I am a fused glass artist living in Durham. The inspiration for my artwork stems from a lifelong fascination with the beauty of nature and natural patterns. Many of my glass pictures have scientific themes or imbedded ideas, although the works are abstract.
In my former life I was a molecular biologist at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. There I had the opportunity to observe, document and photograph interesting cells and major events in the lives of cells. I officially retired in 2004, hoping to spend more time creating glass art.
After a few stained glass classes and fused glass technique workshops in Durham, North Carolina in the early 1990’s, I focused my efforts on fused glass art. I love the iridized and dichroic glasses that give the pictures a different look with transmitted and reflected light. If the picture is hanging in a window, the daylight comes through the glass, and certain glass layers or areas in the picture show up differently from when the room light reflects on the picture at night.
The relief, depth of view and feel achieved by adjusting the fusing temperatures make the glass pictures more interesting to me than paintings. Fused glass is an exciting medium for someone who loves experimentation and color. Each piece is an experiment, and it is exhilarating to open the kiln and see the results of the fusing process, which can take as long as several days.
In addition, I like other experimental aspects of the technique, such as using mica powders, metal foils or small watch parts between the glass pieces. The different colored glasses contain various elements that may react with metal inclusions or other elements in special ways. For example, the sulfur in yellow glass may react with the copper in blue glass at high temperature to form a sharp gray border. Some of the glasses change colors when fused or blend in interesting ways. Fusing different pictures on both sides of the glass challenges my creativity to achieve a certain appearance with transmitted versus reflected light.
During the past decade, several of my fused glass pieces have been displayed at juried shows and galleries in the Research Triangle area, and I have had several commissions by individuals and businesses. I also teach fused glass techniques at the Carolina Stained Glass store in Durham, NC.
My art consists of pictures of different sizes, wall hangings that may incorporate some metal or other materials, glass block sculptures with as many as 14 layers, plates of different sizes that contain simple ideas or designs, fused glass fish, tiles and ornaments, and dichroic jewelry.