Born and raised in southern California, Noel Laue’s entrance into art glass began in 1975 with stained glass windows. He began studying glass-blowing locally at Palomar College, and four years later studied Chemical Formulation for Studio Glass at Alfred University, NY. At this point, Noel’s excitement for glass experimentation reached a new level. He traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Europe to research formulas, techniques and the history of glass making.
Laue is internationally renowned for his Evolution Series, a technique he developed over several years of experimenting. It started with a series of controlled “accidents”. In time he began to be able to control the effects and colors by combining and applying multiple thin layers of colored glass to the exterior surface as the glass was being blown. Although he steers the final surface, glass has a way of its own and he never knows exactly how it will turn out, which is part of the wonder of it all.
Contrary to what some may think, it is not rolled in powdered or chipped glass, if only it were that easy. The layers of color in Noel’s work are achieved by combining and applying multiple thin layers of colored glass to the exterior surface as the piece is being blown. Noel can steer the final surface design, but glass has a way of its own, surprising the artist at every turn. After annealing for 24 hours, the artist uses sand-carving techniques to achieve the effect of time’s erosion. Noel’s exceptional creations have developed from years of research and experimentation.
Noel states that “Glass as a medium is perhaps the most difficult substance to work with. The technical challenges that come with every new idea seem endless. However, the generosity of glass, in its beauty of form, color, and play of light, is his reward for hard work. The qualities of glass create limitless possibilities.”
While mixing the elements that make glass and melting them with fire he feels like an alchemist making his own precious gems. It reminds him of the process by which jewels are formed as a result of tumultuous combinations of heat and elements within the Earth. Through it all, Noel maintains a deep faith in God and an appreciation for the gifts that he has been given. Noel feels each piece is as special as a child – each requires patience, love and endurance to turn out beautiful.
Noel Laue’s glass art can be seen in the Chrysler Museum, Hunter Museum, and The Corning Glass Museum as well as many other museums & private collections all over the world.