David Lotton began learning the art and craft of glass making at age ten when his father built a studio next to their home. He became an apprentice in the classic sense, learning every aspect of creating art out of hot glass and running a hot shop. During those first years, David helped his father at the bench, expanding their range of colors and experimenting with techniques. Soon David made his own designs in paperweights and jewelry.
In those early years, David dabbled in stained glass. He created exquisite windows, infusing his love of floral patterns. David would later transfer these patterns to the hot glass field. He sold these one-of-a-kind windows around the country where they are still enjoyed in homes and galleries. After trying other types of employment, David knew his gift and talents were in the arts. By the late 70’s he was working full time as a glass artist, refining and developing his craft. David was continually learning every aspect of glass operations, which begins with raw materials. It required scientific knowledge and artistic sensibility. He created his own colors, techniques, and floral palette.
In 1980, David married his teenage sweetheart, Kimberly. Together they built their first glass studio in a small two-stall barn. Working from the floor up, they took an old, decrepit structure and turned it into a glass producing studio, small but efficient. David built his own furnaces, glory holes and annealing ovens, all the necessary equipment to make art glass.
Once David was in his own studio, he felt free to try new avenues in glass. During the next ten years, David would develop his now famous Clematis floral pattern, as well as the intricate “Threaded Web” series. Each of these patterns took years of trial and error. Many pieces were untellable, not meeting David’s high standards of quality and detail. His goal is for every piece he creates to be exquisite, unique and breathtakingly beautiful, adhering to the Lotton family tradition of innovation, authenticity and excellence.
During the next few years David and Kimberly were blessed with 3 children, Jeremiah, Joshua and Danielle. Each of David’s sons would later follow in their father’s footsteps, becoming very successful glass artist themselves.
In July of 1995, David and Kimberly moved their family, home and studio to a five-acre farm in Frankfort, Illinois. Once again, they began the process of taking an old farm and transforming it into a glass oasis. During the next few years David built a metal shop, grinding facility, gallery, office, music studio and 3 glass blowing stations which were worked daily by David and his two sons. They enjoyed many happy and productive years in Frankfort.
Gallery owners, private collectors, and local businessmen often traveled to the “Lotton Farm” to experience the true art of glass blowing. They were often amused by the array of chickens scurrying around, guitars spread about, and farm machinery waiting to be brought back to life. David has many interests and hobbies which all inspire his artistic nature. David’s unique Organic and Bridal Veil sculptural designs were birthed during these years.
By now, David’s work as well as his father’s, brothers’ and sons’ had become very well known nationwide. Their work was being displayed and sold in the finest galleries in the world. Pieces had been purchased by glass lovers and collectors in every major city in the US. Things were good for the entire Lotton family.
Year after year, David studies and refines the techniques he uses in creating his art. Glass is alive by nature and often has a mind of its own. David is always developing new color formulas and color combinations, while working with the nature of glass. His Hollyhock, Mixed Bouquet and Aquatic designs all capture David’s love for detail, color combining and the depth of layering of his floral patterns. David’s Reflection Series often has six to seven layers of the above patterns, giving these floral vases his unique and personal style. These designs truly reflect the beauty of color, form and technique of a lifetime’s work.
In 2000, David purchased a 450 acre farm in Marion, Kentucky. Here he built a Black Angus cattle farm named Glass Angus Farms. He has built a 150 head of cattle, a home and a work shop and put in several ponds. David loves nature and the quiet he finds working the land. David took a dream and made it a reality. The family now has a place to get away, to enjoy God’s creation and each other.
In December of 2006, David and Kimberly once again made a major change, purchasing an 89-acre farm in Lowell, Indiana. They were seeking a quieter life style with less traffic and interruptions than they had in Frankfort. Currently, David is taking an old pole barn and transforming it into a glass studio. Due to the high price of propane and the lack of natural gas, David is developing a glass furnace run by electricity. He hopes to have this project finished soon, making it possible for him to blow glass on the family farm. Until this is complete, David is working side by side with oldest son Jeremiah in Jeremiah’s studio located in Cedar Lake, Indiana.
The family tradition of working long hard days is being passed down from generation to generation.
David and Jeremiah both push themselves daily to produce the highest quality product possible. Despite many obstacles and set backs, they continue to persevere in doing what they love. David says “You never graduate from the school of hard knocks. You are constantly having to learn new technology, new methods while improving your skills daily”. David looks forward to the new creations waiting to be birthed and for new ideas waiting to materialize.