by Lee Down
21-06-2022

William LeQuier found the two loves of his life while attending Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU). The first was the fine art of glass, and the second (although not regarded in this order, I’m sure), his wife, Mary Angus. The glass portion came when he participated in a small studio glass blowing class in 1973. Back then, such classes being offered was still quite rare, and SCSU was the first school in Connecticut to do it. Mary Angus came along with the glass blowing class as William is said to have met his wife over a vat of molten glass. LeQuier went on to graduate in 1975 with his BS in Art Education. He resultantly became an instructor at SCSU. Later on, in the 1980’s, he also taught at Penland School in Penland, NC.

William LeQuier working on the Curl Glass Sculpture

The Inception of William LeQuier’s Glass Sculpture 

William LeQuier’s specific style of glass sculpture took off in the 1990’s when he brilliantly began to consider and experiment with sandblasting glass surfaces. He soon realized he was able to carve them using both a sandblaster and a diamond tip saw. The results amazed him. The glass surfaces were akin to that of standard erosion. And LeQuier would go on to have nature be his entire inspiration for his sculptures.

It was later in the same decade when William LeQuier also began to use his current type of glass medium-laminated plate glass. LeQuier was rummaging through an old store that was going out of business when he spotted some glass shelving that was ready to be discarded and sent to the recycle center. But the way that glass presented to William LeQuier left him hopeful for a new style of sculpture. Once again, LeQuier’s intensely creative mind took off, and he immediately thought of fusing that glass together and carving sculptures from the results. Suddenly the gates were wide open and William LeQuier was heading down a completely new glass path.

William LeQuier’s Glass Sculpture Process

William LeQuier found this new endeavor to be completely labor-intensive, however still rather magical and full of enough possibilities that he stuck  with it. Every sculpture begins with a rough sketch. Then the arduous physicality comes into play. To start, it involves creating templates to exact proportions and from there cutting thin strips of adhesive rubber. There is sandblasting, gluing with a particular UV curing epoxy, sanding with a belt sander and carving with a diamond tip saw. The sculpture itself is then complete and the final step is to create the base for it to rest on, so stunningly unique for each sculpture, LeQuier creates these by hand also. 

William LeQuier’s Glass Sculpture Inspirations

William LeQuier’s inspirations for his masterful glass sculptures come from the world around him. Specifically nature and the weather that affects it. Occasionally, he is moved by music to produce a piece reflective of his feelings. However, having seen some of William LeQuier’s glass sculptures that are meditative of nature in person, I know first hand just how alive they actually appear. It is as if the glass is in motion. It has intensity, spirit, strength, vitality…..although it is completely static, whether it be reminiscent of a wave in the ocean, a plant, a sea creature…..William LeQuier’s sculptures are bursting forth with the life that inspires him.

A Selection of William LeQuier’s Glass Sculptures

Breaker, Glass Sculpture 20 inches high by William LeQuier
Cascade, Glass Sculpture 21 inches high by William LeQuier
White Water, Glass Sculpture 22 inches high by William LeQuier
Vortex 2014, Glass Sculpture 21 inches high by William LeQuier
Spiral Nebula, Glass Sculpture 20 inches high by William LeQuier
Cabriole, Glass Sculpture 24 inches high by William LeQuier
Curl no 5, Glass Sculpture 19 inches high by William LeQuier
Euphoria, Glass Sculpture 24 inches high by William LeQuier
Maelstro, Glass Scuplture 21 inches high by William LeQuier

Where is William LeQuier?

In 1976, William LeQuier and his wife, Mary Angus, along with a couple more glass artists founded Bittersweet Glassworks. Originally, it was specifically a glass blowing studio located in Branford, CT. In 1983, LeQuier and Angus left Connecticut and settled in Readsboro, VT. There they have relocated Bittersweet Glassworks, as well as their home into a 100 year old mill building they bought in an auction on 15 minutes notice. Mary Angus is traditional and works with hot, molten glass in one corner, producing exquisite and elegant vessels. William LeQuier, now almost 70, remains in his corner of the studio…..happily with his sandblaster and diamond tip saw, carving the fine art glass sculptures of tomorrow. 

To see more of William LeQuier, or to make an appointment at his gallery, please visit:

kwilliamlequier.com


About The Writer

My name is Nikki Finnigan. Art is my go to for everything. It surrounds me in my world because I let it. Writing about these fabulous artists is just such another opportunity. Please follow me at Granny Finnigan’s Art on Facebook. See also, Mark Dorman and

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3 Replies to “William LeQuier-The Pioneer of Modern Glass Sculpture”

  1. This is fascinating. I am a huge fan of glass art, and these pieces show such movement and vitality! Thanks for sharing this.

    1. Thanks Nancy. I’m also a huge fan of glass art. It’s truly fascinating. I’m really glad Nikki was up for the challenge of writing about him. ~ Lee

    2. Hi Nancy! Thanks for taking the time to read this! I also found William LeQuier’s glass art to be absolutely astonishing. I was fortunate enough to see it in person. Trying to convey the thrilling nature of his masterpieces was a challenge even then! Nikki

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