Daniel Van Antwerp, Hermit Glass of Yellville, started out a scientist and found himself a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech in a lab “that would put me on a career path that I very suddenly realized I didn't want. I'm a person who loves putting MY ideas to the test using MY hands. I also longed for a return to the rural lifestyle I had experienced as a kid in North Texas before it became North Dallas. I love nature, fishing, hiking, dogs and blowing glass. “
Daniel Van Antwerp began his education in glass making at a summer intensive course at Palomar College in San Marcos, CA in 2003. Two years later he followed with a workshop by Ed Schmidt at Cal State, San Luis Obispo. This year, he attended a week long workshop with Nancy Callan and Mel Douglas at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York.
Self-taught exploration has been key to his path as a glass artist. Talking about his art, “I can't stand barriers to my imagination and I have a pretty simple need to create. I am working on a series of objects with the "useful" moniker but I continue to accumulate knowledge and skills to speak my mind through glass. Nothing feels better than to have a thought and to translate it into a piece that successfully and cleverly conveys a message. I am excited by learning new things, which led me to do 3D printing and sculpting fish designs for the aluminum cast molds I made.”
Getting technical about glass he says, “I either make my own color - which is usually a copper and /or silver series, or work with frit to produce color combinations and texture techniques I've played with over the years.” Frit is commercial glass color that is ground into a variety of sizes and used to adorn glass by melting it onto the surface.
“Most recently I've started pulling cane and murrine to work traditional Venetian design into my work.” Murrine are colored patterns made in a glass cane that are revealed when the cane is cut into thin cross-sections. Glass making goes back to the 13th century in Venice and Murano, Italy. Daniel clearly knows his art!