Touch of Glass

Arabella - - CLUB ART - Writ­ten by Lorie Lee Steiner

For th­ese youth­ful, in­no­va­tive artists, it’s all about chem­istry. In life, love and art. Eric Markow and Thom Nor­ris each grew up in very dif­fer­ent cir­cum­stances, coasts apart, but a pas­sion for art and science caused a pow­er­ful re­ac­tion be­tween the pair when their paths con­verged, two decades ago, in Wash­ing­ton DC. To­day, Markow & Nor­ris have risen to promi­nence as an elite team in the world of glass art. Their al­lur­ing and con­found­ing wo­ven glass sculp­tures must be touched to be be­lieved.

Eric, Cre­ator of Cool Things

Born in Rich­mond, Vir­ginia, Eric Markow de­scribes him­self as "a very cre­ative kid." His art ed­u­ca­tion be­gan at the im­pres­sion­able age of 9 when his fa­ther took him to the public li­brary, where pa­trons could check out paint­ings and framed pic­tures just like books. "I loved choos­ing what I liked," he re­calls. "My fa­ther also bought me a box of pas­tels and I taught my­self how to draw. When I was a lit­tle older, I re­mem­ber fall­ing in love with glass, when I was first bathed in the bril­liant coloured light from a mas­sive cathe­dral win­dow in our church. I learned it was called ‘stained glass’ and I knew I wanted to make win­dows like that." As a teenager, Eric was in­trigued when his Aunt Carolyn took up stained glass as a hobby and be­gan mak­ing small pan­els and win­dows, but it wasn’t un­til af­ter col­lege and his own ex­plo­ration into the genre that he be­came en­am­oured with the process. Cre­at­ing stained glass re­quires much pa­tience, a trait which Eric de­vel­oped while earn­ing a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in Chem­i­cal En­gi­neer­ing from Vir­ginia Tech. The rea­son for this ca­reer path? Eric ex­plains, "Hon­estly, it was the idea of mak­ing cool things. It also in­volved

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