Glass artist Jim Downey just likes making things—out of wood, cardboard, metal and anything he can get his hands on. Jim explains, “It’s rare that I have an idea for a finished piece, but more often, a general ‘direction’, inspired mostly by color relationships. Inspiration can come from sunsets, landscapes and flowers on the side of the road, to native weavings and images generated by the Hubble telescope. With glass, creativity is inherent in the process.” Jim started working with glass 30 years ago when he discovered his affinity for stained glass. Since then, he’s found a passion for glassblowing, which has turned into his life’s work. His gallery can be found on the historic square in Monticello where you’ll often find him working in the shop. He offers classes and demonstrations in between the many art fairs he attends. You can purchase his unique pieces on his website, at the gallery or at various art fairs throughout Illinois.