Although a native New Yorker, Steve Immerman has lived in the Midwest for the last 35 years, currently residing in Wisconsin. Immerman has been working in glass for the last 25 years, but exclusively with kiln formed glass for over a decade. Immerman uses glasswork as a respite from his more left brain and stressful career as a general surgeon and surgical oncologist.
He recognizes many parallels between kilnformed glass and surgery. “They each involve technical skill and precise planning in preparation for the portion of the process where the elements are left alone to heal (in the case of surgery) or fuse (with kilnformed glass). Both processes require intense knowledge of what is expected to happen, and neither allow much margin for error. Both combine science
His work has evolved to frequently include a design element called an “aperture pour”. This is created in a kiln by melting glass in a crucible with a hole or “aperture” in the bottom which allows streams of glass to flow out of the container onto the kiln shelf. Immerman marvels at the many colorful patterns he is able to create in this manner. These swirly, chaotic, and colorful glass designs are then cut, shaped, polished, and used to enhance his compositions. These compositions are made by assembling strips and sheets of glass into three dimensional assemblies that are subsequently fused together in a kiln at temperatures around 1500F. The resulting glass panel is then ground, sandblasted, polished, and possibly placed back in the kiln for other firings.
Depending on the particular piece, the glass Immerman uses may be transparent or opalescent; textured or smooth; glossy or satiny. However the common theme is his use of geometric shapes, and, as one juror described his work, his ”...clean form and patterning.” He successfully juxtaposes wild, chaotic design elements with serene backgrounds and geometric regularity. Says Immerman, “When people look at my work I want them to be at the edge of recognizing something beyond the glass itself; I want the glass to draw them to a memory of an emotion, feeling, or place at a subliminal level.” Immerman does this with repetitions of textures, patterns, colors and shapes, in the form of bowls, platters, wall hangings and display panels. The works on these pages were each individually created in a small studio using almost exclusively Bullseye glass.