Biography

BILL SLADE

Born: Newark, New Jersey 1953

EDUCATION

Jacksonville University, Jacksonville FL.

AWARDS

In the past thirty years, over 450 various awards have been received exhibiting at art festivals throughout the United States.

TEACHING

Independent Artist Program : Glass Blowing
Jacksonville University
Jacksonville, FL 1996, 1995, 1989
College of Life Long Learning : 1999, 2000, 2001

SELECTED PERMANENT COLLECTIONS

Corning Glass Museum : Corning, N.Y.
Bergstrom Museum : Neena, Wisconsin
Ringling Museum of Art : Sarasota FL
Wheaton Museum of American Glass : Millville, New Jersey
Museum of Arts and Sciences : Daytona Beach, FL
City of Jacksonville : gift to Soviet sister city
Chrysler Museum : Virginia

JONATHAN SLADE

Born: Jacksonville, FL 1984

EDUCATION

Graduate of Florida Community College At Jacksonville

EXPERIENCE

Jonathan has been exposed to his fathers hot glass studio since early childhood, and for the past fifteen years Jon has been working full time with his father in the studio. Jon does all the cold working, polishing, and the sandblasting to the pieces they produce.

The newly created “Open Chambered Vessels” as well as the “Totem Series” are a direct result of Bill & Jon’s creative teamwork.

SILVER-VEILED GLASS

Bill Slade is both an artist and chemist when he creates his exquisitely beautiful paperweights and sculptures. To achieve this degree of total control, he must prepare each batch of formula by hand, carefully measuring and weighing all the dry ingredients. He then loads the formula into the roaring furnace, which is kept at 2400 derees F. It is slowly melted down overnight, becoming crystal pure by the following morning.

Bill slade then begins what he describes as his “Dance of Fire”. He gathers up the molten glass on the end of a long rod, one layer upon another. After every gathering of molten glass, Bill manipulates it with hand tools to create an ethereal design before encasing it in another layer of Silver-Veiled Glass. Some of his works have up to ten layers of glass (each with its own internal design) before he is ready to create the exterior shape. During this entire process, he must keep the glass molten by repeatedly going back to the furnace, for if it becomes too cool, he can no longer work it and get the designs. At the same time, if the glass is heated too much, it becomes too loose and will run off the pipe onto the floor.

Achieving each unique shape requires total control of the rod, glass, and self. Here is where “The Dance” begins in earnest; reheating the glass, shaping the exterior with wooden paddles as well as using the centrifugal force of gravity. Bill must keep the glass hot enough to shape and yet not so hot as to lose its shape. If allowed to cool too quickly, the glass will crack or shatter. The finished sculpture is removed from the rod and placed in an oven, allowing it to cool overnight very slowly. The final process of this three-day creation is the grinding (and sometimes polishing) of the bottoms of the pieces. Only then will Bill engrave his signature on the side of each of his works of art.

Since first blowing glass nearly forty years ago, Bill is still fascinated by the fluidity of the glass itself. “Even after a sculpture is finished, it’s still classified as liquid. This is the whole essence of what I’m trying to convey in each work. Perhaps living in Florida for so long has also influenced me. After all, I’m surrounded by the ocean, lakes, and rivers, so it’s only natural for me to see the fluid motion extended to my art.”

Comments are closed.