James is one of the premier innovators of borosilicate lampworked art glass in the world. He has cut a highly technical slice of the field, dissected and reassembled it into some of the best and largest lampworked art work shown on the market today. His orbs are often mistaken for hot shop work.
My goal is to worship the Maker through creativity. Technical precision is only as good as the thought it conveys so I strive to keep that thought pure and the vision large. My glass art objects are colored with 24 karat gold and fine silver through the use of a process called Fuming. This process is highly technical and requires a great deal of skill and time, transforming glass into the equivalent of steam rising out of boiling water and condensing it on a relatively cooler plate held above. As a metaphor the “water” is 24k gold or fine silver which “condenses” on the art piece and is covered in multiple layers of clear glass to produce an incredible finished piece.
Glass found me.
As a young man I made and played musical instruments and had a strong interest in writing, often incorporating sketches and painting with poetry. Working in construction with a focus on finish carpentry and painting gave me a practical foundation for an art career. This began with accent motifs on painted wood which led to images of a centralized figure while still utilizing the found object as the focus. As my skill developed I began painting on canvas and new wood, transitioning my career from construction worker to artisan to artist.
When a friend introduced me to the technique of lamp worked borosilcate glass I was immediately fascinated and pursued working in this material full time, often working twenty hours at a time. As a self- taught artist I have worked to experience and learn as much about the medium and technique as possible – continuing with this pursuit to the present.
After ten years of working in glass I was able to purchase the largest and hottest torch available. This tool has allowed me to develop larger pieces which offer greater depth and visual impact in the glass. Currently my focus is on large vessels that have a “furnace” or “hot shop” weight and size to them.
Craftsmanship is a dying concept in America.
I have noticed even amongst fellow craftspeople a leaning toward the quick trick rather than methodical mastery, along with a general downfall of ‘Made in America”. We have become an information society rather than one of farming and manufacturing, to the point of encountering people who have never experienced working with their hands. In the past this ability to form something in one’s mind and craft it into an actual object was an integral part of daily life, until the effects of the industrial revolution hit home. The concept of the village craftsperson held as someone of high esteem has disappeared, making it rare to find people focused on making well crafted objects.
The focus of my work in in response to this. I believe in pushing the limits of my chosen medium of fuming gold and silver into borosilicate glass and I strive to continually challenge myself technically and aesthetically. I feel this is the strength of my work.
I thank God, my collectors, and my father for the support they give me which has enabled me to work at the scale and scope I endeavor to achieve.
Purchasing a piece of my work is a commitment to my dedication to excellence. I thank you for considering my art worthy of your hard earned support. You are especially appreciated for the purchase of my one of a kind pieces that require the most time and effort.