Talented family creates highly regarded glass-blown artworks
By Cheryl Alexander
Parents Michael Brown and Sally Moore and their son Patrick are artists working in the specialized medium of glass blowing with a strong commitment to keeping the craft alive. Through their studio and gallery in Tomball called Three Dimensional Visions – Glass Blowing Houston, they work to enrich the lives of their clients and students. They offer “Make Something Special Experiences,” which allow folks to create blown-glass ornaments, paperweights, implosion bowls and flowers in one-on-one sessions. Three Dimensional Visions also has extended private lessons, weekend workshops or six-week glass blowing classes, and events, including a free glass blowing demonstration on the first Saturday of most months.
The family’s artistic endeavor evolved organically. Sally spent her professional life as a geoscientist working for 35 years with ExxonMobil. When she finally decided to retire, Michael – who had been working as a sculptor for 40 years and teaching art – decided to retire too. He left his position at LoneStar College in The Woodlands and shifted his focus of materials and methods to glass and glass blowing. When he expressed his dream of having a glass blowing studio, the couple committed to it.
They found their ideal property situated on 6.5 acres with a warehouse building that makes a great hot shop and a large home that has gallery space, additional studio space for kiln-forming and room to live. They set up another building to house metal fabrication, a small ceramics/raku studio and their cold-working shop. Three Dimensional Visions opened in April 2014.
While they were looking for the property, they traveled to several other studios in Washington, Colorado and Texas to learn just what they were getting into. They found a one-week school at Coastal Bend State College that offered two sessions for beginning glass blowers. Sally and Michael then asked their son Patrick, who was on his last summer break before completing a double major in business management and marketing, if he had any interest in attending. Michael and Sally went for one week. Patrick went to the other and became addicted to glass just like his parents.
When asked about their artistic perspectives, Michael said, “Material, form and content… these are the building blocks of my art. They are interchangeable and have no set hierarchy for me.”
During Michael’s sculpture career, he explored the understanding of the characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of materials. By studying texture, color, plasticity, and current and potential applications, he discovered that each material has a visual and emotional signature. Matching that signature to a form is how Michael determines the content of his expression.
For the last 15 years, his material of choice has been glass. His desired outcome is for his creations to be open to interpretation – that those who view his work draw their own conclusions about what they see.
Sally, too, has been creating things all her life. As a geoscientist, she modeled the earth to evaluate and exploit economic mineral deposits; she examined the earth’s strata to understand fluid flow and the effects of temperature and pressure on mineral development; she integrated dissimilar data to form concepts to sell to management, other companies and even to other countries.
Now she has translated these concepts into a different medium. “Now I am a glass maker selling my ideas in the form of art. Now I work with molten fluids and observe how metal oxides (color) affect the mobility and density of the glass,” Sally said. “I create strata with fused pattern bars or plumes of color, like magma chambers, in hot glass to investigate its behavior.”
Sally’s newest series is “Cross-Over” glass. It uses kiln-formed color designs and integrates them into hot glass forms or vice-versa. And similar to her work in science, her glass making is a team effort. Only now, she collaborates to make art.
Patrick spent his childhood surrounded by creativity: his father’s sculptures and his mother’s music and science. While attending college, Patrick began to notice a persistent need to work with his hands but did not quite understand what that meant until his parents decided to open a glass blowing studio. Initially, Patrick’s interest in the art of glass blowing was passing. Then he attended that class at Coastal Bend that changed his life.
“That one week ignited a passion in me. I grew up listening to jazz and blues music, and I found that working with glass involves the same fluidity of movement and expression. Since then, I have been pursuing glass as both a passion and a living,” Patrick said.
Most of the Moore Browns’ real glass blowing training has been in their studio. Though they have traveled around the country participating in short workshops in cities in Washington, Colorado and a few other places, mostly they have brought guests artists to their studio to learn from them what makes a successful studio and to hone their skills.
Sally said, “The glass community both hot and warm is filled with wonderful artists and business owners who are eager to share their experiences and help others.”
The family agrees that it is their combined strengths that make their business work: Michael’s background and design knowledge that he shares so freely; Sally’s expertise in business development along with her ability to understand and share complex ideas; and Patrick’s skills in business management, marketing, musical creativity and youthful exuberance all combine as an unbeatable force.
The family’s enthusiasm for creativity gives them meaning and purpose. As the tagline for Three Dimensional Visions says, together they are enriching lives through artistic self-expression.
For more information and to sign up for experiences, workshops or classes, visit threedimensionalvisions.com.
Moore Brown Shows and Exhibitions 2015-2016
- Glass Gathering Annual, 2016 Judged Show. Harmony Stained Glass, Pasadena.
- Woodlands Art League, 2016 Judged Spring Show. First, second and third place in Professional Division Studio Fine Arts; first and second place in Professional Division Sculpture.
- Northwest Art League, 2016 Judged Spring Show. First, second and third place in Professional Division Studio Fine Arts; first and second place in Professional Division Sculpture.
- Tomball Art League, 2016 Judged Spring Show. First, second and third place in Professional Division Studio Fine Arts; second and third place in Professional Division Sculpture.
- 33rd Annual Visual Arts Alliance Juried Exhibition, Houston.
- Lone Star College-Tomball Library. June 2015.
- Glass Gathering Annual Show 2015. Harmony Stained Glass (Pasadena). First and second Place Hot Glass. Honorable Mention Fused Glass.
- Arbor Gate. Art in the Garden 2015, Tomball.
- 2015 Annual Lone Star Art Guild Convention and Art Exhibition. Professional Division Studio Fine Arts: first, second and third place.
- Woodlands Art League. Spring 2015 Show. Professional Division Sculpture: first, Professional Division Studio Fine Arts: first, second and third place, two honorable mentions.
The family’s art will be on exhibit at the Visual Arts Alliance Juried Open Exhibition at BLUEorange Gallery (June through July 3).
The Moore Browns’ art can be seen in their Tomball studio and gallery, and recently they leased space in The Silos on Sawyer #207 in the Washington Avenue Arts District.
Meet the Moore Browns
Category: Cy-Fair People & Places