about the artist
I graduated from the Columbus College of Art and Design in 2007. I have a Bachelors Degree in Fine art with a focus in Glass Blowing. My objective as an artist is to create aesthetic forms using incredibly rich colors and textures. There are many reasons why I work with glass, but what really hooked me was the opportunity glass provides to play with color. Glass allows for variations of intensity of hue, tone and depth and I have always been captivated by the way colors come to light on a glass surface. Glass can do everything that other sculptural media can; in addition, the ways in which color can be layered on glass provides a unique three- dimensional quality of depth. Some of what I make requires the skill of another set of hands. I’ve been grateful to have had the opportunity to study with other glass artists and have benefited from exploring some of the infinite variations that working with glass offers. Currently I am exploring the incalmo technique, and have been incorporating cane working and complex Murine designs. Using traditional Italian techniques, I draw inspiration from Asian cultural art, and this has allowed me to find a style of my own. I look forward to developing this style as I progress as an artist. Initially, I started out making simple vessels. But the challenge of rendering more complex structures in glass soon caught my imagination and I was on fire with ideas. I am making works of art that have organic influences and now have multiple forms ranging from familiar vases with exotic patterns to nature inspired shells. I am particularly drawn to combining the structural symmetry of cane and Murine with organic textures and patterns within the glass and then using sandblasting as a finishing technique to reveal the true color. Though I make many pieces, each one is a unique creation requiring intense concentration and often great skill to produce. I think of these pieces as part of an overall progression, each having their own potential, but also being a step towards creating improved versions of them. Glass making is what I love to do and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. It is a pleasure for me to share what I do.
– WIlliam Ortman