I’ve tried a few other career paths besides glass blowing. I studied art, made paintings, taught art in elementary schools and a juvenile jail, worked on a fishing boat, got a j.d., but I kept coming back to glass blowing. I love experimenting with new ways of adding color, shaping glass, and pushing the boundaries of size for lamp working. My glassblowing is primarily self-taught and I believe that my background in painting is the strongest influence on my work.
I started doing very small craft shows while I had other jobs and eventually took the leap to being a full time glassblower. I have gotten most of my accounts through the Buyer’s Market of American Craft and other trade shows. I’ve had work in shops and museum stores all over the country as well as in Anthropologie, Barney’s NY, The Smithsonian Institute, and The Chicago Art Institute. I sell lighting, ornaments, platters, vases, and sculpture. I am constantly trying to come up with unique processes and new products.
Jim will discuss his transition retail to wholesale and now to an educational focus. He will delve into product development and the glassblowing/lamp working process.
Jim Loewer studied painting in college. His glass blowing is self-taught but heavily informed by his background in painting. Although Jim is not actually painting on glass, but rather adding hot glass color, he is interested in final products with a painterly and loose feel. Jim achieves this painterly quality by understanding the palette of glass color and by mixing and layering colors in unique ways.
Jim also strives for balance in his work, matching busy color schemes with simple forms or basic color schemes with complicated forms. He is inspired by his favorite modernist paintings and by the natural and manmade world.
The technique of lamp working, or scientific glassblowing, involves melting glass on a propane/oxygen mix torch and annealing finished work in a kiln. Jim has developed some unique processes especially suited to making large work.
Because of the coloration and size of his work, it is often mistaken for furnace glass which allows him to occupy a unique niche among lamp workers.