Rollin Karg, Texas Sculpture Group
From Kechi, Kansas
I have been working in glass for almost 40 years. Searching for a way to present my glass, I began making metal stands, which over time increased in size and I began to build large sculpture for public art. The glass satellites, which appear on many of my sculptures are hand blown in my studio in Kechi, Kansas. The glass requires very little maintenance…wiping with a damp cloth a couple times per year. The sculptures are constructed of various types of metals to which a variety of shapes, including plasma cut and heat formed metal, metal tools and rods are welded on in my metal shop. Various techniques are used to complete the desired finish on the sculpture. The sculptures are built to withstand all kinds of weather conditions with little to no maintenance and are safe for all ages in a community environment.
Rollin was born in Columbus Ohio, August 20, 1944 and raised in Miami, Florida. Being the grandson of a contractor and the son of a carpenter, working with his hands was in his blood but his family wanted a “better and easier life for him”. As a result, he spent many years following that dream, until finally realizing that he was an artist. Deciding he didn’t have to choose one over the other, he could be a successful artist and businessman.
He was offered a football scholarship at Wichita State University where he studied business administration and worked for various companies including Cessna, who trained him to be an Industrial Engineer. After taking a position in sales he found he had a fair amount of spare time on his hands. As a way to fill the time, and out of practical necessity he began to design and create, starting with photography and framing to decorating his home. He continued to experiment with many different mediums, including woodworking and ceramics. Until, during a vacation, he made a stop at Corning Glass to buy dishes for his sister. After taking the tour of the museum and watching the glass blowing, he was hooked! He discovered, and immediately enrolled in the glass blowing program at Emporia State University and dove in headfirst.
He drove the 190 mile round trip from Wichita to Emporia three times a week for a semester, and his education as a glass blower began.
The heat from glass furnaces, which run around 2200 degrees, can be physically challenging. It’s not for everyone, but it is in his nature to seek out such challenges.
He was lucky enough to be one of a very small group of glass blowers that were designing and creating their own studios. It was a groundbreaking and exciting time in his career. He began making and selling paperweights, and as his business grew his ideas and designs grew with it.
He created a metal stand as a better way to display his signature Satellite Discs, which ultimately grew into building large outdoor metal sculptures. He found the combination of metal and glass very complimentary. His public works sculpture has been and continues to be displayed and sold across the country.
Rollin has won many awards and accolades over a career spanning almost 40 years. He continues to have loyal collectors that seek out his work.