Artist’s Statement

I have had a fascination with the properties of glass and a love of all wildlife and other animals for as long as I can remember. I have brought these two passions together in my wildlife glass art.  For the love of turtles, specifically sea turtles, I am, and will continue to dedicate my glass sea turtle sculpture to environmental education to help save these threatened and endangered species.

To begin with a wildlife subject, I take photographs, research the animal, transfer the images into a drawing, and using glass as my medium, I give the animal a soul and life, even as it is in its inanimate art form. I hope the art will speak to the viewer, tell a story, and invite the viewer to reach out and touch the art, and in the process become curious to know more.

bill-wargo-loggerhead-hatchling-my-hands-9-17-2013-1

bill-wargo-kathleen-photoing-kemps-as-heads-to-ocean-9-2013My process of multiple layers of compatible glass called frit, which is fired multiple times to create realistic wildlife portraiture, is a time consuming procedure. I can only achieve the detail and the photo realism by learning new ways to work the glass every time I start a new art piece. I do commissions, but I am particularly interested in my own work in threatened and endangered species and kiln cast sculpture. My creative process is continually evolving, and to say I build my work upside down and backwards means I am solving a unique puzzle daily.

In the studio I am surrounded by projects. I am working on a multiple year commission depicting a specific coral reef north of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. The 25.5 square feet of kiln formed glass, involving five panels will have over sixty marine wildlife creatures and multiple types of coral. I continue to work on a Black Labrador fine art wall piece and cast glass hatchlings representing the seven species of sea turtles. These are part of my sea turtle sculpture called “The Cycle of Life: Sea Turtle Glass Sculpture – Environmental Art Education Project”. When possible I volunteer for the Alligator Point Sea Turtle Patrol in Alligator Point, Florida. In January 2015, I volunteered briefly for the Hawaiian Wildlife Fund in Maui.

I look forward to more in depth studies on all the species of sea turtles in different areas around the world. Scuba diving is a relatively new exciting adventure in my life, and the magic of colors and diversity of forms below the surface of the ocean is one of God’s most fantastic paintings.