Much of Gary Beecham’s work has been heavily influenced by ancient glass, both in form and in technique. The ancients treated glass as a plastic gem material, a substance that could be colored, stretched, melted and carved by the maker. Beecham has experimented with countless ways of manipulating glass such as blowing, fusing and cutting. Over his twenty-five year career, he has become well-known for his heavy, thick-walled vessels. For the imagery in these pieces, he first makes up a wide palette of colored overlay rods. Some pieces contain textile patterns that are then introduced into the crystal glass piece as it is being blown, creating the illusion of glass “fabric” floating in the bowl of the vessel, often with a second or third pattern appearing on one of the vessel’s reflecting surfaces. Others, incorporating complex millifiori, are formed into mosaics of brilliant color. Beecham’s imagery is informed by influences as divergent as astronomical forms, undersea creatures, and figures from a Persian rug.
Beecham received a Bachelor of Science in Art from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His work is represented in corporate and museum collections world-wide including the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; the Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, Michigan; the Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, North Carolina; the Musee de Verre, Liege, Belgium; the Franeau Glass Musem, Freneau, Germany; and the Kunstmuseum, Dusseldorf, Germany.