Artistic Biography of Douglas Bayer
Bayer began his artistic career in the backcountry of the Alaskan Wilderness in 1980. He was originally trained as a helicopter technician and during the years of working in the bush of Alaska, he began to draw and contemplate the beauty of the wilderness that surrounded him. He soon began to work in stained glass for his own expression and found that there was a tremendous desire for his work and so he eventually started Bayer Glass Studio, his first studio, and began to produce autonomous works and many residential commissions. Soon he began to receive many commercial architectural commissions and as his popularity increased he then left the helicopter industry to devote his time completely to glass. Soon he began to receive many public art commissions and several large-scale religious commissions.
1986 he attended the Pilchuck Glass School to explore the possibilities of hot glass, which had interested him greatly. There he met Master Glassblower Jan Erik Ritzman who is the foremost Swedish master glassblower of today. Ritzman then offered Bayer a position to come to Sweden to work and learn about the Swedish way in glass and the Swedish culture. After this very intensive year of work and study, he then returned to Colorado and built a new hot glass studio and continued in his newfound direction in glass. The studio was very successful and several years later, he sold the studio to enable him to pursue further opportunities that came to him to expand his experience and to work and travel.
In 1992, Bayer found himself in Germany learning the language and culture and soon joined in with the work of the world-renowned Russian artist Igor Sacharov Ross. Together they built many large scale installations that included works installed at Bayeux on the Normandy coast in France, the University of Bonn in Germany, The Haus der Kunst in Munich Germany, and near Leipzig in the former East German province. Because of the extensive technical training in BayerÍs background, they were able to design these very technically difficult works and install them where otherwise it would not have been possible with the typical German handworker. A Russian who spoke no English and an American who spoke no Russian came together in a country foreign to both and formed a team that enabled them to create and install these tremendous works through out Europe.
Bayer then returned to America because of his intense love for his homeland in 1996 and began to work in wood and metal while he built up a new glass blowing studio that is now in full operation under the name of Bayer Glassworks. The experiences of his work in Alaska, Sweden and Germany all contribute to the works he now produces from his studio. He welcomes visitors to come and enjoy a feeling of relaxation in the pristine setting of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains as he works to create his unique and one of a kind pieces along with a line of fine designed production pieces.
Doug was featured in a December, 2006 Pueblo Chieftain newspaper arcticle about his work.