Man finds artistic identity in glass

"Atlantis Bar"

     The unrelenting medium of glass carving is one that only a perfectionist can conquer. Ever so slowly, refined sketches are worked and reworked, in preparation for a distinct abrasive sandblasting technique that carves elaborate deep relief sculptures into the thick, ultra-clear glass. Unlike many forms of art, while carefully carving away to desired depth for detail, one slight mistake is permanent and fatal. Being able to know and blend each cut from the reverse side of the glass, requires patience and skill beyond comprehension.

     Randy Mardrus has always had a fascination with wildlife and the beauty of nature. Born and raised on New Jersey’s picturesque coast, finding a dramatic way to encase his pleasures was always his dream. This unique medium suited his own personal identity and Mardrus has become an international success.

     Glass has existed since sometime around 3,000 BC when natives of Syria, Babylonia (Iraq) and Mesopotamia (Iran) made its discovery quite by accident. Thousands of years went by before a purpose other than decorative, was realized. Ancient Romans were the first “Bentley” to use glass in architecture around 100 AD as windowpanes, although they had little resemblance to plate glass, as we know it today.

     The 11th century saw further development by German glass craftsmen of a technique for the production of glass sheets. By blowing a hollow glass sphere and swinging it vertically, gravity would pull the glass into a cylindrical “pod” measuring as much as 3 meters long, with a width of up to 45 cm.

     Much trial and error was used until a soda-lime-silica mixture was developed in the 19th century. Plate glass is now made by rolling hot glass into a plate where it is further ground and polished, using automation.

     Although vastly developed throughout the centuries, the art of glass is still categorized as one of the most challenging skills to learn. Pilchuck Glass School is situated in Seattle, Washington, and Wheaton Arts on the East Coast offers creative arts in glass. A medium that is greatly rewarding and appreciated by glass collectors worldwide, the few talented artists have the opportunity to mesmerize others with their works.

     “I’m a perfectionist and glass carving is a medium that is very unforgiving and will always challenge me. Depth and motion are my primary goals while creating the mood in my visual dramas,” said Mardrus.

"Iris Framed"

      Published in Mountain Living, Mega Yachts, and Log Home Living Magazine, among others, Mardrus is most proud of his live commissioned work. “Definitely the biggest rewards come from the overwhelming satisfaction expressed by my clients.”

     Bentley Gold Coast automobile dealership in Chicago, Illinois commissioned the showroom installation and logo artwork of his Bentley creation, expertly carved and splendidly displayed with specially designed lighting, adding illumination and vibrant color.

     “Atlantis Bar” is an example of personal assignments from Randy’s yacht-owning clientele. This handmade original piece offers a degree of depth and exceptional quality, seducing spectators with the crisp detail and lighting shadows. A full view of this work can be found on the artist’s website.

     “Iris Framed” needs no formal introduction. The crystal clear highlights have a prism defining effect and capture the widest of art critiques. As light passes through this sculpture, life is dramatically given and witnessed in awe.

     As the art of glass unfolds into a new era, with full of sculptors and those embracing the challenge of mastering the impossible, Randy Mardrus is at the top, a name that will not soon disappear. For more information on this talent, visit his website at or email the artist at

SOURCE: Art-to-Art Palette Journal 2007 print edition

Published by on January 2011. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Palette Journal, Cover Section, In-Out Design Section, Potter's Shed Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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