It’s true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and “beholders” worldwide seem to agree that Skip Alexander’s “Ugly glass” is as beautiful as it is unique. Co-owner of Ugly Glass & Company, in the historic Independence square district, Skip Alexander is the artisan behind the glass. As unique as its ironic name, Ugly Glass, Alexander’s fused glass and lampwork adorns handcrafted jewelry.
Bitten by the “glassworking bug” in 2005, Skip began using a torch, glass rods & tubes, and an open flame to create lampwork pieces. Early lampworking, as its name suggests, was crafted using the flame of an oil lamp, with the artist blowing air into the flame through a pipe. Today, lampworking glass is shaped using meticulous hand movements and small, metal tools. Because of the precision and artistry involved in glasswork, even the creation of a tiny pendant can take over an hour. The glass Skip uses in this delicate, creative process is called Borosilicate glass. It is commonly referred to as “Boro.” Boro has a high melting point, about 3000 degrees Fahrenheit. Once a piece is completed, it “soaks” in a kiln “bath” for about 24 hours and reaches a maximum temperature of 1400 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can view his beautiful glasswork pieces at Ugly Glass & Company located at 1285 Hickory Street; Kansas City, Missouri West Bottoms 64102.
By: Amie Martin, Freelance Writer