Hi, I’m Bob
After working 35 years as a software engineer, I retired to spend full time pursuing my passion for creating glass art. My first foray into the world of art glass creation was with stained glass. Over the years, I’ve explored just about every possible way to manipulate glass, from torch-work to sand-carving, finally settling on glass fusing as my primary technique.
My engineering background expresses itself in my glass artwork, both in terms of design and in the precision and attention to detail that I strive for in my glass creations. My work is typically very colorful, featuring geometric patterns with strong lines and sharp contrasts and is often functional, as well as beautiful.
Glass fusing is done in an electric kiln, and is, for the most part, hands-off from the time you close the kiln and begin heating the glass to about 1500 degrees Fahrenheit, until about 16 hours later, when the glass has cooled to room temperature and it’s safe to reopen the kiln. What happens while the kiln is closed is a complex dance of heat, gravity, chemistry, glass volume, surface tension and other factors. To achieve a desired result, a glass artist must understand and plan for how these forces will interact and play out.
Most of my work starts out as a detailed drawing. I use this stage to try out multiple variations on each idea and to think through the steps that I will use to implement the design in glass. In many cases, the complexity of the design requires that I start by creating multiple individual component pieces that are fused separately, then cut and shaped before ultimately being fused together to create the whole. It’s not uncommon for a finished piece to require 3 or 4 fusing cycles. In addition to fusing, most of my pieces are also extensively cold-worked to give them a final finish. Cold working is a term which includes all of the things glass artists do to the glass while it is at room temperature such as cutting, grinding and polishing edges and sandblasting surfaces to add imagery or to create a matte finish.