"Life is an 80 year project. Act accordingly." Rick Silas
I was born in 1951 into a large working class family in Montreal. To escape the pressures of a small house with 13 brothers and sisters I would create imaginary worlds out of modeling clay at the kitchen table. I attended school until the age of 13 when I left to take on a full time employment to help support the family. I went back to school at age 24 and studied fine arts for five years and have been a working artist for the last forty years.
I excelled at traditional mediums but quickly realized that to survive as a working artist I would need to do something different. After working with wood for a few years I decided to take a different approach and started experimenting with more contemporary mediums such as reclaimed tempered glass, resins, spray paints and assorted plastic films.
When I realized that tempered glass could not be cut or recycled once made, I thought this might be the medium I was looking for. At the time, I was living in Calgary, Alberta which had two tempering factories to get material from. I started trading my paintings on glass for their waste material and found myself quickly receiving more material than I could use. In an effort to support the larger space I needed to work with this massive quantity of glass, I leased a large commercial building and rented space to 50 other artists. I called this studio complex "The Point Studios" after the area of Montreal I grew up in. "The Point" gave me both the studio space and muscle, when needed, to help handle the larger pieces that I created from this abundant waste material. My wife, Darcy, took on the role of administrator allowing me to focus fully on the experimentation and production side of the business. In 2002, we left Calgary for Vancouver Island and The Point was passed onto the tenants as a cooperative...it is still operating today.
As the years went by, I developed many ways to reprocess the glass into thousands of one-of-a-kind art and functional pieces. I have developed what I believe to be new artistic mediums in 3-dimentional fine art painting, sculpture and functional works. Now I can mold, bend, cut, drill, colour and effect the tempered glass in ways no one has ever done before, all without the use of heat or large machines.
One of the processes I have developed (and patented) is a way to shatter and bend tempered glass at room temperature while maintaining structural integrity. This process allows me to bend the glass around existing structures, such as stair railings, without machinery or the high cost of a hot glass installation. "We named and trademarked these processes, "Silastial™ Glass." Silastial Glass can be cut with conventional hand tools, shaped into furniture or architectural features, or be used in molds for mass commercial production of curved glass for things like bowls or walls. Silastial Glass can be laminated in many layers like plywood for utility, strength and safety. The finished material is much like plywood in that it can be cut and drilled using common tools. The material has been very popular for countertops, backsplashes, tables, and walls, etc. A beautiful, value added product, this new glass technology could recycle much of the glass industry’s waste tempered glass.
I have received some notoriety for my inovations including being featured on The Discovery Channel I created a sculpture using my patented formula for bending glass without heat. I was also on the "Dragons' Den." Where I was offered $300,000 and a 7% royalty...which unfortunately they reneged on.
I live in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia with my wife and daughter. Please contact me for more information.