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@Work: Torch Works

Dec 10, 2004 – Sculptor Havis Tatum of Torch Works says he "designs from the heart."
One need only visit his shop in the Pan Am Pavilion, under Stixx, near the Christiansted Boardwalk, to see it is true.
He puts his heart into everything, including his outgoing, warm Louisiana personality touched by southern cordiality. He said he is the "new kid on the block" and of all the places all over the world he has lived he has never been so welcomed, in business and everyday living.
The shop, the only glass sculpture studio on St. Croix, opened in June 2004.
Tatum's education at Louisiana State University was in the liberal arts, fine arts, art history and literature.
Then Tatum fell under the influence of master glass sculptor Doug Ceicil of Virginia Beach. Ceicil saw a natural talent in Tatum and took him under his wing for two years, showing him techniques, and from then on Tatum has been learning on his own. Tatum now has been doing glass sculpture for 18 years.
The art of glass sculpture is under the umbrella of glass blowing, but it is traditionally called lampworking, which many see as a dying tradition.
By combining glass with other media – stone, steel and clay — Tatum is inspired to create designs as unique as his own imagination.
Tatum has been commissioned to do custom designs for corporate people vacationing on St. Croix after seeing his designs in the studio. Tatum has 7,000 to 10,000 designs in galleries, corporate and private collections all over the continental U.S. and internationally in the Cayman Islands, Indonesia, Japan, Italy and Denmark. He has been commissioned to design corporate logos, special awards and hotel accessories. Tatum has also designed Rotarian presentations for the Japanese. Whatever someone is looking for, Tatum will gear the designs to suit them.
In the studio in Christiansted he has affordable pieces designed to represent St. Croix so visitors can take them back home as gifts or souvenirs. And for the holidays one may purchase sea life Christmas ornaments such as mermaids, hermit crabs and seahorses.
Tatum says his wife Nina is "the boss." Nina handles all the galleries, shows, sales, shipping and everything that goes beyond the designs and creation of the art works.
The Torch Works studio is on the Art Thursday Gallery Walk which Tatum says gives him great exposure. People stop, visit and view his works, then come back to make purchases.
As most of the artists on the Art Walks, he said he has been surprised at the wonderful turnout. There are five dates set for 2005 Art Walks.
Torch Works is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or call 778-4527 for additional hours.

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