J. David Norton
Columbus Dispatch article on Hawk Galleries' 'Brilliant' exhibition
I was introduced to stained glass art at Anthony Stained Glass Studio in Akron, OH. I spent several years learning the craft and focusing on architectural installations.
Without any formal art background, I sought to improve my stained glass design skills and studied drawing with artist Linda Faulker in Canton, OH. This opened up a new world for me, and I was driven by the idea of creating painterly images entirely of glass. I loved the illumination of colored stained glass, but felt constrained by the lead lines.
I entered the realm of kiln-formed glass, where I could use colored crushed glass frit, to achieve the effects I wanted. Through numerous trials, I improved my glass imagery and eventually created 3 dimensional landscapes. I love to create scenery that feels as if you could step over a threshold, and enter it.
Seeking more ability, I traveled to Italy and trained with Miriam DiFiore who pioneered the use of frit in fused glass landscapes.
My fused glass landscapes are composed of clear sheet glass, colored crushed glass (frit), and torch-formed strings of glass. They are all glass with no paint involved in the process. They are composed of multiple layers to form a one-inch thick slab of glass. They undergo a minimum of 12 kiln firings, to create a 3D effect. They are backlighted with LED light strips.
My intent is to create images that are more about emotion than reality. I want the viewer to cross a threshold and enter a place of respite, escaping reality for a moment.
This body of work was finished by sandblasting and sealing the surface. The effect is to impart ethereal mood and atmospheric interest.