Stunning glass sculptures by Jack Storms

We have come across rare samples of antique dichroic glass products, the color of which changes depending on the viewing angle or lighting. Today, modern production technologies have been developed for telescope filters and other optical instruments. For this, an ultrathin film of gold, silver, aluminum oxide or other metals is condensed on the glass surface. The number of such layers can reach several tens, although their total thickness does not exceed a couple of hundred nanometers. Light of different wavelengths is differently absorbed and reflected by them, is refracted at the boundaries, which gives dichroic glass unusual optical properties.

Spectrum Cube Six lenses embedded in the complex structure of the cube make its glass flare up with bright lights. Jack Storms: “I like the sky in front of the fireworks. There is tension in him that will create such a contrast at the moment of the explosion of lights.

Light color

Jack Storms sculptural works composed of many fragments of crystal and dichroic glasses shimmer with different colors. Dozens or even hundreds of parts are invisibly joined by transparent epoxy glue, allowing you to open up a completely special game of colors and lights from all sides. These flashes are not accidental: they show either a pattern hidden inside, or a geometric figure. “There is always an exact equation for the number of colors and shapes that are visible from different angles, ” says Storms. “Therefore, every time you turn an object or change the lighting, you see something new.”

Getting started, the artist calculates the size, color and position of each glass fragment. As a rule, the shape cut from a solid crystal crystal becomes the inner core of the sculpture. Her Storms carefully polishes and covers with a mirror coating, after which, layer by layer, glues pieces of dichroic glass, each in its place. The light reflected by the crystal center passes through these filters, changing color and shimmering at different viewing angles. Finally, everything outside is covered again with transparent crystal, which is given the desired shape. “I cut and polish, glue and polish again. And then I cut and polish again, ”the artist explains. “All this takes time, and again time.”

ViviOvo “For me, ViviOvo remains my favorite sculpture. From the very beginning, work on it was especially difficult, I almost quit doing it. And then I was preparing for the exhibition and met a beautiful girl, who later became my wife. To impress, I showed her 15−20 works that were prepared for the exhibition, and asked what I liked the most. Then she replied that she liked that one, aside, unfinished ... I named the finished work ViviOvo, in honor of Vivian. "

Accuracy and complexity are important components of Jack Storms' creative method. One extra movement, too strong pressing, crack, imperfect polishing or inaccurate gluing can spoil the weeks of painstaking calculations and manual work. It will not work to fix anything, but some sculptures may require three to four months of work: the artist uses a particularly complex and unhurried processing technique, in which the glass does not heat up and does not melt. “If it was easy to work with cold glass, much more people would do it, ” he notes. “There is no room for error here, but the result is visually flawless ... Every detail is the product of a long pursuit of excellence.”

Cold processing

Storms' glass labyrinths are best seen with their own eyes, slowly walking around in circles, and if possible, twisting in their hands. A motley multi-colored ribbon opens inside a sculpted wine bottle: using an abstract, cold material, the artist avoids abstractions in the form of his works. Mathematics helps him in this, more precisely - a sequence of Fibonacci numbers, each of which is equal to the sum of the two previous ones: 0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, etc. This sequence underlies the golden ratio, and on Storms guided him in many of his works. In accordance with the Fibonacci sequence, the sizes of colored glass fragments, which cover layer by layer the core of the sculpture, also increase.

“I use straight, polished lines, but in nature there is nothing straight and even, ” the artist explains. “Fibonacci numbers make it possible to bridge the gap between the one and the other, between the artificial and the natural.” It seems that he is quite successful: cold glass forms take on the shade of something close and familiar.

The icy arrogant abstraction is not at all in the character of Storms; he even looks like a calm man, firmly standing on the ground. A native of New Hampshire's distant ambitions from the capital, he graduated from a provincial university and was a student for about a year studying glass work with a local craftsman. His talent, dedication, combined with an unusual, sophisticated technique quickly yielded excellent results. “The material spoke to me, and I dived into it - upside down, ” Jack Storms recalled in an interview. “Before, nothing had fascinated me so much.” A few years later, in 2004, he was able to open his own studio in California. The techniques adopted from the anonymous teacher are amazing, but Storms never calls his name, the artist perfected, learning how to obtain sculptures of complex shape and complex internal structure. According to him, no other master in the world is capable of handling cold glass today.

Rose Aerial The pointed tops and sides of the crystal core of the sculpture are positioned to reflect the light of the curved bottom surface.

Artistic character

Storms easily completed a number of very unusual commercial orders, including a large glass fire bell for the art center in Pleasanton and a glass bat in honor of baseball star Derek Jeter. The artist is not too worried about the high meaning that they often try to find in any work of art. “I am often asked what I wanted to say with my work, ” says Storms, “but I don’t care. What matters is what the person who brings this sculpture home sees. What people who will see her every day will think. Therefore, when they ask me what exactly I invest in this thing, I usually redirect the question: “What do you invest in it?”

The answer to it is actually very simple - this is beauty. That is why the Storms works are invariably successful with both viewers and buyers. You can watch his works every day without ceasing to admire. In an understandable desire for beauty, the artist finds motivation for creativity and his whole life. “Of course, I make a living from this, ” he admits. “But each time, the finished item makes me take a break, just sit down and see from all sides how beautiful it is.” Sometimes I can’t even believe that I created it myself. ” It seems that modesty is also not in the character of Storms: however, the masters can be understood.

Jack Storms City: Newhall (California, USA); Education: Plymouth State University

The Jack Storms Cold Set article was published in Popular Mechanics magazine (No. 7, July 2017).

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