Artist of the Month James Alloway Art Glass Est.1987
My story begins in Portland, Oregon on February 3, 1957 when I was born. I have spent my entire life in the greater Portland area. I have two children and one grandchild.
My first encounter of working with glass happened when I was in the fourth grade. My mother had enrolled me in a summer school science class. I found myself bending glass tubing in an alcohol burner for a class project. In 1970, I visited Colonial Jamestown, where the very first glasshouse for our nation started operating in 1608. It is interesting to look at the postcards from this adventure to Jamestown and see that I am currently using the same kind of tools every day that they were using in 1608.
My next encounter with glass would come in a high school ceramics class. Our class visited a stained glass studio where I first saw Tiffany style lampshades being made. I was very impressed with their beauty. At this time in my life, my father owned and operated a service station. This involved my other passion with working on cars. It seemed only natural that I would end up working as an auto mechanic for the next 10 years of my life.
I sustained an unfortunate back injury and needed something to keep me busy while I recuperated. I started taking a class in stained glass windows to burn some time. This is where my ideas about glass really started to take off. I started visiting art galleries to look at stained glass windows to get different ideas and see new styles. In exploring the galleries, I rediscovered another form of art glass: mouth blown glass. The art glass pieces that I was seeing weren’t the same crude vessels that I was familiar with from Jamestown years ago. This glass was beautifully shaped and the colors were bright and bold. I became enthralled with the idea of making mouth blown glass myself.
I began my education in glass blowing by taking a glass blowing class. By the time the class was finished, I had constructed a studio in the garage of my home. I consider myself to be 90% self-taught. My style has been inventive to achieve the looks that I envision. Nobody has ever told me what I “can’t do”. In doing this, it has eliminated restrictions, allowing me to be creative from inside of my mind. Glass blowing takes patience, timing and a passion to accomplish. Timing is imperative with blowing glass, you can do just the right thing at the wrong time and it will turn in to a complete disaster or a new inspiration. My desire to be successful in this craft draws me to my studio, the pleasure that others receive from my work keeps me there.
I combine unique craftsmanship with vivid imagination.
I combine unique craftsmanship with vivid imagination. Each piece I create cannot be described purely in words, but by emotions. To see the pictures of my work is one thing, but to hold it in your hands is another. Each piece is a unique creation that has made a magical journey from a mass of molten glass to a visual treasure. The many years of perfecting my techniques has been well spent. Within the privacy of my studio, I can shed my earthly facade and hear only the silent voice of my soul. When I’m in the studio my creativity flows as does the liquid glass I work with.
When I’m not busy with my work I spend my time working with the feral cat population in my neighborhood. I have trapped and fixed 16 cats, and had over 40 kittens (nursed in my own home) adopted out through the Oregon Humane Society.
In the rest of my spare time I enjoy restoring old cars. I am currently working on a 1969 Chevrolet Nova. I am getting it ready for a new paint job, which I will do myself. I am a do it yourself kind of guy.
My glass work can be found on ebay. My ebay user name is jamesallowayartglass. I can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org