Glass Artist Ronnie Hughes
In 1980, after hiking on the Blue Ridge Parkway, I came upon a field of hundreds of breathtaking Pink Lady Slipper orchids.This inspired me to change my subject matter completely…I had discovered what I felt was a most satisfying blend of subject matter with medium…
BIOGRAPHY: Glass Artist Ronnie Hughes
I work by myself, employing traditional flameworking techniques to create my sculptures. I do not use molds, specialized tools, glue, or paints. After completion, I anneal each piece at 1040 degrees Fahrenheit in a kiln, then cool it gradually back to room temperature. Then I examine each piece under a polariscope which ensures that the sculpture has been properly annealed before presenting it to the public. If necessary, my glass can be flame repaired if broken, which means my sculptures will retain their value afterwards. This is impossible with soft glass.
I am proud and honored to be affiliated with:
Philharmonic Center for the Arts, North Carolina Natural Museum of Science, The Glass Art Society, The American Craft Council, The Southern Highlands Guild, Ohio Designer Craftsmen, Handmade in America, Piedmont Craftsmen, Carolina Designer Craftsmen, Lexington Art League, and North Carolina Mountain Arts Alliance.
I was born in 1954 and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. I learned glassblowing with the help of a friend after graduating from Wake Forest University in 1976. Spending only two weeks working with glass, I was hooked. Since I had received no formal art training while getting my Bachelor’s Degree, my aptitude for glassblowing was a huge and pleasant surprise.
I originally created small works, and eventually worked with J.R.R. Tolkein “Lord of the Rings” characters and other fantasy themes. The Tolkein flights of fantasy sparked my love of detail and I enjoyed the challenge so much that I decided to make glassblowing my career. I have spent the past 35 years creating my artwork for galleries, art shows and private collections.
Trademark qualities of my work have been the accuracy of the flower structures combined with a distinctive organic style.
Using both clear and colored glasses, I create my wildflowers. Then, I integrate them with free-formed, solid glass bases that I developed over 35 years ago. I find that I am able to capture the essence of the flowers with more movement as they spring from their natural-looking base. My sculptures stand entirely on their own in continuous glass, a more challenging and time-consuming process.