Kevin O'Grady began lampworking glass in 1989 while living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His prior experience as a silversmith and lapidary artist helped him to quickly develop his lampworking skills. Working glass in a flame is Kevin's favorite artistic medium.
Primarily known for his glass bracelets, Kevin is also accomplished in making beads, marbles, paperweights, small platters and vessels. He is also very well known for his detailed mastering of borosilicate murrine. He was one of the first to pioneer this technique in his medium of borosilicate glass and has murrine canes in the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. Every piece is signed and dated with a murrine cane as well.
Aside from the many hours he spends working glass, Kevin occasionally teaches his lampworking and color mixing techniques at various venues around the country. Kevin attends a select number of wholesale and retail art shows and festivals. He has won awards consistently at the Scottsdale Festival of the Arts, one of the best and most scrupulously juried art shows in the country.
Kevin's work has been published in both print and video mediums and has been featured in magazines including, "Ornament", "Bead and Button", and "Lapidary Journal." His marbles have also been featured in books and magazines. Galleries and shops throughout the United States, Canada, and Japan carry Kevin's work.
A R T I S T S T A T E M E N T
I am an independent glass artist who works borosilicate glass rods over an open flame, often called a lamp worker or a torch worker. I use a surface mix torch, which uses propane and liquid oxygen to produce a flame hot enough to work hard glass, or borosilicate. The required working temperature of borosilicate is approximately 2500 degrees. Borosilicate is more commonly known as Pyrex and is a very strong and durable glass. The color palette commonly available in borosilicate is very limited and dull. I have perfected mixing techniques that enable me to create vivid and beautiful colors previously unknown in borosilicate glass. Many of my techniques are self-taught.
Each one of my pieces is a one of a kind, signed, hand worked original made solely by me using no apprentices. Primarily known for my glass bracelets, I also make beads, marbles, paperweights, small platters, vessels and sculptural pieces.
I am also well known for my detailed mastering of borosilicate murrine canes. Murrine canes are detailed "pictures" in glass which date back to the Romans, but which the Italians are famous for perfecting 200 years ago. Making murrine in borosilicate is especially challenging due to the hardness of the glass. Murrine canes can be found incorporated in many of my pieces as portraits, fish, stars, and other assorted designs.
Working glass in a flame is my passion. My inspiration for colors and designs come mostly from nature. Such things as feathers and water as well as flowers and galactic stars can be seen in my work. Artists such as Monet, Escher, and Matisse also inspire me.