Jo Ludwig emigrated to Canada from Johannesburg, South Africa in 1977. He completed a degree (with honours) in Philosophy at the University of Alberta and then went on to graduate studies in the Philosophy of Art. In 1996, Jo moved with his wife to Vancouver Island. Jo has established his reputation in the art world for his creations in glass that he calls “T.O.B.s”, that is, “Things of Beauty.”

T.O.B.’s are unique works of art created in a two-stage process of fusing multiple layers of glass then slumping them in a glass kiln. After choosing the layers he wants to work with, Jo cuts them precisely into the desired shape. The assembled layers are placed on a shelf in the glass kiln and heated until the glass melts, or fuses, at around 1500°F into a single piece of glass. After the kiln cools, the fused piece is removed. The work may then be sandblasted, ground or even recut.

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The top layer is dichroic glass – tiny, iridescent, pieces of stained glass that radiate light. The fused piece is then placed onto a mold that Jo has constructed from clay, fibre paper, steel or plaster. The mold and glass is then fired the kiln until the glass bends or slumps to the mold’s shape. In the final stage, the base or legs are added.

“At one time, beauty was necessary, even the principal quality in works of art. Sometimes beauty alone was sufficient. Today, beauty is not [considered] necessary and certainly not sufficient. For … [some artists]… beauty seems almost to be detrimental. My work addresses this issue.”

The creation of these jewel-like works of art is Jo’s passion.