Feb. 3, 1948 – Oct. 13, 2018
James G. Sawyer was a stained-glass artist and a devout Catholic who dedicated his life to scientific research.
Visitors to his Lexington Avenue shop, Six Dimension Design, may have seen hints of his scientific passion in the geometric shapes he used in his stained and leaded glass designs.
Mr. Sawyer died Oct. 13, 2018, in Erie County Medical Center of cancer, which he chose not to treat, said his friend and associate of more than a decade, Marla Wagner.
For several decades, Mr. Sawyer dedicated all his free time to continuing the lifelong quest of Albert Einstein's to find a unified field theory, Wagner said.
He consulted thousands of research articles to generate a theory that atomic particles can be located via a geometric pattern of equilateral triangles, which challenges currently held belief – the Heisenberg uncertainty principle — that their locations cannot be pinpointed, said Wagner.
He co-authored, with Wagner, the 2014 book "De Revolution VII — Encyclopedia of Six Dimensions," which details this theory.
Videos of Mr. Sawyer's theory are posted on his website, Atomation.org, and YouTube, titled "Architecture of the Universe."
Through the years, Mr. Sawyer spoke at many scientific conferences, including the World Congress on Superconductivity in Munich; the Math, Chemistry, and Computer conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia; the International Conference on Computer Graphics in Krakow, Poland; and the International Society for the interdisciplinary study of symmetry in Haifa, Israel, coordinated by Dan Shechtman, who won a Nobel Prize for his discovery of quasicrystals.
He was born on Feb. 3, 1948, the first child of James Garnett Sawyer, an aeronautical engineer and inventor, and Marietta Benz Sawyer, and the brother of John, Mary Ann and Sarah.
He was a 1966 graduate of Amherst Central High School and attended the University of Miami in Florida and the University at Buffalo. He told the story of leaving UB after an architecture professor could not teach him about Buckminster Fuller, said Wagner. "He said, 'If you're not going to teach me what I want to know, I'm going to go find out myself.' That was the beginning of his independent research."
Mr. Sawyer operated a house painting business for years and worked in stained-glass repair and construction, said Wagner.
He opened his stained-glass studio, Six Dimension Design, in the 1990s. He made stained-glass pieces for Blessed Sacrament and St. Thomas Aquinas churches, Sisters Hospital and the Mother Teresa Home, all in Buffalo.
Mr. Sawyer was a devout Catholic who went to Mass daily before opening the shop, said Wagner. He worshiped in several churches, but often attended St. Michael Church and UB's Newman Center, she said.
"I found incredibly interesting the depth of his faith and his degree of scientific knowledge, because usually people don't reconcile the two," said Wagner. "But he was all the way up to the top with both."
Mr. Sawyer welcomed people who needed shelter, and prepared a feast every Thanksgiving and Christmas for all who showed up.
At the Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts, he would erect a stand in the shape of a polyhedron where visitors could get an aerial view of the crowd.
At the 2013 Elmwood festival, Mr. Sawyer told a News reporter that modern technology should follow more energy-efficient, six-dimensional design, instead of three-dimensional, square designs.
Mr. Sawyer generated a unique periodic table of the elements to support his theory.
A cheerful and friendly man, Wagner said, Mr. Sawyer always responded to the question, "How are you?" by saying, "'Fantastic! Why not? Another exciting day on Earth!'" and advised people to "never let anything bother you for more than 24 hours."
He loved to swim at his local gym, ski in Ellicottville and ride his bike long distances.
In a 1999 letter to The News, Mr. Sawyer wrote, "I love Buffalo and see its natural beauty shine," and urged that better access to the waterfront, including a waterfront park extending from Lake Erie to Niagara Falls, might attract visitors.
Mr. Sawyer is survived by his sisters, Sarah Sawyer and Mary Ann Sawyer Wade, and nieces and nephews.
A funeral Mass will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Saturday in St. Michael Catholic Church, 651 Washington St. A future celebration will be held at his studio at a time and date to be announced.