Bob’s interest in art glass began in 1971 as he began working with stained glass while enlisted in the Navy. Later, while doing independent study in an undergraduate ceramics program, he convinced the instructor to allow him to explore glassblowing in 1975. Earning his BFA in Ceramics in 1976.
“I taught myself the fundamentals of hot glass with a furnace I constructed out of an old fifty-five gallon steel drum. My fascination with this unique and diverse medium grew and led to my graduate work under the instruction of Kent Ipsen.”
Earning his MFA in Glass, Bob opened his first glass studio in 1979 and is now operating his studio in Asheville, North Carolina. To this day he finds it is an exciting challenge to combine the varying factors of hot glass, light, color, form, and transparency into each finished piece.
His work is directed toward using internal designs of air inclusions and laminations of unique optical coatings.
“It’s my desire to involve the viewer in exploring the interior/exterior design. I see the chromatics and configurations as a reflection of a redeemed creation with its order and vibrant energy, from God who thought it good to give beauty to humanity.”
His pursuits have led to the design of the first blown art glass kaleidoscopes. In design collaboration with his wife Margaret, Bob has adapted the process of applying his own uniquely patterned high-tech optical filter coatings, ‘DICHROICS’ onto the surfaces and interiors of three dimensional blown, carved and laminated glass sculptures. The high-tech optical coatings used produce dramatic kinetic color shifts which actively involve the viewer with the work.
1948 Made in China
1949 Born in Long Beach CA
1974 A.A., Broward Community College, Ft. Lauderdale FL
1976 B.F.A. Ceramics, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton FL
1979 Established His Glassworks Art Studio, Richmond VA
1983 M.F.A. Crafts, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond VA
1984 Studio moves to Asheville NC
1989 Began creating Dichroic sculptures
1992 Established His Glassworks Coldworking Tools and Supplies for artists and educational studios internationally.
Chrysler Museum, Norfolk VA
Mint Museum, Charlotte NC
Bank of Virginia, Norfolk VA
Best Products Corporation, Richmond VA
Corning Museum of Glass, Corning NY
American Interfaith Institute, Philadelphia PA
Georgia Power and Light, Atlanta GA
GTE Telephone Operations, Irving TX
Glaxo Corporation, Research Triangle Park NC
Rosen Group, Baltimore MD
Denmark Glas Museum, Ebeltoft Denmark
…And numerous private collections
(ok, probably more than you want to know)
Any artist/business operating in the political and economic climate of the day has a duty nearly as broad as its freedom. If it is to be viewed as something more than the plaything of its owner, it must stand for and abide to certain principles. These are mine:
I believe in truth, facts, and objectivity.
In the 20th century some fashionable philosophers took a turn toward incoherence — contending that objective truth and reality, if they even exist, are always relative and ultimately unknowable (or ultimately different for different people). We reject this. Facts are stubborn things, rebuking the elaborate wordplay of sophists with their palpable solidity. No one who ever swung a hammer thought it a mere logical construct at the moment he smashed his thumb.
I believe in right reason.
Reason is a razor — cleaving truth from falsehood and fact from fiction. Reason has given to mankind the blessings of science and medicine, engineering, technology and the arts. It is the foundation upon which civilization is built.
I believe in moral absolutes.
Just as there are physical laws that cannot be ignored without grievous consequence, there are universal moral laws as well. Among them: Every individual is born with intrinsic moral worth and dignity no greater or no less than another’s. Nothing can change that except an individual’s own behavior. Each individual is an end in himself — never a mere means to an end for others.
I believe in freedom — in liberty, the ultimate cause.
As the Founders stated in the Declaration of Independence, all men are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights — among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Individuals have the right to self-determination: to do as they wish, up to the point at which they infringe on the rights of another. Government’s primary purpose is to protect individual rights against aggression; that is why individuals cede to government a monopoly on the legitimate initiation of force, though they always retain the right to use force in self-defense.
I believe in the right to property.
Individuals are granted a limited time on Earth, and they spend much of that time in arduous toil. They offer their labor in consensual exchange for money, which they then offer in consensual exchange for goods. To divest them of their money and property without profound justification is to rob them of their labor — and hence a portion of their lives. Science-fiction writer Frank Herbert may have put it best:
“Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a difference of degree. You have done violence to him, consumed his energy. Elaborate euphemisms may conceal your intent to kill, but behind any use of power over another the ultimate assumption remains: ‘I feed on your energy.”
I believe in free enterprise.
There is no such thing as the capitalist “system” — capitalism is but the sum of the economic interactions occurring naturally among individuals who are free to pursue their own prosperity. A system of laws and regulations is necessary to safeguard the innocent from the depredations of the wicked, but government should not interfere in the free and honest exchange of goods and services.
I believe in man’s fallen nature.
As the German philosopher Immanuel Kant said: “Out of the crooked timber of humanity, nothing straight was ever made.”
Any institution of man will be fallible; great plans always entail unintended consequences. For that reason, governments ought to undertake major endeavors rarely, and then only with exquisite care. The history of the 20th century has demonstrated that Utopian schemes, usually undertaken in the name of collectivities, lead inevitably to jackboots grinding the human face. Because all persons are equally free and emphatically are not merely the means to another’s end, each individual bears the responsibility for the choices he or she freely makes.
I believe in limited government.
Because it relies at bottom on the threat of coercion, government should perform only those functions society cannot perform through any other means.
I believe in a strong national defense.
Before a people can set the course of their country, they must secure its autonomy from outside predation. That is the chief purpose of the national government.
I believe in fiscal conservatism.
Because taxes confiscate the labor of the people, public officials have a solemn responsibility not to waste the proceeds on frivolous or foolish programs or projects. Taxation itself is not theft, but incontinent prodigality with the proceeds of the taxpayers’ labor is.
I believe in integrity.
Integrity consists of two essential elements:
the honest acknowledgment of the objective realities of the self and the world
unswerving devotion to ethical principles.
I believe in innovation and progress.
Innovation — the wellspring of progress — and sustained effort can produce lasting improvement in the lives of men and nations.
I believe in tradition.
At its best, tradition is not a blind adherence to ritual and cant, but a clear-eyed recognition that history’s mistakes offer useful lessons. Practices of long standing have passed a test of time, and should not be lightly cast aside.
I believe in beauty.
The rules of aesthetics may be less apprehensible by reason than the laws of physics, but they are no less true. Some might have roots in evolutionary psychology — e.g., a preference for smooth surfaces that reflects an aversion to pockmarks indicating disease. Harmony, grace, and order contribute to aesthetic appeal: Abiding works of music, art, and architecture incorporate them.
I believe in community.
Individuals have the right to self-determination, but they can find self-fulfillment only through the deep connections of relationships with family, friends, neighborhoods, social groups, and fellowships.
* These are the things I believe in, the things I trust in and the things that drive me every morning to open my studio and conduct it with the utmost fairness and respect to my collectors and the appreciation of my chosen medium.
It is with these principles in mind that I honor you and will attempt to exceed your needs in every way possible.