Joe Nalven

Who is the artist known as Digital Artist 1 and why is he working in fused glass? Early on in the rush to grab domain names, I took Since then, I've yielded to the normative name game:

My adventures traverse image capture, remaking them in different styles and presenting them in different media. My latest adventure has been with fused glass. The greatest challenge is having an intensely colorful image within the fused glass -- especially since the inks burn off during the firing process. That's the puzzle. There may be a solution in my future with a ceramic ink printer, but I've yet to try one and even if it were to withstand the firing process, my sense is that the images would be soft.

Still, I find my fused-glass, digital-image adventure gives voice (or visualization) to my digital imagery.

I began with using a transfer image process (Meditation). The result was intriguing, but when I tried to duplicate it at another glass workplace, the image kept disappearing in the firing process. What we learned was that iron was needed as part of the carbon print. The carbon would vaporize, leaving a sepia toned image (that's the iron).

While learning about this element of the process, I decided to venture off into a multiple-staged process. First, I would create a fused glass 'overstrate' (my term) that referenced the underlying image. Next, with the fused glass object in hand, I went to a print shop that had a flatbed printer. The image was printed in reverse on the back side of the fused glass object. The fused glass print looked as if the image were embedded in the glass. It was vibrant, high resolution, sharp and all those elements that were found in a quality inkjet print.

Still, the final image object lacked presence. If you go into a building with stained glass windows, you find the intense beauty when light shines through the glass. The same with my image objects - I needed a source of light. One possibility would be to put them in window spaces; an alternative was to use a light box.

This is where I am in my adventure -- fused glass image objects in a light box. I've been exhibiting them in the Photo Arts Group shows in its Innerspace Gallery. That has given me an opportunity to get some feedback on image's presentation. You can read more about this process at

Next step? Going to a larger size. But the glass is heavy . . .

A note on the imagery. My direction in these images was anchored to Byzantine icons from the early centuries of the first millennium. The icon was often an image through which one could enter into the spiritual realm - through the eyes of the figure portrayed. That was my first result: Icon. Another in this series is Mystic in Tzfat.

Also, I've tried an alternative to printing the image on the glass itself. Once one has the fused glass object, a duratrans print can be placed between the glass and the lightbox surface. The Intensity of Strength is an example of this alternative. The advantage of this presentation is that one can re-use the fused glass with other duratrans prints, which would make aesthetic sense only if there were a correspondence between the fused glass object and the print.

Joe Nalven's AutoGallery exhibit

Joe Nalven's website