Wesley Fleming brings fantastic realism of the microcosmos to life in glass. An ambassador for smaller denizens of the earth, his passion for nature sparks awe and curiosity in others. Growing up in the countryside, Wesley’s favorite pastime was exploring beneath logs and rocks in the woods or reading science fiction and comic books. Hence the natural world and his own wacky imagination became his muse.
Wesley began working with glass in 2001, learning via apprenticeship and under tutelage of Italian maestros in Venice, Italy. He has focused two decades honing his glassworking skills and captures the essence of actual species of insects and flowers with intricate detail of their tiny antennae or stamen. His work is in numerous publications, exhibited around the United States and in permanent collection of museums including Corning Museum of Glass, Kobe Lampwork Museum, Tacoma Museum of Glass and Racine Art Museum.
Wesley Fleming @vetropod making glass trout lily wildflowers for his 2020 solo exhibit at Brattleboro Museum & Art Center. Video made by Chris Famelette of Red Shamrock Productions.
Wesley Fleming , nature-inspired artist
Growing up in rural Pennsylvania, I spent my days exploring the space beneath logs and rocks or reading science fiction. As a result the shapes and colors of the natural world, as well as my own wacky imagination, are the main sources for my work.
With some of my glass beetles for example, I try to capture and mimic an actual species with intricate detail on the tiny limbs and thorax. While in other pieces, I attempt to bring into being a creature from an inner reality or a dream. In some cases I merge the fantastical with the real through choice of color palette or by referencing familiar images in a mythical work.
Regardless of the end result, I find great joy in sculpting glass - witnessing the transformation of a brittle and cold substance to a molten and pliable material then back to a solid form again.