Talking Out Your Glass podcast

As editor of Glass Art magazine from 1987 to March 2019, Shawn Waggoner has interviewed and written about multitudes of the world’s greatest artists working glass in the furnace, torch, and on the table. Rated in iTunes News and Noteworthy in 2018, Talking Out Your Glass continues to evolve, including interviews with the nation’s finest borosilicate artists making both pipes and sculpture on the torch. Other current topics include how to work glass using sustainable practices and how artists address the topics of our times such as climate change, the political chasm, and life in the age of technology.
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Hot, Warm and Cold Glass!

Feb 14, 2020

Defying familiar branding practices, Snic Barnes prefers exploring uncharted aesthetic and technical territory, creating works that range from electroplated pipes reminiscent of Steampunk machines to his current complex functional sculpture incorporating varied motifs. The combination of his unique style and groundbreaking processes put this pioneer of mixed media pipes on the map beginning in the late 1990s.

A Philadelphia-based artist, Snic discovered glassblowing in 1997 at The Crefeld School. Subsequently the 17-year-old spent a year traveling the East Coast, supporting himself by selling glass pipes at concerts and festivals. These experiences cemented a lifelong involvement in psychedelic counterculture. To advance his glass working skills, in 1999 Snic enrolled at The Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, Tennessee, and later studied at the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York. 

Snic’s work has been exhibited at the National Liberty Museum, SCOPE Miami, Joseph Gross Gallery, SOFA Art Fair, Habatat Galleries, and Gregorio Escalante Gallery. Media featuring his artwork includes Vice, Juxtapoz, High Times, LA Weekly, Philadelphia Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and the documentary film, Degenerate Art: The Art and Culture of Glass Pipes. The artist was named Central Territory Glass Artist of the year at the 2016 American Glass Expo, won second place in group competition at the 2011 Champs Trade Show, and first place at the 2009 Pipe Classic. He has instructed at Pilchuck Glass School, Philadelphia Glassworks, Ontario’s Edy Roy Gallery, and Lunar Cycle in Tokyo. 

This Saturday, February 15, 2020, Piece of Mind in Orange County presents Organized Confusion, an exhibition featuring new solo work by Snic as well as collaborative pieces by artists from California and across the country. The artist will present a live glassblowing demo in the gallery during the opening reception, held February 15, 2020. VIP 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. (ticket purchase required), public from 7 p.m. to 12 a.m.


Feb 5, 2020

Tali Grinshpan: Connecting Thoughts about Homeland and the Internal Landscape of Memory

Bay Area artist Tali Grinshpan seeks to create intimate spaces of reflection where the past speaks to the transient present. In her 2019 solo show at Bullseye Bay Area Gallery titled Longing for the (Home)Land כיסופים למולדת, multi-generational stories of immigration were told via delicate pâte de verre forms that recall curling flower petals or silky folds of fabric. 

Grinshpan says: “I explore the fragility of nature and human existence by using organic materials to create forms that burn out in the kiln. Their remnants speak of the spirit and beauty of what once existed.”

Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Israel, Grinshpan earned a B.A. and M.A. in Business and Psychology from Tel Aviv University. A variety of art mediums were a source of interest and exploration since childhood. Travels around the world with her family were also important in her development as an artist. In 2004, the artist moved to and currently resides in Walnut Creek, California, where she fell in love with glass and began to pursue it professionally.

“The ever-changing life of the land, in particular that of Israel, where I was born, and that of my present home in Northern California, inspires me. As an immigrant, I search for connection between the land and my internal landscape of memory. These landscapes, simultaneously intimate and vast, come together in my work,” she explains.

Grinshpan’s education and experience in glass includes a professional residency at Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington; serving as teaching assistant for both Saman Kalantari and Alicia Lomne, who were instructing at Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG) Studio in Corning, New York; summer sessions at CMOG’s Studio and the Pittsburgh Glass Center, Pennsylvania; and a professional residency and master class at North Lands Creative Glass, Scotland, UK.

Grinshpan was selected as a finalist at The International Exhibition of Glass Kanazawa Japan in 2016; first prize winner of The Glass Prize 2017 international competition, UK; and published in CMOG’s survey of cutting-edge glass, New Glass Review 39. She achieves the paper-like qualities in her glass beginning with a model of the final artwork made out of clay, wax or other materials. A mold is made from the model using plaster and silica. After mixing finely crushed glass with a binding material, this paste is applied to the inner surface of a negative mold to form a coating. When the coated mold is fired, the glass fuses into an object whose walls depend on the thickness of the pâte de verre layers. After firing, the artist removes the mold material and cleans the piece. The amount of cold work on the fired piece varies, depending on artistic and aesthetic considerations.

Over the past few years Grinshpan’s work has been exhibited in various national and international galleries and museums. Upcoming exhibitions include: Grand Rapids Art Museum, Michigan, A New State of Matter – Contemporary Glass, January 25 through April 26, 2020; Abrams Claghorn Gallery, Albany, California, Particles, Grinshpan’s first exhibition as curator, February 1 through 28, 2020; Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv, The Biennial for Art and Design, March 17 through November 30, 2020; and Pittsburgh Glass Center, The United, October 2, 2020 – January 24, 2021.


Jan 30, 2020

Celebrating its 40th year, Glass Artists of Colorado (GAC) creates opportunities for education, sharing, promotion and friendship. Established in 1979 under the name Glass Artists Fellowship, GAC offers its members monthly educational meetings, artist slideshows, demonstrations, information, seminars, workshops, guest lectures, and field trips. Originally comprised of stained glass artists only, over the years membership has grown and evolved to reflect the dynamic nature of art glass in Colorado.  

Says president, Deborah Carlson: “With the closing of most, if not all, retail and teaching shops in Colorado, clubs like ours are a necessity to keep the glass artists in our area involved and informed about the outside glass community and give support to this medium. The Morgan Adams Project, as well as our bi-annual support of Beads of Courage, provides us with an opportunity to come together, share, and focus on our community.”

Currently, GAC is coordinating a special project in conjunction with The Morgan Adams Foundation, D&L Art Glass Supply, Denver, and The Children’s Hospital of Colorado. When Morgan Adams lost her battle with cancer, her mother started a foundation to raise awareness and funds for children’s cancer research.  

Carlson asked the children in the cancer unit of Children’s Hospital to draw a picture and write a story about their healing character and assign them special powers. The drawings of the 25 kids who participated are being created in glass via blowing or sculpting in the furnace or on the torch. The glass sculpture along with the corresponding drawing and story will be auctioned off at a special event called ARTMA 2020, on February 8, at Denver Design District. The Morgan Adams Foundation puts on this art auction every two years to raise money for children’s cancer research.  

As a special gift to the children, D & L Art Glass Supply and Leslie Silverman graciously opened their teaching facility and furnished all of the glass and kiln time for GAC to produce a glass tile matching the drawing of every child who participated. These will be given out either at the auction or at the hospital. The Morgan Adams Foundation has also made and will give each child a special t-shirt with the project name and Glass Artists of Colorado on it.  Every participating glass artist will receive the same t-shirt and a year’s membership to GAC.  

Says Carlson: “The children’s comments are amazing, with most of them saying this was the best project they have ever been a part of because it gave them a chance to participate in the fund raising. They were incredibly enthusiastic, and we are grateful.  The artists also expressed their gratitude for being included in such a meaningful event. We are blessed to have this great glass community here in Colorado.”


Jan 30, 2020

Tim Tate: Alternate Paths

In 1989, Tim Tate received an HIV-positive diagnosis and was told he had one year to live. The terrible news inspired him to follow a dream he’d had since the age of 9 when he visited the Corning Museum of Glass. Driven to use the time he had left to become a glass artist, Tate travelled to Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina for the first in an intensive succession of classes. Penland and the artwork made during this time saved his life.

A Washington, D.C. native, Tate has been working with sculpture now for 30 years. Co-Founder of the Washington Glass School, his artwork is part of the permanent collections of a number of museums, including the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum and the Mint Museum. He participated in 2019’s Glasstress show with Ai Wei Wei and Vic Muniz during the Venice Biennale. Tate has received numerous awards and honors including the 2010 Virginia Groot Foundation award for sculpture; a Fulbright Award from Sunderland University, England, in 2012; second place in the 2017 London Contemporary Art Prize; and the 2018 James Renwick Alliance Distinguished Artist Award. 

Along with William Warmus, Tate is the founder and moderator of the Facebook group 21st Century Glass – Images and Discussions. His involvement at Penland includes teaching, serving as featured artist for the 2018 annual auction, and acting as the Development Chair for the Penland Board of Trustees from 2014 to 2018. 

In 2001, Tate helped establish the Washington Glass School to focus on sculptural glass made by kiln-casting and mixed media rather than traditional studio glassblowing techniques. Modeled after Penland and the Crucible in Oakland, the school has offered instruction to more than 4,000 students while providing a permanent studio in which Tate makes his work. 

After 10 years of making bowls, between 1999 and 2005 Tate made 30 large blown glass hearts, an exercise which required him to work with a glassblowing team and revealed his preference to work solo. His Reliquary works created between 2004 and 2014 drew attention from journalists, galleries and critics, putting Tate on the map of the art world at large. 

Never fully fitting into any one definition of Studio Glass, steampunk or video artist, Tate blends traditional craft with new media technology, the framework in which he fits his artistic narrative. Through moving images and endless mirrors his contemporary work possesses the aesthetic of Victorian techno-fetishism, which emerged from fascination with Jules Verne as a boy. Artwork and video, he believes, will be society’s relics of the future. 

He says, “I like to reference many possible histories and will do so with video or mirrors to show our common artistic ancestry and illustrate alternate paths. Perhaps centuries from now my work will have the same presence as abandoned archaic machines from the Turn of the last Century, as people marvel over what could have possibly been its intent.”


Jan 17, 2020

Michael Dupille: Creating an Art Form

An early pioneer of the fusing movement in the Northwest, Michael Dupille is accustomed to developing the processes and products necessary to achieve his aesthetic goals in glass. As the creator and early master of Fritography, the artist’s work can be found in numerous public and private collections including those of the Washington and Oregon State Arts Commissions, The Everett Cultural Commission, The Seattle Times, The Pierce County Arts Commission,, and the Seattle Mariners. 

He says: “At first, I was the only person doing frit work. Now there are many people teaching the techniques. Working with frit and fusing in general gives you freedom of expression. Learning how the colors work, how they fire, and what you can do with the different sizes of frit provides a conduit for your imagination.”

Some of the most unique developments in Dupille’s work have been the result of experimentation or aesthetic accident. He has the mindset of a perpetual student, always looking for ways to make his art more interesting and extraordinary. This led to the birth in 2003 of Tranchant du Verre, Dupille’s exclusive process requiring a mix of his specially formulated CMC gum called Vitrigel with System 96 powdered glass. He is also the developer of Castalot Glass Mold material.

Innovation and creation have always gone hand in hand for Dupille, as seen in everything from his large-scale glass feathers to his frit paintings of baseball games to his recent 4-foot custom glass hockey sticks. 

Dupille’s journey in glass began in the mid-1970s. Upon graduation from Central Washington University in Ellensburg, the young artist moved to the Seattle/ Tacoma area where he attended Clover Park Vocational Technical Institute, studying offset printing and lithography. Meeting fellow fusers Richard La Londe and Ruth Brockmann at a street fair, Dupille was eventually invited to their studio and introduced to one of the founders of Bullseye Glass Co., Boyce Lundstrom. Dupille’s training in design and illustration came in handy for the early print advertising, book layouts and T-shirts he produced for Bullseye and Lundstrom’s glass school, Camp Colton. While working on Lundstrom’s Fusing books two and three, Dupille started teaching glass classes at the school. 

As an innovator of new techniques and products, Dupille has been in demand as a teacher for the last three decades, instructing all over the United States and Mexico. Two workshops will be offered in 2020, one at Anything in Stained Glass, in Frederick, Maryland, this September, and in October in the UK at Glassification. Dupille is also working on a couple of new e- books and will release a series of production casting molds later this year. One of Dupille’s favorite experiences is opening up a glass magazine or book and seeing a former student’s work.

In the early 1990s, Brockmann won a competition sponsored by the Oregon Arts Commission to create a pair of murals for the lobby of the Portland State Office Building. Created in collaboration with her partner Hal Bond, Dupille was also enlisted to collaborate on the two murals, which covered a total of 320 square feet and included fused glass, kiln cast glass, and colored cement. 

Since those early days, public and private commissions have comprised a large portion of Dupille’s work in glass. Some of his largest and most challenging artwork touches the lives of hundreds of teachers and students in the Public School environment every day. His most recent, Manito Glow was installed in 2017 at Hutton Elementary School in Spokane, Washington, a Percent for Arts project offered through the Washington State Arts Commission. Although the process of creating art for schools is not significantly different from producing other large-scale work, Dupille’s goal is always to inspire his audience. “Glass has such unique and beautiful properties, and the students, parents, and faculty are drawn to it for that as well as the process used to make the work.” 


Jan 10, 2020

The Corning Museum of Glass Acquires its First Glass Cannabis Pipe, Created by David Colton


The Corning Museum of Glass named David Colton as the recipient of its prestigious 2019 Rakow Commission, awarded annually to emerging and established artists whose work is not yet represented in the Museum’s collection. Colton’s sculpture represents the first-ever glass cannabis pipe to be added to the permanent collection of any major art museum. With its bright pink, red, and purple calligraphic forms, this expressive, graffiti-inspired sculptural object demonstrates the contribution of pipemakers to colored borosilicate glass, the palette of which has expanded greatly since the beginning of the glass pipe movement in the late 20th century.

Heavily influenced by the rise of graffiti in America in the 1980s and ’90s, Colton creates his own take on the graphic art form in sculpture, using glass as his chosen medium. Recognized by his peers for the distinct organic style he has developed, Colton’s practice encompasses abstract borosilicate sculptures and functional glass pipes. Born in Westfield, Massachusetts, Colton began glassblowing in Fort Collins, Colorado in 1995 and currently resides in Westhampton, Massachusetts. The artist’s work is also included in The Dr. Seuss Museum’s permanent collection in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Enjoy this fascinating conversation about how and where glass pipes fit in to the world of fine art and museum collections.


Jan 3, 2020

On November 12, 2019, Venice and Murano, Italy, were devastated by “acqua alta,” record high water from tidal floods, which caused severe damage throughout the laguna and islands. Master glassblower Davide Fuin has established a GoFundMe campaign to help glass artists who need outside funding to make repairs and get shops, furnaces and studios back in working order. 


Born in 1962 on Murano, Fuin still lives and works on the island. Considered one of the most skilled glassblowers of the last 30 years, he has collaborated with Italy’s famous glass houses including Venini, Toso, Pauly, Salviati, Elite, and De Majo, as well as with many international artists and designers. His work can be found in major galleries as well as private and museum collections in Europe, the United States, Japan, Korea, Saudi Arabia, EAU, and Australia.


On September 15, 2015, at Palazzo Franchetti on Venice’s Grand Canal, the Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti honored glass master Fuin for excelling in his ability to make blown work according to Murano tradition, highlighting especially the techniques of reticello and retortoli filigree, incalmo, and avventurina. Gherardo Ortalli, president of the Istituto; Gabriella Belli, director of the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia; Georg J. Riedel, president of Riedel Crystal; and Rosa Barovier, glass historian, selected the award recipients and were in attendance. William Gudenrath, resident advisor for The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG), Corning, New York, was also present at the ceremony.


“Fuin’s work was selected because he is the most visible, arguably the best, and some would say the last practitioner of the tradition of goblet makers on Murano, said to date from the Renaissance. The goblet tradition in both Murano and Venice is in considerable peril,” says Gudenrath, who himself teaches advanced courses in Venetian techniques and ensures excellence in the CMOG studio facility and its programs.


Every year Fuin spends several weeks teaching at art schools and studios around the world, including The Studio at CMOG. On January 3, 2020, the artist presented a workshop at The Glass Spot, in Richmond, Virginia, and in August will teach at his Murano hot shop.




Known widely as the crème de la crème, Fuin’s work defines classic Venetian glass. In 2000, he began producing a collection of goblets, vessels, and traditional Venetian baskets in Avventurina glass. His goal was to open new markets and appeal to a more exclusive clientele. The number of pieces and the preciousness of the sparkling, seemingly copper infused glass elevates this body of work beyond the functional. Fuin’s Avventurina collection makes an artistic statement about traditional technique and the unimaginable beauty possible only at the hand of a true maestro.



Dec 11, 2019

Glass Vegas 2020: Come Experience the Love


Well-known and respected as an organized, professionally run trade show, Glass Vegas promotes functional glass artists and brings together buyers and sellers of everything from simple dry pipes to rigs and bubblers to headies created by the nation’s finest artists. The success of Glass Vegas can be attributed to a lot of hard work by the Glass Vegas trade show team, including mother-daughter duo LeeAnne and Amy Short, who made the love and bonds formed in this community an important part of doing business.  


The 2020 Glass Vegas Expo will be held January 28 through 30 at Bally’s Hotel and Casino, in Las Vegas, with over 300 vendor booths representing between 500 to 600 independent glass artists as well as leading wholesale vendors. The show provides attending retailers with the opportunity to buy quality glass and also to experience live music and painting, live flameworking demos by an all-star roster, the Millie Meet Up, the Boro Derby, and the World Series of Glass.

After establishing the successful Glass Craft and Bead Expo 25 years ago, Lee Anne wanted to repeat her trade show success in the functional glass world by creating a trade show that would help artists solve current challenges. She says: “It was important to us from the beginning to support and promote independent artists who are taking a real hit from imported glass. Glass Vegas gives potential buyers an opportunity to see handmade functional glass first hand. We showcase the biggest names in glassblowing as well as the hottest up-and-coming artists. Retail buyers can get amazing deals while making connections with the artists face to face and growing their businesses.”

LeeAnne and Amy run Glass Vegas as a one-of-a-kind, industry only trade show for high-end functional art that feels more like a family reunion. In this conversation, they discuss the history of the show, last year’s World Series of Glass and Retailer of the Year winners, and what to expect this January 2020 at Glass Vegas.



Dec 11, 2019

Glass Vegas 2020: Come Experience the Love


Well-known and respected as an organized, professionally run trade show, Glass Vegas promotes functional glass artists and brings together buyers and sellers of everything from simple dry pipes to rigs and bubblers to headies created by the nation’s finest artists. The success of Glass Vegas can be attributed to a lot of hard work by the Glass Vegas trade show team, including mother-daughter duo LeeAnne and Amy Short, who made the love and bonds formed in this community an important part of doing business.  


The 2020 Glass Vegas Expo will be held January 28 through 30 at Bally’s Hotel and Casino, in Las Vegas, with over 300 vendor booths representing between 500 to 600 independent glass artists as well as leading wholesale vendors. The show provides attending retailers with the opportunity to buy quality glass and also to experience live music and painting, live flameworking demos by an all-star roster, the Millie Meet Up, the Boro Derby, and the World Series of Glass.

After establishing the successful Glass Craft and Bead Expo 25 years ago, Lee Anne wanted to repeat her trade show success in the functional glass world by creating a trade show that would help artists solve current challenges. She says: “It was important to us from the beginning to support and promote independent artists who are taking a real hit from imported glass. Glass Vegas gives potential buyers an opportunity to see handmade functional glass first hand. We showcase the biggest names in glassblowing as well as the hottest up-and-coming artists. Retail buyers can get amazing deals while making connections with the artists face to face and growing their businesses.”

LeeAnne and Amy run Glass Vegas as a one-of-a-kind, industry only trade show for high-end functional art that feels more like a family reunion. In this conversation, they discuss the history of the show, last year’s World Series of Glass and Retailer of the Year winners, and what to expect this January 2020 at Glass Vegas.



Dec 6, 2019

David Patchen: Satisfying the Artist and Craftsman Within

Like a beautiful sea creature, David Patchen’s sculpture makes one marvel at how such detail, color, and complexity could be possible within its graceful form. Influenced by textiles, ethnically distinct colors and shapes, and the marine environment, the artist creates multi-layered cane and murrine, then contrasts complimentary tertiary tones in complex woven patterns. The resulting work reflects the artist’s desire to explore a variety of ideas simultaneously and challenges the role of glass in the art world at large.

Patchen says: “I find glass as seductive as it is challenging. As a particularly unforgiving medium, an artist has endless creative opportunities to design for its unique properties — the only limitations are their imagination and skill in working with the material. I’ve always been captivated by how one can use this enigmatic material to achieve virtually any form, hold elements in suspension, and achieve great detail or soft abstraction. Its flexibility as a medium is matched by the difficulty it presents in using it to execute precise work.”

Patchen’s process begins with meticulously planning and designing colors and patterns. After cane and murrine is pulled, the artist carefully composes these elements to design the final work, sometimes days prior to blowing it. This process of thoughtful creativity contrasts with the immediacy of executing work in the hotshop, where the limited window to shape molten glass demands precision and urgency. 

Primarily self-taught, Patchen grew his skills through experimentation informed by observing talented local artists and a few visits with Afro Celotto, maestro and former assistant to Lino Tagliapietra from Murano, Italy. He has served as guest artist at the Corning Museum of Glass, studied at the Pilchuck Glass School, and in 2010 was selected as Artist in Residence in Seto City, Japan, spending a month lecturing and demonstrating his work through an award from the Seto City Art and Cultural Foundation. His book David Patchen, Glass is in the permanent collection of the Rakow Library at the Corning Museum of Glass and the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Centro Studi del Vetro (Glass Study Center Library) in Venice, Italy.

Actively involved in the glass arts community, Patchen serves as Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Directors at Public Glass, San Francisco’s center for glass art, where he maintains a private studio. He is also a member of the Pilchuck Leadership Council and former member of the Board of Directors of the Glass Alliance of Northern California (GLANC). 

Patchen recently installed his latest sculpture, Dewdrops, on a ship off the coast of Germany. Other notable projects include collaborations with James Deveraux, Rob Stern, and earlier with Toland Sand and Mark Leputa. From January 16 – 18, 2020, the artist will present a Visiting Artist demo and show at Benzaiten Center for the Arts, Lake Worth, Florida. From May 16 – 17, Kittrell Riffkind Art Glass, Dallas, Texas, will host Patchen’s solo show and demo. 



Nov 28, 2019

10 Moments …

And Other Sculptural Works by Andrew Certo


On September 23, 2019, Andrew Certo won the Bern Gallery’s prestigious Pipe Classic. Twelve artists worked for 12 hours, and Certo emerged victorious with his representation of a marble falling into water represented 10 times chronologically. Visually striking, his piece titled 10 Moments includes a sherlock, rig, spoon, and chillum on a sheet glass base.


Certo says: “For me this piece is about a small event creating something big and how quickly things escalate. Thanks to Pipe Classic for putting together a killer event, to GTT for their generosity, and to all of the other competitors for pushing me to work my ass off to try to bring this idea to life. I’m excited to share this sculpture-rich work and the next ideas.”


A thriving pipe maker based out of Denver, Colorado, Certo’s interest in using glass as a medium began in 2007 at the Pittsburgh Glass Center and continued at Tyler School of Art, where he earned his BFA. The artist credits art school education with his more open and experimental approach.


The result of doing what he loves and trusting the process, Certo’s designs are inspired by motion, beginning in 2014 with his signature Spray Bottle rigs and evolving into his Butane Torch pipes. It took four years for the artist to develop and hone his unique patterning technique used in the creation of seamless bands of hexagonal or rectangular color.


Though pipes are Certo’s mainstay, in 2017 he created a groundbreaking sculpture, a wall piece featuring a bubble of water being shot by a bullet. Working with The Junkyard Co. in California to produce wooden components, the artist endeavors to further explore sculptural work.


Currently in an incubation period of developing new ideas and forms, Certo will exhibit his work and collaborate with Chris Ahalt at Piece of Mind, in Newport Beach, California, on December 14, 2019. The show includes all new work, collabs, and a live demo. VIP 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., public 7 p.m. to midnight. VIP on sale now. Anticipation builds to see what these two prolific artists create in concert as well as their solo work.


In March 2020, Certo Glass exhibits in a group show focused on pattern with 2stroke, Disk and Takao at Stoked Connecticut, Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Nov 22, 2019

Amber Cowan’s Horror Vacui 


In Amber Cowan’s cornucopia of magical flameworked objects, each individual ornament in concert with its neighbor creates a sculpture so lavish, so elaborate, it exudes the air of a precious Victorian relic. Her visual feast speaks its truth through an abundance of decoration. The fact that the work is made from repurposed glass is only considered after the viewer recovers from the enchantment of excess.


On November 13, 2014, The Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG) awarded Cowan its 29th Rakow Commission, a program that provides $25,000 to encourage glass artists to explore new work without concern for financial limits. The award is presented to an artist not yet represented in the museum’s collection and selected by the curator of modern glass, at that time Tina Oldknow. Cowan’s Garden of the Forgotten and Extinct is now part of CMOG’s permanent collection.


Said Oldknow: “Amber takes this ubiquitous commercial glass and gives it a new, cool life, transforming it by destroying it and re-forming it into beautiful and evocatively retro sculptures. For me, Amber was a perfect candidate for the Rakow Commission. I have sometimes picked artists whose work is clearly contemporary, but who also help us understand different aspects of the history of glass. For this purpose, I am not looking for work that replicates earlier styles, but rather work that interprets or contextualizes them in new ways. Amber’s work also addresses contemporary concerns about object making, and I appreciate her fresh take on the potential of what she describes as recycled, up- cycled, and second life glass.”


Cowan’s work is made from found American pressed milk glass, also known as opaque glass, made between the 1940s and the 2000s. The artist collects long forgotten objects such as candy dishes, teacups, and plates from thrift shops, flea markets, and even eBay, and re-forms them into beautiful and evocative sculptures. The discarded glass, which she notes has been “abandoned to the dust bins of American design,” is turned into tiny leaves, fruit, swans, roses, and abstract spirals, bits, and spikes.


A Philadelphia, Pennsylvania–based artist, Cowan is also a faculty member of the glass department at Tyler School of Art and Architecture. In 2018, she was selected as Artist Honoree at The Urban Glass Gala, served as resident artist at The Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, and lectured at The Glass Art Society Conference, Murano, Italy. Represented by Heller Gallery, Cowan unveiled new work in a solo exhibition titled Salacia in May 2019.  


Currently, Cowan is converting an old deli into a new studio and living space while finishing a new piece to be exhibited with Heller Gallery at Art Miami, December 4 through 9, 2019. A Burke Prize finalist, two of her pieces are on view at The Museum of Arts and Design in NYC through April 2020.






Nov 15, 2019

Jeffrey Stenbom: Coping with PTSD, Connecting with Other Veterans through Kilnformed Glass


In the aftermath of 9/11, Jeffrey Stenbom felt compelled to act and joined the U.S. Army. Stationed in Germany, he was deployed to Kosovo and sent to Iraq for the second year of the war. As a cavalry scout, forward reconnaissance or “finding the bad guys” became his daily routine for the next three and a half years during the height of the conflict.

There were crises on the home front as well. While serving in Iraq, Stenbom missed both the birth of his first son and the death of his sister and only sibling. A combination of deployment and emotional upheaval triggered post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and Stenbom was discharged from the Army and returned stateside in January 2004.

Back home, Stenbom tried to make a new life for himself as he struggled with anger issues caused by his PTSD. By chance, he discovered kilnforming glass in a class offered at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota, where he was pursuing the last class required for his associate of arts degree.

The passion, drive and focus inspired by fusing helped Stenbom manage his PTSD. It also helped him recognize that he wanted to build a future incorporating both art and teaching. The artist earned his BFA in glass and sculpture and a complementary BS in art education from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. A desire to teach at all levels inspired Stenbom to apply to graduate school at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Stenbom’s thesis show at Tulane, entitled Thank You, included four large installation pieces that came together as an exhibit. The show included large, clear, cast glass dog tags suspended from an acrylic chain with a blown glass clasp. Kiln cast glass combat boots were reflected in a cube of one-way mirrors atop a ground of discarded brass rifle shells. There was also an interactive glass ground with imprints of army boots over which visitors could fit their own steps and a flag woven of U.S. military uniforms.

“The concept behind the exhibit developed from a research fellowship on symbolism and iconology. My goal was to be more effective in how I communicate symbolically with my own art. I then considered symbols that are iconic within the culture of the military and decided to use those things to draw the viewer in to consider the piece overall.”

The largest piece Stenbom has created to date includes 7,300 cast glass dog tags and was installed on a wall of the Bellevue Museum, Bellevue, Washington. Titled Every Year, the piece is a startling representation of the number of veterans who commit suicide each year.


Powerful symbolism and iconology define Stenbom’s current work in glass. Residencies at The Studio at The Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls have provided fertile ground to advance his ideas. Now instructing, in 2020 the artist will teach kilncasting at Urban Glass, Brooklyn, New York, and 3D design as well as fused glass at Normandale Community College. His work will be exhibited in A New State of Matter: Contemporary Glass, at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI, beginning on January 25, 2020.


Watch “Jeffrey Stenbom, “Every Year” Installation Time-lapse” on Vimeo:

Nov 8, 2019

Carmen Lozar: The Art of the Story


Spilling out from their bottles, bowls, cartons and cans, Carmen Lozar’s flameworked characters tell a story about how messy life can be. These small narratives accentuate the movement and flow of glass but also speak volumes about our relationship to the world.


 “I have found myself drawn to glass for the innate sense of motion it can bring to a work of art. While the intrinsic motion of most materials becomes paralyzed at the touch of the human hand, glass, as an amorphous solid, never relinquishes its visual motility. I have chosen to pursue a career in glass sculpture not only for my love of the material, but also because there is so much left to be explored within the field of flameworking and the medium itself.”


Art has always played an essential role in Lozar’s life, growing up with a mother who performed puppet shows and a father who created scale ship models and watercolor renditions of the ramshackle barns on the outskirts of town. During undergraduate studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Lozar interned at the Bullseye Glass Factory in Portland, Oregon, and attended Pilchuck Glass School as a Saxe award recipient and staff member. Upon completion of her BFA, the young artist travelled to China, Indonesia, Thailand, and India to explore eastern traditional art. Back in the US, she moved to the Southwest and opened a casting and flameworking facility in Tucson, Arizona. Work from this period was exhibited in numerous shows, including SOFA, Chicago. In 2003 Lozar completed her post-graduate degree at Alfred University, New York.


Born in 1975, Lozar lives in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois where she maintains a studio and is a member of the art faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University. She has taught at Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Craft, Pittsburgh Glass School, Appalachian Center for Crafts, The Chrysler Museum, and the Glass Furnace in Istanbul, Turkey. She has had residencies at the Corning Museum of Glass and Penland School of Craft. Although she travels abroad to teach and share her love for glass – most recently to Turkey, Italy, and New Zealand – she always returns to her Midwestern roots.

“The sculpture I create with glass is meant to inspire and provoke imagination. Telling stories has always been my primary objective. Some narratives are sad, funny, or thoughtful but my pieces are always about celebrating life. My most current body of work deals with spills.”


In summer 2019, Lozar taught her Small Scale, Large Impact Masterclass at the Seventh International Festival of Glass, Stourbridge UK, as well as flameworking classes at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Penland School of Crafts, and UrbanGlass in Brooklyn, New York. In 2020, Lozar will teach flameworking at SW Art Glass, in Phoenix, AZ, January 4-5 and Pilchuck Summer Session 3.


Lozar is represented by the Ken Saunders Gallery in Chicago, and her work is included in the permanent collection at Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass, Neenah, Wisconsin.


Oct 25, 2019

Alex Bernstein: Time, Creation and Transformation


If we were to examine a cross-section of an ancient iceberg, no doubt the layers and various densities and opacities of color would be beautiful, but they would also signify something greater than ourselves. Such is the case with Alex Gabriel Bernstein’s sculpture. The forms and the techniques he uses to create them, mirror processes in nature such as oxidation, erosion, growth and decay, inspiring in the viewer a profound contemplation of time, creation and transformation.


In his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina, Bernstein purchased what was a dark and dingy pool hall called Sharkey’s and worked with a local architect to design a bright and open space for creativity. As the French Broad River flows by, the artist casts glass in layers of transparent color which intermingle with ambient light to evoke images of flowing water, ice crystals, mountain peaks and jagged canyons – all structures that seem solid and unyielding, but are actually in constant flux.


Unwittingly, fortuitously, Bernstein discovered a method of applying metal to glass, and began using it as a jagged, impenetrable crust for his glass castings. Though others have openly copied these techniques - resulting in a new verb, “bernstein-ing” - none will achieve the depth or emotions unique to Bernstein’s sculpture.


As the child of two established glass artists, William and Katherine Bernstein, Alex grew up in a creative environment with access to many of the artists of the American Studio Glass movement. The beautiful surroundings of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Western North Carolina where they lived, played almost as much a part in his inspired upbringing as did the breadth of teachers around him.


After studying psychology at the University of North Carolina in Asheville and working at a children’s psychiatric hospital, Bernstein made the decision to pursue his artistic endeavors full time. He received an MFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Crafts and went on to teach at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Penland School of Crafts, and The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass. Twelve years ago, Bernstein was the Department Head of Glass at the Worcester Center for Crafts in Massachusetts, but made the decision to return to his hometown in 2007 to set up a studio and focus on creating his own work full-time. He is currently on the board of the Asheville Art Museum as well as the North Carolina Glass Center. 


Bernstein has recently mounted solo shows at George Billis Gallery, New York City; Hooks Epstein Gallery in Houston; Habatat Gallery in Royal Oak, MI; and the William Traver Gallery, Seattle. His work is included in numerous collections, including those of the Corning Museum of Glass, the Glasmuseum Frauenau in Germany, the Mellon Financial Corporation, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and the Palm Springs Art Museum.


Upcoming Bernstein exhibitions and events include Habatat Prime Chicago, a pop-up gallery located three miles from Navy Pier and open during Sofa Chicago. The 7500-square-foot space offers an incredible collection of the finest in contemporary glass, including Bernstein’s newest work. Winterowd Fine Art, a contemporary art gallery located on historic Canyon Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is gearing up for Bernstein’s solo exhibition in 2020. In January 2020, Bernstein’s work will be exhibited at a collectors weekend held at Lahaina Gallery in Maui, Hawaii.



Oct 18, 2019

Receive This Glass

                                                                                  "Receive this glass
                                                                                   it holds my memories
                                                                                   crafted blossoms
                                                                                   in stillness
                                                                                   to be pollinated
                                                                                   by your sight
                                                                                   your touch through time." 
                                                                                                                                                                                                            - Paul J. Stankard



There are few works of art in any medium that are so beautiful, so transcendent that the viewer is transported inside the piece and into the soul of its creator. Such is the case with the paperweights and botanicals created by internationally acclaimed artist and pioneer in the studio glass movement, Paul Stankard. By blending mysticism with magical realism, his work references the continuum of nature and allows us to celebrate on an intimate level her primal beauty. 


Considered a living master in the art of the paperweight, Stankard’s work is represented in more than 75 museums around the world. Over his 40-year artistic journey, he has received two honorary doctorate degrees, an honorary associate's degree, and many awards within the glass community, most recently the Masters of the Medium Award from Smithsonian's The James Renwick Alliance and the Glass Art Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a Fellow of the American Craft Council and a recipient of the UrbanGlass Award—Innovation in a Glassworking Technique.


In 1961, Stankard enrolled in Salem County Vocational Technical Institute’s Scientific Glassblowing program (now Salem Community College). During his subsequent 10-year scientific glassblowing career, fabricating complex instruments was his focus. As head of the glass department at Rohn & Haas in Philadelphia, the artist began experimenting with floral paperweights as a hobby. The work was eventually noticed by art dealer Reese Palley at a craft expo in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and in 1972, Stankard abandoned industry for art.


Stankard says: “Every artist’s transition from detail to delicacy will follow a different path. In my case, my techniques evolved from working as a scientific glassblowing technologist producing custom precision instruments used for medical and organic chemistry research. This gave me a platform from which to interpret nature in a personal way. From the get-go, I was able to employ a detail-oriented precision that was borrowed from my work in industry.” 


He continues: “Art-making is as varied as there are artists working. You take advantage of the skill-set you know, and you make it personal. You go beyond the practical, and you go beyond making product. You learn from your process and build on your personal vocabulary, fusing your detail into the realm of delicacy.”


Stankard’s role as educator includes establishing the flameworking studio at Penland School of Craft, Spruce Pine, North Carolina, and serving as a founding board member and President of The Creative Glass Center of America, Millville, New Jersey. The artist taught students in the US at Penland; the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York; Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, Washington; and abroad at Kanaz Forest of Creation Japan with Hiroshi Yamano as well as at North Lands Creative, in the Scottish Highlands. He remains an Artist-in-Residence and Honorary Professor at Salem Community College, where he founded the International Flameworking Conference.


Now dividing his time between flameworking and writing, Stankard is the author of three books; an autobiography No Green Berries or Leaves: The Creative Journey of an Artist in Glass, an educational resource Spark the Creative Flame: Making the Journey from Craft to Art; and most recently Studio Craft as Career: A Guide to Achieving Excellence in Art-making. His love of Walt Whitman poetry continues.


Stankard’s work will be exhibited at Habatat Prime Chicago, a pop-up gallery located three miles from Navy Pier, as part of Sofa Chicago, October 31 through November 3. The 7,500-square-foot space offers an incredible collection of the finest in contemporary glass, including Stankard’s newest work. For more information, visit Also, the Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts in Dania Beach, South Florida, will exhibit the Wiener collection of Stankard’s work in its The Art of the Flame exhibition. The exhibition preview weekend will be held November 9 and 10, and the show will run through April 30, 2020. Learn more at 



Oct 11, 2019

Mutant: Narcissus Quagliata’s New Book of Poetry and Sketches


“Divested of the illusion that art matters, divested of the illusion that it is meaningful and worthwhile to have a successful life as an artist, the irrational love for the creative process itself is all that I have left. It all boils down to my addiction to entering over and over in the magical moment and mysterious space when an idea forms inside of you and becomes itself by traveling from the dark cave of my soul to the outside reality, be it a huge glass dome or a small watercolor.”

Narcissus Quagliata,



October 2019 marks the release of Narcissus Quagliata’s fourth book, Mutant, a collection of poetry and sketches created from 1968 to 2018 and inspired by the life and times of this internationally acclaimed artist. The book intimately explores the relationship between dreams, words and images on 216 pages with 13 full-color photographs of Quagliata's glass and watercolor work.


Born and raised in Rome, Quagliata later lived in San Francisco for 30 years where he began his journey of redefining stained glass as an artistic medium. He made a name for himself by addressing subjects and issues in his glass that were typically handled by painters. Reversely, his work in glass made him an outlier in the world of painting. Still, the artist managed to cultivate a successful career without ever definitively fitting in anywhere.


With the introduction of new technologies in glass fusing, Quagliata set about reinventing the glass panel as a painting, spontaneous and free. He developed new attitudes and methods to rethink what could be done with glass using the kiln. Through his Painting with Light techniques, the artist pioneered a second area of the glass arts.


In both stained and fused glass, Quagliata devoted 50 years to the exploration of the human figure as a gateway to the strangeness of life in an incomprehensible universe. His work has been exhibited in museum collections worldwide including the Metropolitan Museum, New York City; De Young Museum, San Francisco, California; Museum of Light, Mexico City, Mexico; Museum of Glass San Ildefonso, Segovia, Spain; and many more.


Major public works by Quagliata include Wind, Fire and Time, a 6700- square-foot, public commissioned, fused and stained glass dome in the Central Station of Taiwan’s metro system in Kaohsiung, Taiwan (2008); Divinity in Light, a dome of glass over the entry Rotunda of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Rome, Italy (1999); Return to the Cosmos, a 360-square-foot backlit glass mural in an office tower lobby at Reforma 115, Mexico City, Mexico, (2004); and most recently The Resurrection Window in Leawood Kansas, a 3440-square-foot fused glass window designed by Tim Carey and created in collaboration with Judson Studios (2017). Quagliata has twice received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts for his work in the U.S.


At 76, Quagliata continues to be much in demand professionally, dividing time between his studio in Mexico City, Mexico, and an ongoing residency at Judson Studios, Los Angeles, California, in his role as Director of Innovation. At Judson, Quagliata works to further develop the studio’s fusing capabilities while also helping to guide its artist development program, introducing artists in other mediums to stained and fused glass and successfully executing their concepts in glass.


This fall, Quagliata will present lectures at Bullseye Glass Co. in the Bay Area on October 11, and Bullseye in Portland, Oregon, on November 1. Sponsored by D&L Art Glass Supply in Denver, Colorado, Quagliata will also lecture at the Lakewood Cultural Center, Lakewood, Colorado, on October 23, and present a workshop at D&L Art Glass Supply in Denver on October 24.





Bullseye Glass Co. Bay Area, Lecture, October 11, 2019


Bullseye Glass Co., Portland, Oregon, Lecture, November 1, 2019


D&L Art Glass Supply, Lakewood, Colorado, Lecture, October 23, 2019


D&L Art Glass Supply, Lakewood, Colorado, Workshop, October 24, 2019





Mutant, and Quagliata’s previous book, Archetypes and Visions in Light & Glass, are available at or order by phone (303) 449- 8737. Both titles will be available for purchase at the October 23 lecture in Lakewood, Colorado. Have your copy signed by the author!






Sep 27, 2019

“An authentic art survives stylistic evolutions over time to become a benchmark of art history. In this regard, I believe historians will judge Scott Parsons’ work as being authentic, original, and (most importantly) a contribution to the historical trajectory of stained glass in architecture.” Kenneth von Roenn

 Scott Parsons: Sacramental Imagination

Applying his graphic arts talent to the world of stained glass, Scott Parsons designed 26 stained glass windows created in three series for Our Lady of Loreto Parish in Foxfield, Colorado. Fabricated by Derix Glasstudio, Taunusstein, Gemany, these windows redefined the roles of both the artisans making the work as well as the new technologies and materials used in their creation. Through imagery not from stained glass tradition but rather a contemporary sensitivity and visual language common to our time, Parsons expresses what he calls sacramental imagination - a dimension beyond our perceived reality.

 “I am inspired by the idea of place, of defining a space with a sensitivity that can transform, celebrate, and engage the redemptive qualities of metaphor for the profoundly personal and communal in people’s lives.”

An international award-winning artist, Parsons earned his MFA in Studio Art, magna cum laude, from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 1990. In addition to teaching printmaking and drawing as a professor of art at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, he has completed numerous public art commissions across the United States and Canada. His work, which has been reviewed in Architectural Record, Sculpture, Art in America, Stained Glass Quarterly, Public Art Review, and Faith & Form, includes Percent for Art and private commissions for churches, museums, research facilities, university buildings and transportation centers.

Parsons has received five Faith & Form Awards for Liturgical Art and three CoD+A (Collaboration of Design and Art) Top 100 Projects Awards.In 2002, his terrazzo floor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, titled Algorithmic Tapestry, was recognized by Art in America as one of the most significant works of public art in the United States. In 2014, Parsons received two Honor Awards in Religious Arts: Visual Arts from the Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art, and Architecture (IFRAA) for his Our Lady of Loreto windows. The artist has also received multiple National Terrazzo and Mosaic Association Honor Awards for his designs in those mediums. 

After serving on the Faith & Form jury this summer in Charlotte, North Carolina, Parsons currently is at work on new windows for La Casa, in Paradise Valley, Arizona, which will be installed next month. His list of upcoming commissions includes 15 Stations of the Cross mosaic panels for Saint Michaels in Sioux Falls, South Dakota; glass designs for a church in Kentucky; mosaics for a church in Missouri; and terrazzo for the airports in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


Sep 20, 2019

At first glance, the work of Evelyn Gottschall Baker could have been unearthed in an archeological dig outside of Buena Vista, Colorado, where the artist lives and works from her studio, Glass Fractions. But a closer look will reveal these perfectly colored and shaped skeletal remains are actually pâte de verreglass castings. Using her unique mold-free process, Gottschall Baker is putting her work on the map at events such as Bullseye Glass Co.’s 2018 Emerge/Evolve competition and exhibition.


On view now at the Belleview Art Museum, Belleview, Washington, Gottschall Baker’s series of animal bone replicas garnered her an Honorable Mention in Emerge/ Evolve 2018. The artist spent over a year developing her own technique for sculpting glass paste into forms that can be fired without a mold. Her experience and discipline as a test engineer proved invaluable in the methodical, detailed testing required to create the complex firing schedules for this kilnworking method, which must account for shrinkage, varying thicknesses, and the way in which heat affects individual components.


Beginning her career as a graphic artist and illustrator, Gottschall Baker eventually became an advertising manager and senior illustrator for the Department of the Army, for whom she created highly detailed, exacting paintings and drawings. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree, she became a test engineer for a large U.S. defense contractor. During this time, Gottschall Baker studied watercolor and oil painting, and took classes in stained glass, which allowed her to pursue a part-time career as a stained glass artist.


Gottschall Baker enrolled in her first fused glass class in 2011, primarily to create components to incorporate into stained glass pieces. But her interest in fused glass grew into a passion, which was eagerly pursued through a number of classes, many of which were offered by D&L Art Glass in Denver.


 “Living in Colorado,” says Gottschall Baker, “I find it natural to try to capture the beauty of our local landscape into works of art using glass. My initial desire to simplify my style was well suited for stained glass, but as soon as I discovered glass fusing, I began re-introducing detail and realism into my art. During the several past years, I have embraced this realistic style, and have begun to use both traditional and non-traditional casting and mold techniques to create sculptures that depict the beauty around me.”

In 2018, Gottschall Baker began teaching her techniques in workshops in various studios throughout the US, Canada, and Scotland. She’ll be teaching at Bullseye in Portland at the end of March 2020 and at Bullseye in Santa Fe in November 2020.



Sep 12, 2019

Eusheen Goines: The Fillacello King


Born in a small village known as Takima, Oregon, Eusheen Goines comes from a family of artists and musicians. At a young age, he learned to live off of creating art and travelling like a nomad. By the age of 18, this lifestyle took the artist on solo journey working for Renaissance Fairs throughout the country.


In 2000 Goines discovered flameworking glass while working at a smoke shop and began spending the majority of his free time behind the torch. For years, he worked with the some of the best artists in functional glass including Mike Luna and Darby Holm. Now residing in Evergreen, Colorado, Goines is a part of the Everdream Studio.


With a free-flowing style Goines creates functional art pieces that can be instantly recognized as his by their intricate, controlled detail and color. His aesthetic signature, the fillacello, is created much the same as reticello but is painstakingly laid out on tubing then filled with color before it is condensed. One would be hard pressed to find better examples of line work manipulation than that of Goines.


In addition to flameworking glass, Goines spends his time “skateboarding, snowboarding, traveling, rocking shows, and relaxing with friends and family. Everything you see in my portfolio,” he says,  “is a direct influence from my Mom (Libby Goines) and Dad (Patrick Farley), my brother (Shen Goines),Warren and Wanda Goines (my grandparents), Gilbert Velasco, Darby Holm, Banjo Matt, Natey Biskind, Mike Luna, Chaz Pyle, Micah Blatt, Clinton Roman, Cowboy, Jarred Betty, The Dome School, and many many others.”


In 2006, Goines discovered the joy of teaching and began sharing his techniques in Japan and the U.S., including the Corning Museum of Glass, where he will teach a workshop in January 2020. The artist has now demonstrated worldwide in Australia, Japan, Germany, Costa Rica, and the U.S.


This Saturday, September 14, 2019, Goines and his fellow Everdream artists will be exhibiting work at HEATERZ 90210, a private high-class soiree in the heart of Beverly Hillz, featuring all new artwork and experiences curated by the collective.


For more information, stay tuned to the Everdream Instagram accounts:


Everdream Studio

AdamG @sweaterkingpin
N8 Miers @nathan_miers
WJC @wjcglass
Eusheen @eusheen
Elbo @elboglass
JoeP @joepglass
#Lazercat ⛰






Aug 30, 2019

Geometry and the projection of light have always been key components of Debora Coombs’ artwork. In 2013 she began exploring mathematical projections as a way to understand shifts between dimensions of space. Working from Penrose tiling (a two-dimensional shadowof a five-dimensional lattice), 3D sculptures in glass and paper were built using her classic design skills to explore various aspects of mathematics.

A number of high-profile residencies have allowed Coombs to explore these new concepts. In the spring of 2016, she did a month-long collaborative residency with computer scientist Duane Bailey, and in October, a 2-week residency at Assets for Artists: The Studiosat MASS MoCAat the Massachusetts Museum for Contemporary Art, North Adams, Massachusetts.

In 2017, a 3-week residency at Carroll College, Helena, Montana, allowed the artist to focus on the theological symbolism of geometry, which resulted in a commission for 85 square feet of hand painted geometric stained glass windows for All Saints, the new chapel on campus. That same year, Coombs spent a month at Jentel Artist Residencyin Banner, Wyoming, making a series of math-based drawings that led to the discovery of a new geometric figure.

In February 2018, Coombs was invited by artist Lauren Bon of the Metabolic Studiosin Los Angeles, California, to spend two weeks collaborating and contributing to a landscape project for redirecting LA’s river water for the irrigation of city parks. In April, she presented this and other recent work at the 13th Biennial Gathering for Gardnerin Atlanta, Georgia, an international conference for mathematicians and artists. Then in May 2018, longtime New Yorker staff-writer Lawrence Weschler invited Coombs to speak at the Tamarind Institutein Albuquerque, New Mexico, as part of his Wonder Cabinet, a gathering of artists who work in close association with scientists.

Coombs’ award-winning stained glass has been exhibited, commissioned and collected internationally for over 30 years. A Fellow of the British Society of Master Glass Painters, the artist studied stained glass at Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland; University of Wales, Swansea; and received her Master’s degree from the Royal College of Art in London, England, 1985. An experienced educator, Coombs directed the glass department at Chelsea College of Art in London from 1994 to 1996. She has lectured and taught stained glass for professional associations and colleges including Pilchuck Glass School, Stained Glass Association of America, American Glass Guild, and the British Society of Master Glass Painters. Her religious commissions include two 25-foot-tall figurative windows for Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan, 20 stained glass windows for St. Mary’s Cathedral in Portland, Oregon, and 4 windows for St. Henry’s Catholic Church in Nashville, Tennessee.


Rare in the stained glass world, Coombs has successfully extended her devotion to content and story-telling to her non-commissioned work. Her piece, “Ornithologist,” from her 2009 Menfolk series, was included in New Glass Review 31, The Corning Museum of Glass publication dedicated to presenting cutting edge works of glass art. Her solo exhibition titled Menfolk, opened at the Jeanetta Cochrane Theater Gallery in London, England, before traveling to the Stained Glass Museum at Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire, England, in the spring of 2010. That same year, Coombs completed a collaborative work with artist Michael Oatman as part of his mixed-media installation “All Utopias Fell,” which remains permanently on exhibit at MASS MoCA.

In June 2018 Coombs ran a hands-on pilot project for children and community members at the J Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, and contributed to a panel discussion chaired by Margaret Wertheim from the Institute For Figuring about the connections between art and mathematics. The focus of this one-day conference was STEM to STEAM; practical ways to bring the A for Art into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs in education.

In November 2018, Coombs completed two stained glass windows with geometric themes for Carroll College, Helena, Montana. Work continues on three more windows, scheduled for completion in February 2021. The artist’s sculptures are currently on exhibition at the Schow Science Library in Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts.



Aug 23, 2019


Jane Bruce is an independent artist and educator based in New York City. She teaches and exhibits internationally and her dual careers of artist and maker have taken her around the world, from Europe to the USA, to Australia and back again. Bruce works in a range of techniques to create objects and mini installations, primarily through the processes of kiln forming, blowing and coldworking glass.


Born in England, Bruce received a Master of Arts from the Royal College of Art, London, and undertook further postgraduate study at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred. She has been the recipient of a range of fellowships, visiting artist awards and grants, including fellowships from the Creative Glass Center of America and the New York Foundation for the Arts; artist-in-residence at The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass, visiting artist at Museum of Glass, Tacoma, and a New Work Grant from the Australia Council. Exhibiting internationally, her work can be found in many major museum collections worldwide, including those of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; European Museum of Modern Glass (Europaisches Museum fur Modernes Glas, Kunstsammlunger der Veste Coburg) Germany; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Corning Museum of Glass, New York; Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio; and The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia.


As an educator, Bruce served as senior lecturer in the Glass Workshop of  the Australian National University Canberra School of Art (1994 - 2001) and was Head of Workshop (2001-2003). She was artistic and technical director for Northlands Creative Glass, Caithness, Scotland (2003-2007) and continues to organize annual symposiums there for British and international artists and students. She has also taught workshops in the US at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn, New York, Bullseye Glass Co., in Portland, Oregon, and Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, Washington.


Bruce’s Vase, Bottle, Bowl series furthered the artist’s exploration of the vessel, which is deeply rooted in the history of the decorative or applied arts. Interested in the essential object, she reduces the vessel to its central and fundamental parts and attributes. She says: “If I were to pick an adjective to describe this work, it might be formal. As well as abstracting the vessel and presenting its elemental nature, it is also important as to how composition, color, light, proportion, and the juxtaposition of positive and negative space work within the object, and how a group of objects form a resolved statement.”


On the other hand, Bruce’s Houseseries explored a more personal concern related to landscape and loss in a particular place. In what became known as The Clearances, (1760-1830), the Highlands of Scotland were emptied and became a wilderness. Even today, with many ruined crofts still dotting the Caithness landscape, there continues to be a strong sense of loss and desolation in that place. “Inspired by this history and what remains, the current house forms seek to evoke thoughts of loss, the past and what might have been.”


Bruce is working on two related series currently categorized as Indefinite Objectsand Deep Space Panels, both addressing deep and never-ending space. As the viewer moves around the works they seem to change and reconfigure as the viewer’s viewpoint changes. These new series will be on view in an exhibition titled Constructs: The Thing About Space Is That It Just Keeps Going, at River House Arts, Toledo, Ohio, from October 4 – November 16, 2019. Although these new works contain very little glass, and the Deep Space panels contain none at all, they are about space and light, which Bruce considers to be inherent qualities of glass.


From November 5 through December 10, 2019, Bruce will teach her workshop, Color, Light, Glass: An Introduction to Kilnformed Glass at UrbanGlass. In June 2020, the artist will travel to North Lands Creative Glass for an international artist symposium that will look at issues of home and place and which she founded and has coordinated since 2010.




Aug 15, 2019

Whether a chameleon, a crested kingfisher or a Cristo Rhinoceros hornbill, Devin Somerville’s high-end art pipes begin with custom millies that are stacked and assembled into mind-blowing and unforgettable creatures. Also known as Crunklestein, the artist’s take on the ancient Italian technique of millefiore has become his aesthetic signature. Once a process amongst many used by Crunklestein, when friends, fans, and fellow artists came face to face with his colorful, ornate millie pipes, the artist was encouraged to make all of his work using the chip stack technique he developed.


Somerville,aka Cap’n Crunk Glass, resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and produces a variety of dab rig styles, specializing in the mini or tiny tube design. His small dab rigs usually include mini encased millies throughout the neck and body of the piece, while his full sized incredibly detailed and realistic sculpted oil rigs showcase his unlimited range of talent and creativity. 

Blowing glass since before the year 2000, Crunklestein currently creates the largest work of his career for an exhibition and workshop to be presented at Level 42 Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina. On Friday, August 16, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Somerville will teach his millie making techniques, and on Saturday, August 18, his stacking and sculpting processes. Later Saturday evening, an exhibition of new Crunklestein functional glass and collabs opens at Level 42 Gallery.

Amongst other career highlights, Somerville is the only two-time champion of The Bern Gallery’s Pipe Classic, held in Burlington, Vermont, each of the last 14 years.The Pipe Classic is the world’s first and longest running pipe-making competition, bringing together 12 of the world’s most prolific pipe-makers for an annual event that forever changed competitive pipe-making as we know it. Names are made, heroes are born, and champions are crowned. This year’s field features three past champions, and a who’s-who of the medium’s masters. Twelve artists, 12 hours, 12 pipes, one champion! Be there at Pipe Classic 14, held September 23 – 29, 2019.



Aug 3, 2019

The Permission of the Mind

Howard Ben Tré

Using methods learned in his metal-foundry class at Brooklyn Technical High School, Howard Ben Tré pioneered the art of casting molten glass long before YouTube tutorials and Facebook casting groups existed. His hands-on technical innovations changed what was possible in cast glass and allowed Ben Tré to create career defining monumental sculptures that could survive the rigors of outdoor installation.

Among Ben Tré’s public commissions are the award-winning installation of fountains and seating created for Post Office Square Park in Boston; the plaza and sculpture for BankBoston’s headquarters in downtown Providence; an interactive fountain for the hall of the renovated Mary Baker Eddy Library in Boston; the pedestrianization and street scheme redesign of Warrington Town Center in England; and plazas with sculpture/fountains and landscaping for Target Corporation Headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Whether casting glass for public spaces or personal series, Ben Tré found inspiration in the geometry of ancient ritual objects and historical architecture. His Wrapped Forms (1998 - 2000) evoke the relics and customs of Asian ritual while Lightness of Being (2008) juxtaposes fragility and strength, masculine and feminine. As light is transmitted, diffused, and refracted through the dense glass mass, Ben Tré’s sculpture takes on a mysterious life of its own. Sections of the glass were treated with gold leaf either on the surface or by installing gold leaf covered lead bars within the glass matrix, adding to the magic.


Public and personal work plays off one another, sparking new ideas and forms. In fact, they emanate from the same source— Ben Tré’s desire to use art to bring people together in our collective humanity. Whether viewed in a public square or a private gallery, his cast glass returns us to the realm where utopian visions and social ideals don’t seem so foolish. Ben Tréreminds us that if we give our minds permission, anything is possible.  


Ben Tré’s work is included in numerous private collections in the US, Europe and Asiaand in more than 101 museum and public collections worldwide, among them the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Nice. He has been featured in 54 solo exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, including a ten-year retrospective organized by the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, that traveled nationally, and a retrospective exhibition at the Glass Art Museum in Toyama, Japan. Other one-person exhibitions of sculptures and drawings include those organized by the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain in Nice; the David Winton Bell Gallery at Brown University; the Toledo Museum of Art; and the Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1949, Ben Tré received a B.S.A. from Portland State University, Portland, Oregonin 1978 and a M.F.A from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1980. He is a three-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a three-time recipient of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship. His achievements in the visual arts were recognized by the First Annual Pell Awards for Excellence in the Arts (1996), the Artist Award of Distinction by the National Council of Art Administrators (2005), and the Aileen Osborn Webb Award (2006). His public art has been recognized with awards by the Providence Preservation Society for Urban Design (1998), the British Council for Shopping Centres for Town Centre Environment (2002), and the Royal Town Planning Institute for Best Urban Design Project (2002).

Currently 40 years of drawings, works on paper, lecture notes and a number of sculptures in the Ben Tre’ collection dating back to 1977 are being assembled and archived for research purposes.




Jul 26, 2019

Viewing the hot sculpted work of Prague’s Martin Janecký inspires a sensation akin to gazing upon precious and antique art treasures from around the globe. His glass busts in white or black glass remind us that the human form speaks volumes about beauty, history, hope and art in a way that no other object could.

Born in the Czech Republic in 1980, Janecký began working with glass at the age of 13 at his father’s factory. His secondary school training at Novy Bor concentrated on the creation of glass art and introduced him to artists and designers from around the world that hired him to execute their ideas. In 2003, the young artist made his first trip to the United States where he studied at the Pilchuck Glass School under Richard Royal and William Morris. Among Janecký’s most recognized strengths was his mastering of blowing and sculpting “inside the bubble,” the technique used in the creation of his startling original works.

Before long, Janecký became a highly sought teacher in his field. He has taught, demonstrated and exhibited in Europe, America, Australia, Africa and Asia, to include the Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School, Chrysler Museum of Art, UrbanGlass, the Rietveld Academy in Holland, Bornholm Design School in Denmark, the Australian National University in Canberra, and the Toyama City Institute of Glass Art in Japan, among many.

Following a 2013 visit to Mexico, Janecký embarked on an exploration of the human skull in a tribute to Dia de Muertos, an outgrowth of his passion for the culture and people of Mexico. He says: “The willingness of the Mexican people to share this occasion with an outsider like me, someone from a totally different environment, was a humbling experience that inspired me to want to create a body of work that honors and celebrates this amazing event. My plan was to recreate iconic examples of this culture in glass, which had never been done on this scale. I did so with humility and a huge respect for Mexico’s history and culture.”


Janecký’s homeland,The Czech Republic, is rightfully proud of its own globally recognized tradition of glassmaking. Writes Dr. Petr Nový, Head Curator, Museum of Glass Jablonec nad Nisou, Czech Republic:

“Martin Janecký’s expressive realism is somewhat alien to the Czech art scene, meaning it isn’t always met with a clear sense of comprehension. It is as if non-abstract works should primarily be viewed as handicraft instead of art. But in Janecký’s case, superb handicraft serves as a springboard for this unique artist to be able to capture emotions in his glass works. And such power is something we find only very rarely in the contemporary world of studio glass art. …

“Janecký has earned a rightful place among the greatest not just Czech, but also global, stars of the glass art scene. His original works are generating great enthusiasm among galleries and collectors, including from global celebrities. His successes are not just the result of talent, creativity, and artistic boldness, but chiefly a considerable amount of hard work. Expertise in the field of glass art requires constant application and searching out new limits – and that is only possible with an all-encompassing day-to-day dedication. Although Janecký’s confidence as an artist has undoubtedly grown, he nonetheless remains humble with regards to his chosen material, knowing there is still so much to discover. And this approach is evidently one of the key reasons why Martin Janecký’s glass works are so remarkably distinct.”

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