About the Artist
I have always believed that art can be enjoyed by virtue of its functionality as well as its beauty. Before becoming a full time artist, I trained and worked professionally as an architect. In its simplest form, architecture also stresses this concept of functional beauty. A well-designed architectural space is functional, well proportioned and beautiful. The design skills and craftsmanship that I acquired during my training and subsequent professional architectural experience greatly contribute to my ability, to my creativity and to the execution of my art. I have been working with glass for nearly 20 years and continue to be mesmerized by the textures, reflections and colors it offers. Through my three dimensional works, I am able to further accentuate these natural characteristics to create intriguing and functional art objects.
In my artwork, the beauty of the glass is highlighted by using simple geometric forms. I have always been interested in geometry and the endless possibilities for design with a simple selection of shapes, and the beauty that precision brings to geometric work. The Arts and Crafts style dovetails with my work and my philosophy of simple, finely crafted and detailed shapes.
Each project is made individually by hand. After each design is drafted, the sheet glass is precisely cut and ground to fit the pattern. Each piece of glass is then wrapped in copper foil and soldered together. After the work is assembled, it is cleaned, a patina may then be applied to the solder, and the project is rinsed and cleaned again. The work is then given a final coat of glass wax and polished a final time. Often, I add overlays of additional layers of glass to achieve effects not possible with a single layer. I also add wirework to the design as a way of enhancing the geometric design of the piece. I particularly enjoy working with the reflections of mirror and iridescent glass in my work.
My work is currently represented by various galleries in Illinois.
- Barb Beckman
2013 & 2014 - Outstanding Artist - Chicago Botanical Gardens - Glencoe, IL
2012 Purchase Awards - Good Shephard Hospital, Art in the Barn - Barrington, IL
2012 Best in Glass - Art in the Barn - Barrington, IL