We stayed in Punta Gorda one week and met a wonderful glass artist Rich Fizer.
We ordered these beautiful glass fish for the gallery and they'll be here in just a few days!
Rich has a master's of fine arts, with a concentration in glass. The seeds of his current work are evident in college pieces made years ago. The early works have a clear base, or foot, which has become his trademark. Instead of a simple circular or square base, Rich manipulates the glass to form a wavelike motion around the edge of the bottom. Pieces include the imprint and texture of pliers' jaws where he has worked the glass. "Just to make it more ornamental," he says. "By adding the attachments, it looks like it's rolling or moving."
Common in his pieces is a feathered look for the colored body, achieved by rolling and blending the glass "just like you would make ribbon candy," he says. "It's kind of the same concept."
He has been creating the fish for 17 years, adding, "I made enough to pay my way through college." The small and large creatures are quite colorful, such as a lime-green blowfish with orange spots. Eyes, lips, fins and tail are clear. Also clear are the foot — for placement on a surface — and a loop at the top of the body--for hanging on a wall. Although he often uses blue and aqua green, the hues of water bodies, Rich says red, orange and yellow pieces have become especially popular this past year.