The Creative Process

Artist and glass sculptor Christopher Ries grew up on a farm in central Ohio. He earned his Bachelors Degree in Fine Art at the Ohio State University in 1975. He received his Masters of Fine Art from The University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1978. During his time in Madison Ries was research assistant to the Founder of the American Studio Glass Movement, Harvey K. Littleton.

Ries founded the glass department at The Ohio State University and was its first instructor as an undergraduate student. He also ran a glass blowing studio for two summers at Mineral Point, Wisconsin while in graduate school. Mr. Ries opened a studio at 70 N. Monroe Avenue in Columbus, Ohio after graduate school and developed his cold working skills and understanding of optics.

It was in 1979 that Ries made an effort to find the ultimate glass sculpting material. His search led him to Schott Optical in Duryea, Pennsylvania. Ries experimented with many glass types produced at Schott over the next few years in his Columbus, Ohio studio. In 1986 Ries had earned the respect of Schott’s President, Dr. Franz Herkt, and was offered studio space at the Pennsylvania factory. Mr. Ries has been a non paid, independent contractor there ever since, with the title Artist-in-Residence.

Christopher Ries has produced the largest whole, unassembled pieces of crystal sculpture known. The work is in many museums and fine art collections around the world.

Moonstone on lathe

Christopher Ries’ moonstone on a vertical turning lathe. The image shows the artist turning a piece of opalene raw glass into a cylinder to be shaped into an egg form.

Christopher Ries laying out a design titled “Embrace”. The artist is marking the design on a wire sawn blank piece of crystal.

Laying out “Embrace”

Hand grinding “Bouquet of Light”

Christopher Ries and Ernest Hubert hand grinding a “Bouquet of Light” form. An intense process of refining rough cut surfaces.

Long time assistant Ernest (Ernie) Hubert hand grinding a piece called “Afterglow”. 

Hand grinding “Afterglow”