Artist Statement
Ron Tickerhoff

There is this indescribable connection that I have when I work with glass in its cold state. Touching each piece and placing it in its proper location in the combining of the elements is similar to working on a jigsaw puzzle. It’s not until all of the pieces of the puzzle are in place that there is a completed picture. However, with kiln formed glass, it’s not until the heating process in the kiln is completed, that the “picture” comes to fruition. It’s when the glass is in the kiln that my physical connection is temporarily broken. While I can still maintain my mental connection with the glass as it initially reaches 1500(+) degrees, the glass indeed has a mind of its own. What started as many unconnected pieces of glass will come out of the kiln, hours later, as a single piece. One is made from the many.

It is this paradox of the known and unknown that makes working with glass such an exciting and fulfilling challenge for me. While I “know” how a unfired piece looks as it enters the kiln, I can have a general idea of what it will look like when it comes out. However, it’s not until the kiln is opened and I see this “one” piece that I truly know its completion.

Having access to such a wide variety of colored glass opens door after door to new ideas for designs. As my mind sees one idea of a final art form, my imagination can twist things around. I begin seeing other options. I have other ideas, other visions of what the final piece will look like. I’m always finding myself playing the “what if” game. “What if I do this.” “What if I do that.” This way of thinking expands my imagination and allows me to see beyond a single outcome. The “what if” game is so important to me. I use it throughout my living.

Another great aspect of working with glass, is no matter how hard I try, I am unable to reproduce an exact replica of an art piece. While two or more pieces may look identical, upon closer examination, I’m always amazed at the differences that appear between two items. At times, these differences may be minute and at other times, completely obvious. So, in reality, I can have the “control” over the glass prior to it entering the kiln. But glass, as does the wind, has a mind of its own. Ever changing!

My newest art form is using powdered glass. Until a year ago, I had no idea of the possibilities of what I can create using glass in the powdered state. The technique I’m current using with the powder is called crackle. With the mixing of multiple colors of powder, I am able to create very unique and striking colors, none of which are in the glass catalog from which I order my glass.

It is the predictable and unpredictable that has given glass the “hold” on me that I’m unable to walk away from. Glass constantly pulls at me. In a sense, I can feel it speaking to me deep within as I touch each piece. If I listen carefully, often I can hear the words as if it is actually speaking to me. If I listen to it long enough, maybe one day, the glass will help me hear what the wind has to say.

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