Tommy Cudmore started his professional artistic career at 17 using acrylic, a clear plastic material that shares certain attributes with glass. Eventually realizing acrylic has limitations which glass does not, he applied to Sheridan College for Glassblowing. After his first year at Sheridan he acquired a residency at “The Red Barns” glass studio in Picton, Ontario. There he discovered his love of teaching the material to newcomers. Following his second year of education at Sheridan Tommy moved to Campbell River, British Columbia to work at “Tideline Gallery” as a lampworker and furnace blower. There he gained a new appreciation for technique, the material, and the studio environment. His organized and meticulous glassblowing style has given him many opportunities including assisting some of Canada’s most well-known glassblowers. After only eight years of working with the material he is a self-employed glass sculptor and full time resident of the Living Arts Center in Mississauga Ontario.
Art Talk wondered how Cudmore came up with his latest fun-filled sculptures-The robots. Cudmore explains: “I was on a work-cation to visit a friend when I came up with the robot design, I made one robot; it took a lot of sketches and hotshop time (hotshop time is very expensive because of the fuel burning to melt glass). At first, I thought I could never make that sort of design possible for sale, but then, I kept experimenting with the process and the design to make them possible for production. The creative process allowed me to add more detail and new pieces were born.”
For Cudmore, the intensity of working with hot molten glass allows him to escape his outer world and recluse into my internal creativity. He asserts, “I use this material to capture the ignorance, innocence and imagination I had in my youth.” Cudmore’s work is innovative and continues to challenge new forms. His craft and the material itself are, of course, wondrous!
Learn more about Tommy Cudmore here!