Piece by piece, glass layer by glass layer, Jack Storms worked by hand to create a fitting tribute to the men and women who help fight fires every day. Call it inspiration or call it passion, the result is a dramatic 500-pound optic crystal Fireman’s Bell that truly pays homage to the bravery and heroism of firefighters.
“I wanted to create a dramatic piece that truly honors the dedication, passion, bravery and heroism of those that protect our property and lives from fire,” Storms said. Much like their profession is an art, I wanted to make my own artistic representation that showcased their careers.”
The dramatic Fireman’s Bell, now housed in the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton, CA., is a solid piece of glass that was created from several layers of decorative, hand-cut glass. It actually contains 8,000 pieces of four different types of glass – optic leaded crystal, optic unleaded crystal, starphire and dichoroic glass. This is a rare and very difficult process.
Meticulously created layer by layer and then assembled to be hand cut as a bell, the resulting sculpture is the largest piece ever created by Jack Storms. “Before this project I completed my work in a total of six to ten weeks”, Storms explained. “This project took me a full two years to complete.”
The Fireman’s Bell was commissioned by the Harrington Art Project to be the cornerstone of the Firehouse Arts Center, originally opened as Pleasanton Fire House No. 1 in 1929. The glass bell is a replica of the original bell that was used to notify local residents in the event of a fire. The Firehouse Arts Center is located at 4444 Railroad Avenue in downtown Pleasanton.