"I want my glass to stop conversations, and then provoke long discussions."
For 20 years, James McKelvey has worked to capture the magic of glass in
his art. As chairman of the world's largest gathering of glass artists in 2006,
he strove to surprise and challenge other artists with his innovative glass
faucets. Demand for the faucets proved so strong that McKelvey and a
team of artists and engineers spent the next nine months perfecting his

Creating functional art is a great challenge for an artist/engineer. Each
of McKelvey's faucets is shaped by hand from a tube of molten glass. For
every four attempts, only one faucet is accepted. It is then cut, polished,
tempered, and assembled using materials so pure that the FDA approves
them for implantation into the body. This patented design is like nothing
else in the world.
McKelvey began blowing glass as an undergraduate engineer at
Washington University in 1986. Upon graduation, he supported himself as
a glass blower while he established Mira Digital Publishing, splitting his
time between the corporate and art worlds.

He has studied with dozens of artists but was primarily influenced by the
Italian techniques of Lino Tagliapietra and his disciples. "Before there were
good classes and textbooks, apprenticing was the only way to learn, so I
spent years traveling and working with artists all over the world. I spent
many days working with people with whom I couldn't even converse.

McKelvey has taught glass blowing at Washington University's Art School
and Glen Echo National Park in Maryland and presented several
workshops in the U.S. and Asia. His work has been exhibited nationally
and three galleries represent him.
In the fall of 2001 he co-founded the Third Degree Glass Factory. At Third
Degree, McKelvey teaches classes for the Washington University College

He developed the basic curriculum used in all Third Degree courses and in
2006 wrote The Art of Fire: Beginning Glassblowing, a textbook used for
classes at Third Degree  as well as at colleges around the world. He's also
produced a 4-disc DVD set that complements The Art of Fire and brings an
additional dimension to learning glass blowing.

TKO Associates
230 Decorative Center
Dallas, TX 75207
(214) 741-6060

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Glass faucets
by Jim McKelvey
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