Design Culture Cleveland Goes Behind the Scenes with Earl James

The Glory Hole, a 1930’s grinder & polisher, slurries and shards- these are the everyday tools of the glass artist Earl O. James. Stepping into the second floor studio of the former paint factory that James shares with glass artists Linda Zmina  and Michael Mikula, one can see that glass is his passion.

Born in Jamaica, reared in Rochester and a 1988 CIA graduate, James has spent the past twenty years perfecting the art  of blowing glass. His striking pieces are known for their gorgeous colors and depth of patterns. While blowing each piece,  he treats the glass as his canvas to convey ideas in form and color. James travels the country, averaging 12–14 art shows  a year and 70-some days on the road, to sell his pieces.

2012 has been a year of reflection and growth for Earl James.He has taken the time to refocus on the materials he is using  and is currently working on mixed media sculptures. Metals, glass, bronze- all are game. James said “After twenty years  into it, it is time to think about taking sculpture into my second career.” James’ 2012 art shows include the Round the  Fountain Art Fair (May 26) in Lafayette, Indiana and Boston Mills Artfest (June 29–July 1). Earl James’ website is