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In 2005 I first visited Zelezny Brod, the glass town north of Prague in the Czech Republic, where Libensky and Brychtova developed their facility for casting large sculptures in glass.  Their glass studio has been taken over by Zdenek Lhotsky, and this is where my larger pieces are cast. 

I came to glass from stone carving, bronze casting, and ceramic sculpture – thinking initially that glass was yet another casting medium.  Casting my first small figure in Gaffer glass was enough to convince me that glass is another material altogether:  The light of glass seems to lift figurative sculpture up and out of dense matter. 

My strongest desire as a sculptor has always been to portray the light, the spirit, the soul,if you will, in our human experience.  Glass makes that easier.  But, with glass, figurative sculpture has new challenges, especially in portraiture, for what is dark in bronze can look light in glass – some times, some times not – and surface competes with the light of colour and mass. 

I start by creating the sculpture in clay, then make a mold, and then cast the sculpture in wax.  A special type of plaster mold is poured around the wax.  The wax is then steamed out, the mold is placed in a kiln, and glass is melted into the hollow space, much like the process of lost wax bronze casting.  The challenge and the mystery lie in annealing – the cooling process, which for a large glass sculpture can take several weeks with strains and stresses unique to that particular type of glass.  Out of the kiln, the sculpture is cold worked, sandblasted, and put in an acid bath. 

Reliefs and smaller figures I cast and process myself. They are usually cast in Gaffer crystal, sometimes in a combination of different coloured glass.