“When it comes to making marbles, I get lost in a hundred different directions”
Bruce Troeh’s contribution of his art
A marble cane and cut star murrine cane samples, along with a variety of small cane and lampworked art glass marbles.
The Glass Wizard
Bruce’s enthusiasm for working hot molten glass from the torch or the furnace is his life passion. He has a wonderful spirit of imagination and it is with great pleasure that The National Marble Museum received a donation of 36 examples of his art glass marbles. His artwork is part of the permanent collection of The National Marble Museum at The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia.
I first became hooked with the art of blowing glass using the furnaces at Iowa State University in 1977. We built our own furnaces and batched our own glass. With 2 – 100 pound tanks we could batch an opal and a clear, or colored and clear, or colored opal, etc. Part of the fun was trying to keep both furnaces going at the same time for the six of us in the class to work on our own schedules. I miss those times. We were extremely experimental.
For ten years after college I worked stained glass. I painted, restored and installed church windows, as well as making the famous Applebee’s balloon murals and bar canopies. But I found that it wasn’t the same thrill as working hot molten glass. Nothing has ever drawn me like the roar of the furnace and the smell of hot glass. It’s mesmerizing to me. The hours fly by. Though making art glass marbles with a torch comes close, I still have to fire the furnace up every now and then just to get that feeling back.
In 1993 I purchased a torch and began to make marbles for my own enjoyment. When it comes to making marbles I get lost in a hundred different directions. Up until 3 or 4 years ago I made marbles strictly as a hobby. I was more interested in getting my skill level to a repeatable design without flaws than trying to sell a marble that may or may not be considered mint or museum quality. I wanted to achieve a “wow” response from collectors rather than “that’s pretty”. To me, I love the color and impact of art glass marbles. I like intensity and high contrast. Glass today has so much vivid color and diversity that it will keep me busy for the rest of my life. I love just experimenting with the art of molten glass.
"Marbles just feel right to me"
The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia wishes to thank Bruce Troeh for donating this large sellection to The National Marble Museum. His beautiful colors sparkle as part of the marble display at The Museum of American Glass in West Virginia National Marble Museum Collection.
See it in Weston, West Virginia