KELLER, Texas — After suffering a stroke back in 2010, doctors told 74-year-old Jerome Fuhrmann he didn’t have long to live.
“There wasn’t no hope,” the Keller man said. “All they did was give me bad news.”
Believing death was inevitable, Fuhrmann would often sit outside, searching for a purpose. Until, one day, the heavens opened up and he saw a light. Sunlight.
“I had a magnifying glass, and I had it a long time and I just had it on hand and I tried it and it worked, so good I just kept going with it,” Fuhrmann said.
It’s been nine years since his stroke and Fuhrmann is now the most unlikely artist in North Texas. He creates one-of-a-kind pieces using only a magnifying glass and the sun.
“You need to really wear good sunglasses,” he said.
It takes this Army veteran just an hour or two to finish a piece, and he estimates he’s made more than 1,000 of them. Most of them either honor his history or his humor.
Before the stroke, Fuhrmann had never even done this. He just happened to have a magnifying glass and gave it a try. “I burnt holes in my jeans,” he said.
Today, he travels to trade shows, sharing his work with some very curious customers. “Most people never seen it done, never heard it done and can’t believe I do it,” Fuhrmann said.
No wonder he’s the only vendor who draws such a big crowd.
Nine years ago, doctors didn’t give Fuhrmann much of a chance, but he believes the only reason he’s still alive is because his art was his therapy.
“In a lot of ways, I guess,” he said.
Not only did it help him regain movement, but more importantly, it also gave him a purpose: to meet people and spread joy.
“It means a lot,” Fuhrmann said. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t be here. I figured it saved my life.”
You don’t even need a magnifying glass to see that.