Glass as alchemy
Although Stanton Morris calls himself a glass blower, not an artist, his creations have all the attributes of art. They are like snowflakes – no two are alike.
“It’s all the matter of imagination and understanding how glass behaves,” he said, working on a bracelet in his studio in Red Cliff. “Glass is like an ocean wave. You have to learn how to juggle it from hand to hand. How to toss it.”
Born in New Orleans, Morris had a friend who blew glass for a living.
“I always thought it was neat,” he said. “At first it was just a hobby. After I finished an art school in North Carolina, I tried to get private apprenticeships with people I admired. That’s how I learned how to make goblets and human forms. As for jewellery, I am self-taught. I just read books, watched videos and experimented.”
Experimenting is a significant part of Morris’ artistic process. He experiments with both materials and subjects.
“Blowing glass is an extension of me,” he said. “I like to play with colors and materials. I like the feeling of freedom it gives me – nobody tells me what’s right and what’s wrong. One thing leads to another. I just let it happen and observe where it goes.”
He is inspired by simple objects and everyday life situations. His glass forms are realistic.
“I don’t need to escape to the world of fantasy to be creative,” he said. “Sometimes, I simply see something I use later on as a motif in my works. I also listen to the suggestions of other people. I don’t consider myself the most artistic person, but my door is always open to any creative influence.”
Subjects of Morris’ artworks are varied. His eclecticism is the result of a continuous journey to what he calls a “vessel.”
“I haven’t found my vessel – one true niche,” he said. “Thus, I make different things, including goblets, human forms, jewellery, wine glasses, cookware and vortex marbles. Fortunately, Colorado keeps me in good spirits. I hope it’ll just happen one day.”
He compares blowing glass to alchemy. His secret of being a successful and safe alchemist is to obey the rules of gravity, be aware of proportions and distribute heat evenly.
“Glass is a picky medium,” he said. “It moves where you tell it to move. But, if not treated properly, it can also be a violent product.”
Morris’s dream and future goal is to have a shop in the Vail Village, where he could display his artwork and work at the same time. In the meantime, he works as a tour guide during the day, creates in his studio at night and gives glass-blowing shows any time he has a chance to display his artwork.
“I like to work while displaying my glass creations,” he said. “People want something real, handmade. I make it even more authentic by showing them the actual process.”
Stanton Morris is one of 12 artists whose works can be seen during the Sixth Annual Red Cliff Studio Tour. He’ll show his hand-blown creations in his studio located at 584 Pine in Red Cliff. The event kicks off today and continues through Sunday from 10 a.m-5 p.m.