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James F. Byrnes

"Glass is such a free-flowing material that it seems a shame to use it only for items of strict function. My artistic goal is to combine my creative desire for design and aesthetic with the structural integrity of laboratory glassware, to produce items that bring lasting pleasure."

For thirty years James Byrnes earned his living as a scientific glassblower making laboratory apparatus. During that time he always enjoyed making decorative glass items, which utilize the same basic skill set as scientific ware. He began making ornaments, in part because of his enthusiasm for the holidays, but also because they are a scale he likes to work in, and because the design possibilities seem endless.

When Byrnes began making ornaments, he tried never to make the same one twice, and did not design them in his head or on paper but rather just started working and let the designs develop on the fly. Though the possibilities may be endless, it has been interesting for Byrnes to see how a family of designs that feel right to him has developed over the years. Each ornament bares his unique maker's mark on the base of the loop.