In their Bowie, Maryland, home studio, glass sculptors Eric Markow and Thom Norris surround themselves with two parrots, multiple gardens and a plethora of woodsy inspiration. “Our deep connection to nature is a major influence in our work,” explains Norris. The duo, who first started with stained glass, have since moved on to three-dimensional woven-glass sculpture—a technique they developed that allows for more experimentation with texture and color—and working in tandem, they each tackle various roles. “Thom is very good about representing the realness of something and I’m passionate about the abstract,” says Markow. A former chemical engineer, Markow is the master colorist, developing formulas and hues with a discerning eye, while Norris handles the initial design of the hidden metalwork; both weave the glass together. Creating standouts like their over 5-foot-tall life-size kimonos, it’s no wonder the pair have a six-month waiting list. “I love making pieces that become the centerpiece of a room,” says Markow. “It’s important to have something that pops.”
LX: What’s the most unusual aspect to your work?
TN: People are most surprised by the texture of our woven glass. It looks like large-scale fabric, with warp and weft, but it’s all glass.
LX: Greatest influence:
EM: Georgia O’Keeffe. I love everything about her. Our early stained glass windows and our Red Poppy and Desert Skull pieces reflect a similar foundation.
LX: Keep an eye on...
TN: A new artist in Southern California who goes by the moniker TEKSTartist. He uses famous quotes and phrases to draw representative pictures on canvas.
LX: I'm happiest when ...
EM: I’m playing with color. I lose myself in exploring different hues and combinations.
LX: Name one thing you’ve done on your bucket list.
TN: Visited the Keukenhof gardens in Holland during the annual tulip show. It’s more than breathtakingly exquisite.