Jan-Joop Ruisch is a prominent Dutch glass artist who prefers to work with optical glass where he can create illusions of a fourth dimension. Born in Rotterdam in 1956, Ruisch studied Social Sciences in Utrecht.
During his studies he became fascinated by stained glass. It so happened that a row of houses were being torn down in the street that he lived in. These houses all had stained glass windows. Having salvaged a fair amount of windows he was so entranced by their vivid colours, that it led him to delve deeper into how stained glass is made. The Inevitable happened, and so in 1985 he started a small firm making stained glass. In 1988 his proficiency in glass art led him to create wonderful sculptures from molten glass. That same year Ruisch visited the International Glass Symposium in Novy Bor, Czech Republic where he met the glass Artist Pavel Satrapa, who taught him the intricate ways of cutting and polishing of optical glass.
This is where Ruisch met his future wife, and In 1991 he moved to a small village close to Novy Bor. Having settled there, he subsequently built his own studio where he has been creating glass art ever since.
Glass, especially optical glass, captivates Ruisch.
“Sculpting with glass is a tri-dimensional expression” says Ruisch. “The sculptor can even play with light and shadow. Optical glass brings the sculptor in a position where he can create a 4th dimension. A perfectly polished outer surface becomes a mirror inside the glass, where light is reflected and refracted. This makes the object react to the position of the viewer. From a different position the object will look different. It is therefore, impossible to get a real impression from one picture”.