Glass Artists Embark on a Southwestern Reverie

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  • February 21, 2007


Artists Innovate with Size, Style and 30 Variations on the Color Green

Falls Church, VA. February 2007 – Eric Markow and Thom Norris have long been drawn to the stark, vivid contrasting colors and the picture-perfect sparse landscape of the American Southwest. Indeed, the artists’ love affair with the Southwest has led them to create a 2007 collection featuring variations on the most iconic forms, destinations and colors that the region has to offer. This is not the first foray into desert colors and motifs for the notable American woven glass artists — and, as the artists will tell you, this collection is just the beginning.

“When we start thinking creatively about nature and its colors, we always find our imaginations returning to the Southwest,” says Markow. “As our collectors know, the natural world has always been the main driving force in our work. Our other obsession is color. The Southwest is the epitome of raw color in the natural world.”

The pièce de résistance of the 2007 collection is the giant saguaro cactus wall sculpture. At seven feet tall, it is the largest woven glass sculpture in the world and represents the artists’ first foray into architectural sculpture and installation. “Saguaro” represents over 1400 hours of kiln time alone, occupying the artists’ time and imagination for an entire month and emerging as remarkable and stunning as any of their work to date. To do justice to this hearty desert survivor, the artists created more than 30 distinct shades of green, hand-blending and placing sage with rust, forest green with amber and metallic silvery glass with teal. Executed with precision engineering, the Saguaro installation consists of nine woven glass sculptures delicately balanced to represent the Southwest’s most recognizable form of life. The effect of the large scale is breathtaking — the eyes dart from the thicker, tightly-woven base of the sculpture to the delicate needles reaching out on all sides.

The 2007 collection embraces new techniques as well as themes. Says Norris: “The work is not just about our developed technique of weaving glass. We have expanded the technique to a more sculpturally artistic level.” “Red Poppy,” the first in a series of flower sculptures planned by the artists, features their new circular weave. With thinner strips of glass in the center expanding into wider strips as they reach the outside fringe, the flower has perfect integrity. The concentric circles of the weave are noticeably tight from the stamen out to the undulating edge of the circular petals. The exciting mix of both deep and bright reds with metallic orange captures the unique experience of walking through a field of poppies in full bloom.

The artists are also mixing techniques. “A Good Day,” a blue, elongated and undulating table sculpture, represents white clouds in a piercing blue sky. The white clouds mark the first time Markow & Norris have used multiple cast glass inclusions. As elegant three dimensional elements, the cast clouds expand on what the artists can represent with their medium.

Markow & Norris will happily recount as many colors as they can remember the first time they saw the unforgettable Painted Desert in Arizona. This canyon-scape is a popular destination for travelers worldwide who seek to be inspired by the natural beauty of this arid land. The artists’ newest table sculpture, “Painted Desert,” is an homage to this destination. Markow explains: “The multitude of different colored striations within the rock formations is what we are recreating in this sculpture. Additionally, the hints of green represent the cacti and brush that dot the landscape. Our “Painted Desert” sculpture is a small gesture of gratitude for the inspiration we’ve received from this natural landmark; we are very proud of this piece.”

“Santa Fe Skull” is a new color interpretation of their popular “Desert Skull” wall hanging which was released in 2005, and it embraces the warm, reddish browns of earth and stone. Featuring predominately brick and adobe hues in a red palette comprised of more than 30 new shades, the skull is offset by a few deliberate lines of turquoise, the color used in Native American jewelry.

The “Spicy Caliente” sculpture also features many new variations on red. To the artists it represents the fireball of color and flavors in the foods of the region, such as red and yellow chili peppers. When you see a picture of the Southwest, most striking is the contrast created by the rich, blue and very clear sky set against the orange, and often deep brown, shadowy landscape. “Land and Sea by Fire,” a popular color scheme first created by Markow & Norris as a wall blanket, is now available as a table sculpture. The wide stripe of rich blue opaque glass, included and yet standing out against the adobe brown and terra cotta weave, celebrates these stark contrasts that create the Southwest palette. “There is no other place like it in the world, and it will always be an inspiration,” Markow & Norris.

Markow & Norris are the premiere woven glass artists in the world, with a proprietary and distinctive tightly woven technique. Every Markow & Norris piece is rare — handmade in the artists’ Virginia studio to be a one of a kind heirloom. For more information on Markow & Norris, their unique woven glass art or to request collector’s information please visit or call 1-888-282-7081.

Press Contact:

Marcy Clark
Yellow Sky Agency

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