The recent Art Festival in the Woodlands (just north of Houston) once again hosted an electric mix of creative people who create art in varied media.

Richard Bond from Ottawa, the capital of Canada, was there. He told me about his beautiful paintings in glass, none of which are titled.

“I don’t title them because I like the idea of the viewer relating to the work in their own way – I don’t tell them what it should be or should mean.” In one work I asked him about, “you’ve got a tree there that’s standing up in the elements, fighting the elements. There’s a definite strong movement of wind, suggested just by the glass, the way I cutout that piece and used it in the glass. So the idea there is resilience: standing up against adversity. So to me that’s what it suggests.” The inclusion of the Moon in the piece “adds an aesthetic interest, but I wasn’t necessarily suggesting the Moon means something.”

Bond explained that “every piece of glass is an abstract work of art. I am purchasing glass from different glass makers. They are big slabs of glass, and it is psychedelic mayhem in this glass! Out of that chaos, I cut out a piece and try to find the design from that piece, working with the flow and movement to complement the design. Every piece of glass is unique.”

He started this work 40 years ago. “I pioneered the idea. I used to work in a commercial stained glass setting, and I would play around in the evenings, experimenting. I was in love with glass to begin with, but I noticed that certain sheets of glass were full of wonderful movement and character and drama. I wanted to celebrate this wonderful organic material because it had so much suggestion of energy and movement. We hand sandblast equipment in the studio and I was familiar with how it worked on stone. I thought glass should respond in a similar fashion. When I tried it, it was a eureka moment. I stepped back and did a little dance, realizing I had created an artform!”

Prices range from a $175 to a few thousand, depending on size and complexity.

The artist may be reached through his facebook page: richardbondglassartist

And on his website:

The Woodlands Waterway Arts Festival is held every April.

By Dr. Cliff Cunningham

Dr. Cliff Cunningham is a planetary scientist, the acknowledged expert on the 19th century study of asteroids. He is a Research Fellow at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia. He serves as Editor of the History & Cultural Astronomy book series published by Springer; and Associate Editor of the Journal of Astronomical History & Heritage. Asteroid 4276 in space was named in his honour by the International Astronomical Union based in the recommendation of the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Dr. Cunningham has written or edited 15 books. His PhD is in the History of Astronomy, and he also holds a BA in Classical Studies.