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Wednesday

Unity in Glass Lee Ware

Last Wednesday Michele Lang of Tierra Verde Soaps, shared her interview with glassblower, Lee Ware.  Today she continues this interview in the following post. 


Unity- the act, state, or quality of forming a whole from separate parts.

Lee Ware’s gracefully flowing figures are a symbolic icon of unity in which separate colors are artfully teased into a flowing sculptural hand blown glass keepsake for bride and groom. Lee uses colored glass chips ceremoniously combined by bride and groom on their special day to create a uniquely memorable work of art.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in West Texas and left the area shortly after college graduation.  From Texas, I moved to Seattle for 10 years, which is where I was first introduced to hot glass at Pratt Fine Art Center.  This is a publicly funded art school focused on glass, jewelry, print making, iron working, etc.  Working with glass as a hobby, I continued my career in healthcare working as a registered nurse, then moving into the medical corporate world, to better find myself today working with my passion, Glass.  Sandstorm Glassworks was opened in 2010 in Lubbock TX with co-owner, Bren Merritt.


I read a story about how mesmerized you were with glass as a kid-what about it fascinates you?

I like the way it moves in different ways across the temperature spectrum.  Cold glass remains a solid with amazing light transmission qualities.  As it heats it begins to glow and become a new pliable material. 


What brought you to Lubbock, Texas – are you from here?

I grew up in the area but left for about 23 years.  Seattle, Chicago, and Austin.  I’ve returned home to open the studio and to be closer to aging parents, and Lubbock is on the cusp of becoming a major center for the arts.   It’s definitely on the up-tick. 

What training have you had in order to blow glass so proficiently?

I had formal training at Pratt Fine Art Center in Seattle as well as at Penland School of Craft in Penland North Carolina.  This provided basic skills, but the best way to learn is to have continuous access to a glass blowing studio to practice.

The Unity in Glass concept is so unique – where did the inspiration come from?

I had a bride come into the glass studio one day. She explained to me that she was getting married and during her ceremony she and her partner were planning a sand unity ceremony.  She explained that they would both select different colors of sand that they would pour into a common vase, symbolizing their lives coming together.  She asked that I design and blow a glass vase to hold the mixed sand.  During the design process one of my main goals was to create a vase which would be designed to inherently add beauty to the sand, and more importantly to protect this as a life long keepsake.  I kept running into problems, mostly related to keeping the sand stable and protected over the upcoming years.  Any jostling of the vessel would upset the sand.  

I decided to consider other concepts--- instead of sand at her wedding, use crushed colored glass.  Niki picked out her colors, and she loved the concept.   During her ceremony, she and her partner mixed the crushed glass color in a common vessel.  After the wedding, she brought the mixed color back to the studio.  I used the colored glass crystals mixed at her ceremony to create a hand sculptured glass art-piece.  She now has a work of art that’s not only extremely durable, but also very beautiful.   You can see the individual colors contributed to the sculpture by both her, and her husband.

Instead of sand at her wedding the bride used crushed colored glass.

How can people get their hands on these one of a kind glass sculptors? What is the process?

The process involves selecting colors that suit the couple.  These can be colors from the wedding, or colors that individually represent each person—maybe a favorite color?  Usually two colors are selected, but one couple selected 7 colors----two for them, and one color for each of their children.  They also chose glass heart paperweights in addition to the main sculpture as gifts for each of the children. Extremely inclusive.

[photo by David Ingram]
The bride brought the mixed glass back to the studio

[photo by David Ingram]
[photo by David Ingram]
[photo by David Ingram]
Lee heats glass into a molten stage where the magic happens

[photo by David Ingram]
“Colors are artfully teased into a flowing sculptural hand blown glass keepsake for bride and groom.”

Orders can be placed online at www.unityinglass.com and the colored glass crystals will be shipped to the couple prior to the wedding.  A prepaid mailer is included with the order to return the unified colors back to our studio, in Lubbock TX.   The sculpture is created from their mixed color, encased and melted into our crystal clear 2100 degree molten glass.  From there it’s cooled overnight, slowly, and then meticulously finished using a series of diamond encrusted polishing discs prior to carefully packing and returned to the couple.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

After working in the corporate world, I knew I wanted more.  Art, specifically glass, always put me in a better mood and created incredible focus.  Part of the focus may be a certain fear-factor.  Molten glass is HOT!!   I had the very fortunate opportunity to do it full time, so I made the switch by downsizing everything about my life.  I love the technical aspect of glass as well—from the equipment to expansion co-efficients to color to refraction.  I’m an art/geek.

Describe your creative process?

I always try to think of the end product and design.  What will it look like?  What will people think about it?  I try to create designs that are interpreted differently, by almost anyone that looks at them--- further, those individuals when looking at the art on a daily basis will see different things.  If you see my walls at home, there is hardly any art hanging on them at all.  When I look at art, I ask myself “Do I want to look at that EVERY day?”  The answer is usually no.  So I go without.  When I create a piece, I want it to be something that someone wants to look at every day--- and for the art to change and show different things, ideally on a opportunity to do it full time, so I made the switch by downsizing everything about my life.  I love the technical aspect of glass as well—from the equipment to expansion co-efficients to color to refraction.  I’m an art/geek


What is your dream project?

Meticulous glass.  Perfect angles.  Perfect colors.  Perfect form.  Perfect intrigue.  Perfect mixes of emotion—fear, love, intrigue, curiosity, comfort, and uneasiness. 


Please include your website address and or blog address and Facebook page info if applicable


www.facebook.com/unityinglass- be sure to stop by and “like” Unity In Glass for the latest images of Lee’s beautiful work.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! That is beautiful! Love the wedding story! Keep up the wonderful work!

    Many blessings!

    Chari
    ChariT's Inspirational Creations

    ReplyDelete

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