Sanders creates sculptures using the ancient art of fused
Jim Sanders didnít start out as a
glass artist. In fact, "artist" is his third incarnation. Sanders began his
working life as a forest ranger, working for the Wisconsin State
Department of Natural Resources. Some years later, he and his wife ran
their own interior design business in Waukesha. When his wife died in
1993, Sanders was at loose ends. "I traveled a lot and did
volunteer work at my church," he says.
A class at the Corning Museum of Glass
in Corning, N.Y., put Sanders on a path toward creating art from
glass. "I decided on a whim to take the class. It renewed my
interest in something I had thought about years before," he says.
The class Sanders took was in glass
blowing, but that skill did not turn out to be his strong suit.
"I decided that it was not really for me," he says.
"With glass blowing, you really only have one chance to make it
perfect." But he was interested in the ancient art of fused
glass, a technique for forming glass that has been heated in a kiln or
oven at high temperatures. Sanders uses modern technology to create
colorful layered glass designs using these early methods.
"With fused glass, I create two or
three-dimensional sculptures. Itís almost like painting with
glass," Sanders explains. "My projects begin as flat glass
sheets and pieces that I grind to the shape I want. Then the glass
goes into a kiln where it is melted and cooled," he says. Pieces
may return to the kiln several times to add depth, relief and shape.
Lately, he has begun to incorporate stone into his work, too, using it
as a base for bowls and other items.
Sanders, a Waukesha resident, creates
most of his work on a commission basis, but also shows pieces in some
regional art shows. Recently, he created a series of pieces for a
client in Miami Beach, including wall hangings and glass panels for a
door. "My next project is a commission from the Waukesha Business
Improvement District to design and make a series of awards," he
Sandersí work may be seen at Riverís
End Gallery in Waukesha, and soon in other area galleries. Contact him