Debra Jo VanTol
Art glass...as a solid... the sparkle, the color, the shine, the transmission of light, the refraction of light delights my soul. And in the heated state...the intense heat radiating from a red-orange pliable mass of glass makes my adrenaline rise.
I love glass. And… I love water, whether it is the fury of a stormy sea or the tranquility of a graceful flowing brook. The qualities of glass allow me to abstractly represent water in a permanent representation that is very characteristic of water.
Sheet glass, in the heated state, by means of manual sculpting and raking can capture watery movement permanently while the transparency of glass mimics water's crystal luster.
Graceful pulls in the glass and the soft edge sculpting are very pronounced in my work. The viscosity of glass at 1500 degrees makes the technique capable. The unique edge and surface texture coupled with an attractive mix of iridescent glass, dichroic glass, and 20K gold create wonderful and unusual glass creations for all to enjoy.
Glass has captured my interest for a long time, since 1979. As with all artists, an evolutionary style emerges after a period of exploration of a medium. In my case my style evolved from the traditional form of stained and leaded glass and a desire to create three-dimensional forms. In the beginning, I only slumped (bent) glass; then I found I could bond glass by heat. The desire to create unusual dimensional forms coupled with self made learning experiences, art classes (especially experience with ceramics), and a degree in Interior Design brings me to the surface and edge sculpted forms you see before you.
Sarah Jo VanTol
Glass as it is used in my artwork, is a medium of rich opaque colors, flowing designs,and unique texture that translates into an elegance and sophistication. The use of a variety of medium add to the eye catching designs.
As the daughter of one of the first students in the glass fusing industry very early in my life, glass fusing is all I've really known. Glass fusing is a technique that was only created in 1980 in the pacific northwest and my mother was one of the first students of the pioneers in this medium. She became a fusing expert, and I became her apprentice. From my grade school years of creating fused glass jewelry, I have grown with the entire industry of glass fusing and have seen the fused glass movement move throughout the nation. It is a diverse medium where imagination and inquisitiveness yield amazing results.