Our artist feature this week is on
Here is our interview with the artist, Jim - a really great glass artist!
Briefly describe what you make?
There are two main types of glass, and both are used in my work, soft, and hard. You are probably wondering how can glass be soft?, everyone know it is “hard”. The differences are the temperatures at which the glass will melt is the biggest criteria, My work is generally categorized as supplies: lampwork borosilicate beads which are categorized as “hard glass”. Lampworking goes back to the days of ancient Egypt, when they had slaves who would fan the fires, or “lamps” filled with oil, to raise the temperature of the fire.
Additionally, using “soft” glass, fused glass dichroic pendants are made, in a kiln. Kind of like a glass sandwich, all melted together, NOT edible, but most beautiful. After the pendant is annealed, and cooled, I then facet it, in much the same manner a gemstone is faceted. A very time consuming process, but, in my opinion, well worth the extra effort.
In addition to making glass beads, and pendants, there was a time when I made glass cuff bracelets, using dichroic glass.
What mediums do you enjoy working in most?
A friend once told me that I have a real passion or glass, and it is so totally true. I have studied, and mastered silversmithing. As soon as I get a “round tuit”. Plan on merging the two (glass and silver) together to a greater degree, and making finished pieces
How long have you been creating craft?
Let’s see. My journey with glass started in ’75. 1975 that is, I am old, but not that old..
How did you get started?
The glass journey started with a desire for one (1) Tiffany style lamp. There was a fine gentleman in my town, Naperville, Ed Hoy, who ran a retail store and sold stained glass supplies. It was a long conversation, him telling me you do not start with a lamp, and me telling him “ I only want one lamp”. Finally he relented, and sold me what would be needed to make one lamp. I was instantly addicted!!!!! First it was flat work, lamps, windows, etc. Then on to sand blasting, fusing (melting) the glass, and finally lampworking, or as it is often called off hand glass blowing.
Where does the name of your shop come from?
My ancestors all came from Czechoslovakia, and there were a few from Moravia, and I am told some were gypsies. Doing art shows., traveling here and there was indeed a transient life style. So, it seemed logical to merge them together, and arrive at the name “glass gypsy”.
What would you most want people to know about your work?
My work is created from images that I see in my minds eye. It isl original, and created using all the talents GOD has given me.
What words of advice do you have for other artists?
Here is a favorite quotation of mine :
“If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears
a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or
Truly do believe that this speaks to all artists. Please yourself first with your work. Let your heart and your inner spirit guide you for the direction to take. Life is so short, and sleep is highly overrated!
Wonderful work! You have to see the glass beads and glass creations that Jim creates at Glass Gypsy - an Etsy Shop!
While you are at Etsy come by and see a whole new assortment of things - and especially things for the holidays at