Art comes from within, and no-one knows that better than respected glass artist E John Lewis. He tells Stephen Penn how his traditional methods keep his creativity alive

As the world takes more of a turn to the tech-age, there are some among us who maintain real value in traditional skills. When design is being increasingly programmed, artists like E John Lewis have their finger on the pulse of the past, carefully honing their craft forged through the ages.

Influenced by his creatively talented father during his formative years, John, 60, always appreciated using his hands and his imagination, which eventually led him to art college. It was there that he built the foundations and developed his illustrating skills, which led not only to a creative career but also to his lifelong passion.

“It always came naturally to me. Even from a young age, there was just something inside of me that felt right creating beautiful things,” John explains. “There’s this Indian ideology of finding your purpose in life naturally, like a musician when he picks up a guitar, and I feel that is my life with art.”

Finding work as a technical illustrator only reaffirmed his love for going back to basics and designing by hand, but as time went on he found that the tech-boom was taking over many creative industries.

“The industry was moving towards computer design. That didn’t sit right with me,” he says. “The idea of jumping from handcrafting to drawing using a machine never really appealed. I’ve always put a lot of stake in traditional methods.”

This disdain for computers proved to be his biggest career asset, as he watched industries change from afar and instead followed the path of handcrafted work to his eventual career as a sandblast artist.

He says: “I started to take classes in pottery and stained glass making, where you sketch something then make it physically with your hands, which I quickly realised fitted my style completely.  I called up a sandblasting company and they took me on. It was as if it was meant to be.”

For the past 20 years, John has established himself as a keen sandblast artist, working from his home base of Swansea, Wales. Producing commissions for homes across the nation – and further afield – John has carefully worked on his craft to produce stunning pieces of art that not only make an impact in situ, but also change and shape a space.

Inspired by nature and his surroundings, like the calming sea of the Gower and the stunning views from the Brecon Beacons, John has established himself as an artist with both talent and heart, and though he has taken the leap to start using computers for parts of his designs, he still has a pencil firmly in his hand through much of the process, and places high importance on his traditional skills.

“I love what I do, and the older I get the more passion I have for my work,” he adds. “My hope is to procure more commissions from designers and contractors, so I can continue to create things of beauty and inspire people everywhere.”

To find out more about John’s work visit www.ejlewis-glass.com or call 07923221935.

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