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Woven Glass Artists Create Impossibly Organic Forms

Falls Church, VA (PRWEB) September 18, 2005

Do not ask Eric Markow and Thom Norris how they achieve their magnificently intricate, delicate and mystifying woven glass sculptures, and these self-taught artisans will not explain the process that took over 10 years for them to perfect. Inspired by the inexplicably complex framework of the natural world, Markow & Norris create enigmatically harmonious works of art. Each deceptively organic form requires extensive planning and flawless execution, as the raw material is ever-so-fragile glass.

Every limited edition piece begins as a fantastical image in the designers’ subconscious, before undergoing weeks or months of conceptual preparation, color blending and then over 100 hours of kiln time alone. The artists’ proprietary woven technique requires hours of precise manipulation, followed by meticulously micro-controlled annealing. After the initial preparation, pieces undergo 3 to 4 separate firings each at temperatures of up to 1500 degrees before being fire polished over the artists’ handmade molds. The effect is tightly woven, vividly colorful and distinctive works, conceived with a marriage of science, art and alchemy.

Markow & Norris seek to inspire with the intricate nature of their work: “An element of our work is magic – we take a natural, molten glass, sourced from sand, and scientifically force it into an impossible shape, ultimately returning it to a natural organic form – we love to see people surprised at the notion of weaving glass and wonder how it is done. Every piece is made with extreme care and our goal is to bring meaningful joy to all who possess them.” Due to the time consuming nature of their work, the artists produce only 40 to 50 works per year and there is often a waiting list of up to a year to acquire a Markow & Norris piece.

Both artists are itinerant travelers, inspired by the shapes of the natural world as well as the colors and contradictions of foreign lands. Norris finds inspiration from recognizable objects in nature, such as the unusual shapes and objects found in the arid desert – a cactus, a bull’s skull, and the impossible colors of the Grand Canyon – or the fluid, flowing nature of the Caribbean Sea or a brightly colored Koi pond. Markow loves the abstract landscapes and their unlimited color variations. Normally unable to find the vivid, vibrant colors of glass that he desires, Markow mixes all glass colors himself, creating an infinite color palette distinct to that of any other glass artist. Though Norris prefers to first sketch out a rough estimate of the art, Markow’s ideas are usually imagined and built on a light table without a drawing. Markow & Norris give careful consideration to color transition both horizontally and vertically, creating both subtle and sharp color gradients.

Though many would consider the painstaking nature of their work tedious, Markow disagrees: “I have always been an extremely detail oriented person and I am most comfortable when working with a complex process. I like the precise nature of a glass weave and thrive on the fact that it is technically challenging to do. I rarely consider it to be too tedious to enjoy. It’s not difficult if you love doing it.”

The dedicated artisans both agree they are most influenced by each other: “We bring different approaches to the table when considering any new piece of art. Working in tandem gives us exponentially greater creative power and imagination,” says Norris.

Markow & Norris are the premiere woven glass artists in the world, with a proprietary and distinctive tightly woven technique. Every Markow & Norris piece is rare, handmade in the artists’ Virginia studio to be a one of a kind heirloom. For more information on Markow & Norris, their unique woven glass art or to request collector’s information, please visit or call 1-888-282-7081.


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