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Featured Artist - Tim Dorland: A Glass Act
06/26/2011 - By A.J. Perna

Featured Artist - Tim Dorland: A Glass Act

Glass artist Tim Dorland also has a mission

Glass artist Tim Dorland has a mission: To further fill up all empty space with beautiful glass art  and to pass on glass knowledge. And, he’s just the man to do it.

Dorland is relaxed and calm as he extends a hand to greet me at the front door of his wife’s  Colts Neck glass gift shop. I, on the other hand, fumble through my bag, searching for a pen  and my hand-held recorder as I explain about the horrendous Parkway trafficand apologize for  arriving late for our scheduled meeting.

Dorland is not fazed, and in an almost hypnoticto ne, assures me that everything is fine. To this  Jersey native, something about his presence and overall demeanor; from his hair pulled back  into a ponytail to his obviously easy nature to the graying “soul patch” under his lip, just scream “West Coast.” I can’t helpmyself and just have to ask if he is originally from New Jersey. Of  course, he isn’t. Born in Montana, raised in Oregon. After a few more pleasantries and quick  look around the shop, Dorland invites me to follow himupstairs to his studio and, as we begin to  walk, immediately launches into a soliloquy, explaining how he ended up living and working here, and extolling the virtues of working with glass.

After graduating from Portland State University in 1983 with a degree in fine art, Tim found  himself at the front door of a large stained glass warehouse and teaching facility in Oregon,  pointing to the “Apprentice Wanted” sign. Dorland had never worked with glass before but was  interested in learning. He started off sweeping floors and then, cutting glass, eventually learning  the techniques behind creating art with glass. After a year, he was teaching basic glass classes  there. It was during this time that Dorland discovered his true life’s passion – creating and  teaching glass art.

Tim worked at that Oregon glass warehouse, teaching hundreds of people various glass  techniques, until 1999 when he left to establish T. Dorland Glass Studio. After 16 years, he was  now on his own to teach and create art; and his expertise would take him all across the country  to work alongside some of the best glass artists in the U.S. and to teach some of the most eager  and talented, up and coming artists around. It was during one of these many workshops on the  east coast that Tim met his eventual bride, Kim – a talented glass artist herself, whose family  owns and operates Folio Art Glass in Colts Neck.

Dorland left the woods of the great northwest for Monmouth County to marry and start a new  life, expanding his studio to teach classes in all fine art techniques, and accept commissions  including stained and leaded glass, etched glass, painting on glass, glass jewelry, glass bead  making, and his newest specialty, glass mosaics. While on vacation with Kim in Rome, Tim  spotted a huge mosaic on a trattoria wall, and it clicked. Instead of using typical materials like  ceramic or stone, he would take a unique approach and use glass; giving him an enormous color  palette and the freedom to design mosaics in a much more exact way.

All along the outer edges of Dorland’s studio are custom mosaics and stained glass pieces in various stages of completion, surrounding the drum set that sits in the middle of the room.  Whenever Tim needs a little break or some inspiration, he will take some time and lay down a  few rhythms and patterns. His apprentices don’t seem to mind, either. Dorland is always on the  lookout for new apprentices who might like to learn the art of glass the way he learned – in  exchange for a little hard work. Tim adds, “I like feeling pride in an apprentice’s work well  done, because I know that I have touched their lives in a positive way that inspires me…completing the circle.”

Information about the T. Dorland Glass Studio can be found online at:

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