If you would have asked a 12-year-old Jack Storms what he wanted to do with his life, he’d have paused, then blurted a vague answer, something akin to ” I don’t know. Art?” He’d always been good at it. The passion was there, too—an excess of it, even. Taking his guidance counselor’s advice to pursue art, Jack took up the major, along with a minor in art history with a studio emphasis. But the more he learned about art, the more he realized just how much he wanted to make a name for himself in the field—a field that’s been explored to the point of exhaustion throughout history. What Jack Storms didn’t know then was that he’d discover something that would push back the frontiers of contemporary art in a significant way.
During his junior year at Plymouth State University, Jack snagged a job working for a glass artist who’d been experimenting with a technique that captured Jack’s imagination—combining lead crystal and dichroic glass using a cold-glass process. There was a moment of revelation. After all, the glass art arena is largely dominated by glassblowers who tackle the medium while molten. Fascinated by its potential, Jack spent a year learning the ropes of the technique. But to Jack, there was always more—more aspects to dig into, more ideas to sift through, more designs to test out and call his own.
After mustering the gumption to open his own studio in 2004, Jack delved deeper into the process, spending hours upon hours perfecting his creations and even inventing a cold-working lathe. It became immediately obvious to Jack that producing work which is effortlessly perfect would require an overwhelming amount of effort. And it all starts at the core. Working with blocks of lead crystal, he cuts them several times, grinding and polishing each slice. Then, with the precision of a surgeon, he inserts dichroic glass between them at every stage, pausing to glue and cure them before repeating the process. The end result? Glass sculptures—shaped like cubes, eggs and even champagne glasses and wine bottles—that flaunt a chaotic display of color, pieces that not only passively draw attention, but demand it with urgency.
It took several years of guesswork, a boatload of tenacity and a viral video or two, but fast forward 13 years, and Jack’s business is running full swing. His pieces have found homes in numerous private collections, and two even made into Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Looking closely at any of his pieces, especially when the colors within emerge to hit the daylight and furiously sparkle, there’s ample evidence that Jack successfully turned an amorphous vision into a clear-cut reality.