Difference In Glass

A veteran fused glass artist and a relative newcomer to the medium will present a joint exhibition, “Difference in Glass,” Nov. 2 through 27 in Gallery III of the Artists Collective | Spartanburg.

“We want people to see the different things that can be made with glass fusing – the different shapes, colors and ideas,” says Judy Martin, whose years of fused glass work “morphed” from her jewelry making, sculptures to painting on glass.

Martin encouraged Thomas Zumbach, who is new to the art of fused glass, to do the joint exhibition. “I enjoy encouraging newer Artists Collective members to show their work in the galleries, so I asked Tom to share a gallery with me to display some of my new work and his emerging work for a sort of a one-on-one showing,” she says, adding that the show will highlight “a veteran glass fuser wanting to show a new path and a ‘newbie’ wanting to show a new perspective of what can be made with glass.

“People will see the movement in colored glass, nature and abstract all made with glass,” Martin continues. “This is showing two different glass artists, one new and one which has been at it for years. The different ways they think of making art from a piece of glass. We all have our own ideas and thoughts of how we want to do something and how we want it to come out.”

For Martin, she looks for nature, colors, designs “and anything that makes me feel good” to create her fused glass works. “I have always enjoyed being outside, even if it is to weed the flowers because I always see something different and new. I look at the sky daily to see the colors, formation of the clouds or to see dark rain clouds. I have found this is the hardest art that I have tried, but I find it rewarding at the same time. I want you to smile and/or think when you see any of my fused glass pieces. I am not going to tell people what I see in what I make – it is for the observer to look, study, examine and think what they see in the piece.”

Zumbach took several glass classes from Martin at a time when his craft was concentrated on woodworking. “For 30 years I worked in precision grinding and my woodworking career overlapped. I built handmade furniture and started traveling to major art shows with my wood turned art,” he says.

After moving to Greer, S.C., from the Milwaukee area in 1996, Zumbach started a full-time woodworking business and traveled from Michigan to Florida and places in between displaying at art shows. “I became interested in fused glass while working in Tryon, N.C., for 10 years. In 2014, I took classes from Judy Martin and started my new journey with color and texture that weren’t brown, as wood,” says Zumbach, a member of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild and the American Association of Woodturners. He joined the Artists Collective | Spartanburg about nine months ago.

“My new journey has been extremely satisfying for me,” he says. “Using learned techniques, I am trying to speak with my own voice and inspire others to appreciate the art form the way I do. This exhibit is my ‘coming out party,’ and hopefully the public will find what I make in my new path.”

Thirty works will be in the exhibition and will be offered for sale; prices range from $25 to $500.

“We both feel excited for being members of the Artists Collective | Spartanburg, which gives us a place to display on a regular basis,” says Martin, who has been a member for four years. “We both truly enjoy being members for the diverse amount of information that can come from the various members. If you talk and listen to others, you are able to get ideas to incorporate into your own art.”


Artists Collective | Spartanburg 

32 Studios | 50+ Local Artists

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