Continuing our 2015 Fall into Fine Craft Artisan Spotlight series, this time, we get to know a little more about former chapter president and 2013 and ’14 show chair, glass artisan, Dan Hayward.
What about your medium drew you to it initially and what’s kept you working at it?
I have always enjoyed the rich colors and textures found in stained glass works. As I gained skill and confidence in working with glass, I was drawn to the extensive color palette and the nuances of hand-rolled art glass, no two sheets of which are exactly alike. It’s harder to cut than machine-rolled glass, but the look and feel are much more interesting. Similarly, I have developed a love for textured clear glass – I have more than 80 varieties – and incorporate it liberally in my designs.
“Noah’s Ark” marked the start of my journey into fusing glass. I was working with a friend on windows for the Children’s Chapel in my church, and the patron who paid for the renovation wanted a certain well-known frog somewhere in the design. The natural place was on the Ark, but the scale was too small for conventional stained glass techniques. Off I went to Corning Museum of Glass to learn how to create things using a kiln. Once I had that skill, I bought a mold for a plate . . . and now I have some 40 different molds.
I spent all of my three “working” careers (U.S. Navy, consulting, fund-raising) doing left-brained work, and once I got over the mental hurdle of thinking I had no creative talent, I discovered that I enjoyed experimenting with color, shape and texture to craft an object of visual interest. The left brain is still evident in my stained glass designs, many of which are geometric in nature and incorporate interesting borders to focus the eye on what’s going on inside them. That “logical” side of my personality also expresses itself in the functionality of my fused glass creations (plates, bowls, serving pieces, coasters, etc.), which may be used in daily living and admired as objects d’art.
If you had to choose a medium, other than your current one, what would you like to try and why?
It would be wood. Wood, like glass, can be shaped and transformed by hand, by abrasives, by cutting, by heat . . . it comes in many colors and textures . . . one may begin with the simplest of tools and grow to have a workshop full of big toys . . . .the end product can be functional or decorative or both . . . even the most unskilled amateur can make something which in turn may open up new vistas and inspire a latent spirit of creativity — as glass did for me.
What are you most looking forward to at FIFC?
I most enjoy the conversations with customers, whether or not they purchase something. It’s fun to educate them on the process and share with them my creative vision. Of course, when someone wishes to buy something or discuss a commission, it’s a great boost to the ego.
Follow Dan on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Dan-Hayward-Art-Glass-115020842013650/timeline/