Featured Artist Archive > November, 2011
click picture to enlarge
click picture to enlarge
was born in southeastern Pennsylvania in 1955. He enjoyed the simple
life of a farm child until the age of 10 when his family moved to
South Florida. Drew graduated from Florida State University in 1977
with a Bachelors Degree in technical theatre and scene design. On
graduation, he accepted a position at the Alley Theatre in Houston,
Texas. But after a few years, he became interested in stained glass
and made a career change, becoming one of the founding members of
The Houston Glass Art Society. In 1979, he attended a glass symposium
in Colorado, where Drew saw hot glass worked for the first time.
He loved Colorado and was intrigued by glassblowing.
In 1981, he
set up his first rudimentary hot glass shop. Around 1983, early
in his glassblowing career, he began making paperweights. These
were quite rudimentary and were incorporated into sets such as a
perfume bottle, three different-sized vases, and a paperweight.
It was not until about 1990 that Drew began to make paperweights
as a serious pursuit, producing pieces that could stand on their
own artistically. He was introduced to the Paperweight
Collectors Association of Texas in 1991, and they encouraged
him to specialize in paperweights.
In the paperweight
field Drew decided that millefiori work would be the best direction
for him. His early work included concentrics, scrambles, and closepacks,
but what really showed promise was his crown weight. He received
his first commission for a limited edition from the PCA TX in 1992:
a crown weight with a silhouette cane in the shape of the state
of Texas in the centre. Drew then embarked on a years-long project
of emulating the work of three classic French factories. By about
2001, he had become adept at producing these kinds of paperweights.
However, it was time for Drew to move ahead and establish a style
of his own. So by early 2002, he had the beginnings of his own very
distinctive style of millefiori. He incorporated the classic antique
style of lampwork flowers into millefiori canes.
canes have proved wonderfully successful for Drew. At first he incorporated
them into traditional millefiori designs. He went on to use his
"lampwork" canes to make weights that actually looked like lampwork
designs but had no lampwork in them at all. This lead to his Landscape
paperweights. Over the past ten years, Drew has produced a range
of different series, based on his love of the countryside and of
his special love for trout fishing with a fly rod led to his Trout
weights. He wanted to be able to look down into his paperweights
and see the water and the trout that he loved, yet still remain
within the millefiori genera. These were technically very challenging
but a great success. Trying something different, he produced a series
with a view of a raging river running through a canyon, as might
be seen by a bird or maybe a passenger in an airplane. In 2007,
he went back to the canes and style of his beloved St. Louis and
produced the Nostalgia Series, followed by the Old English series
— which is an exploration of the George Bacchus factory in
England. Recently, Drew began collaborating with Sue Fox, whose
classically designed floral lampwork makes a wonderful counterpoint
to Drew's millefiori cane. We hope to see more of their joint efforts
in the future.
Glass is located at 227 Main Street in the historic and scenic Victorian
town of Canon City, Colorado. With breathtaking views and numerous
tourist destinations nearby, a trip to this lovely little town is
well worthwhile, with the added attraction of seeing Drew's current
and recent work. He suggests that it's a good idea to contact him
beforehand, as he does not keep regular business hours.