It is a flat composition on a piece of paper that will speak to me, and hopefully speak to others, to create interest.

You can combine thin lines with thick lines to create tension, and curved lines with straight lines to create tension in your design form that builds upon a structure that is more appealing than something really homogenized.


Every piece of glass has its own temperament and personality and you have to work with that. Until you have worked with it for ten or fifteen years you can’t feel the temperament of the glass or see it. As part of the process in our studio we blow glass so people can come to our studio and see the flow of the glass and see the temperament and see how glass is produced. I feel that, in the different materials and sheets of glass that I use.  I feel the temperament in the glass and how it was made.

When I cut the glass, it controls me as much as I control it. You’ve got to work with it and be in sync with it in order for you to cut the glass. You don’t throw your personality into the glass and try to work it and force it, because it won’t break correctly.  You have to work with the materials and be a part of it. You’ve got to be one with the glass.