Art Glass Ornaments by Steven Scherer - Scherer Glassworks
|Lampworked Glass Wildlife Ornaments|
|Each ornament comes with a brass wire stand at no extra charge.|
“The science of the art form interested me: things like propane and oxygen in balance for flame, annealing to manage the differential of expansion in glass, mixing cobalt with glass for blue. What made improving in the field worth a lifetime of work to me is the unique nature of glass. Glass isn't formed one line at a time; each flowing bend and graceful curve is the result of its natural properties informed by the glass artist's intervention. Glass is not formed slowly and deliberately. It is formed, usually in one uninterrupted session, through fire.”
“I think I am a pyromaniac at heart. I’ve been picking up a striker and lighting the torch to create Pyrex glass pieces for almost forty years. It is about rearranging glass – adding, stretching, and selectively heating the work in progress to achieve the most detail. I think that glasswork is a little like pulling and manipulating taffy, except you can’t touch the hot glass. A glass artist must use simple tools like graphite paddles, pliers and metal picks to stay at one remove from the medium. The glass always wants to round itself and flow into smooth contours. This “smoothness” characterizes and enhances each glass design. I seldom sketch my original ideas on paper before firing us the torch, but I do have a reference library of drawing, animal, and design books.
“I learned the basics of the ancient craft of lamp work from my friend and his father in Decatur, Illinois as a senior in high school. While attending the University of Illinois to earn a degree in microbiology, I continued to lamp work when home from school. After graduation, the glass and flame attracted me more as creative materials than my scientific training and my hobby became my vocation. I work up to six hours a day in a well-ventilated (glass fumes and vaporized metals used to color the glass are hazardous to your health) workshop, affectionately known as the glass hole, that I built on our property in Kentucky. I make some of my own colored glasses by dissolving metal oxides om the glass.
“My work over the years has run a spectrum from small turtles and swans to dragons, unicorns and griffins to intricate sculptures. The glass ornaments I specialize with a figure or scene inside a sealed glass sphere are unique. Enclosing the figures in a sphere allows the addition of features that are very thin and fragile. It also simplifies dusting.
“Some of my most recent challenges were to make a clear glass skeleton for my orthopedic surgeon, and the lady justice. My belief is that the more you do something, the better you get at it. After all these years, the glass will now, with rare exceptions, do what I want it to.”
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June 23, 2017.
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