Steve Scherer has been picking up a striker and lighting the torch to create pyrex glass pieces for over 40 years. It is about rearranging glass – adding, stretching and selectively heating the work in progress to achieve the most detail. Glasswork is a little like pulling and manipulating taffy, except you can’t touch the hot glass. A glass artist must use simple tools like graphite paddles, pliers and metal picks. The glass always wants to round itself and flow into smooth contours. This “smoothness” characterizes and enhances each glass design. Steve seldom sketchs his original ideas on paper before firing up the torch but does use a reference library of drawings, animals, and design books.
Steve learned the basics of the ancient craft of lampwork from a friend and his father in Decatur, Illinois as a senior in high school. While attending the University of Illinois to earn a degree in microbiology, he continued to lampwork when home from school. After graduation, the glass and flame attracted him more as creative materials than his scientific training and his hobby became his vocation. Steve works up to 8 hours a day in a well ventilated (glass fumes and vaporized metals used to color the glass are hazardous to your health) workshop (affectionately known as the ‘glass hole’), that he built on his property in Kentucky. He also makes some of his own colored glasses by dissolving metal oxides in the glass.