John Littleton is the third generation of Littletons to work with glass. His grandfather was a Ph.D. physicist with Corning Glass in New York. In 1962, his father, Harvey Littleton, who is often called the father of the American studio glass movement, founded the first fine arts glass program in the nation at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. Harvey Littleton’s influence as a teacher, mentor and visionary has spread throughout the world and certainly into the life and livelihood of his son John, and Kate Vogel, John’s wife, artistic collaborator and partner. They have been collaborating since 1980 and live and work in their studio in the mountains of North Carolina, near the location where Harvey Littleton settled in the mid 1970s.
Although they may be best known for their blown glass bags, their cast glass work is exquisite. They often cast arms and hands in amber glass. In one series, the hands hold a brilliant jewel-cut form, which seems to spread its glowing light to all that surrounds it; lighting up the fingers that touch it, suggesting an offering or a sanctification of what is most precious.