James Norton

James Norton is a professional glass artist from Calgary, Alberta. A graduate of the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington and the Alberta College of Art in 1980, James undertook a career in glass making. He became a part-time instructor at the Alberta College of Art in 1983 and at The Red Deer Glass Program in 1986. He worked and assisted in developing Skookum Glass in the 1980's and opened his own glass studio called Double Struggle Studio in 1985 with Barry Fairbairn. Together they created an original glass selection that included vases, plates, vessels, fish and lamps to sculptural glass in the abstract. Each of the artists developed his own style and would come together to assist each other in the larger projects.

James Norton has been part of the National Glass Community for the past 20 years and has been recognized in various publications in Canadian Glassworks 1970 - 1990, A Treasury of Canadian Craft 1992 and The Survey of Glass of the World 1991. He has been exhibited widely throughout Canada and the United States and sells his artwork throughout the world.


Vase (Reactive Colour)

In order to produce the colourful effect, a special type of colour is employed.

Reactive colour contains a substance which will react to the heat, producing a specific finish.

Silver nitrate, gold nitrate or even coloured with copper (copper red) are the more common substances used. Many artists use this colour for effect since the colour is almost chrome-like.

Jim Norton takes the piece to this point with silver nitrate. The next step serves to break up the surface finish into what becomes tiny particles that reflect and refract the light, producing the rainbow prismatic colours seen in these pieces.

The vase is fumed with tin chloride. It is the tin that causes the colour to break up while the chloride evaporates into chlorine gas. It is reheated only once. If the temperature is too hot or too cold, the effect can be ruined. It must be just right.


James Norton is represented by Rowles & Company Ltd., Alberta's Corporate Gift & Art Gallery, in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta Canada.

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