Dan Sims

“My objective is not so much to bend the material to my own will, but rather to become intimate with the material so I can bring out its natural beauty.”

Dan Sims


Dan grew up in close contact with the natural world and taking art classes throughout high school and college. Although he earned a postgraduate degree in botany, he continued to foster his love of art on the side.

His interest in pattern and design led to his present-day work in stained glass and marquetry. In 2003, he moved to Richmond to focus more on developing his art.

Dan’s process of creating stained glass is particularly complex. It begins with the standard techniques of grinding glass pieces to match the design, wrapping the edges with copper foil tape and applying the lead solder.

But he goes further to add his tree branch designs by cutting the tree design into copper foil sheets, applying them to the panels and adding the solder. He repeats this process for both sides of the pane, and he makes wood frames by hand for each of his stained glass panels.

His work blends science with art.

“I create physical models in wood and glass that endeavor to capture the spirit of the natural world,” he says. “Giving up our preconceived images of the world and being open to reality is, I feel, the essence and challenge of art, as well as science, relationships and so much of life.”

Dan has held several exhibitions of his work, and he currently displays it in his restored Victorian home in Richmond, where his studio is located. When he is not doing scientific research or creating art, he enjoys gardening, canning and cooking.

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