Mainly self-taught, Adam Whobrey aka Hoobsglass, began developing his flameworking and sculpting skills beginning in 2001 by traveling the US and sharing techniques with fellow glass artists. By 2010, he had created his signature glass sneaker, the perfect visual statement for the pipe scene, and one which resulted in world-wide recognition from the glass world as well as the famous musicians and business professionals who bought the work. The combination of iconic design and world-class sculpting put Hoobs on the map.
After nearly two decades of mastering his craft, Hoobs continues to push the limits of the medium by leading some of the largest group builds ever created in borosilicate glass. His event, the Molten Art Classic, held in Southern California, has become the largest collaborative art event featuring the world’s top borosilicate glass artists who come together to create unforgettable functional sculpture to include the epic Space Station, Ghost Busters Ecto 1, and The Shipwreck, to name only a few.
Hoobs has exhibited his work and taught classes throughout the US, Canada and Europe to include: a 3-day class taught at Borofield Studio, Huddersfield, England, 2018; judge for the European Flame-Off, London, England, 2018; Spannabis Art show, RDM Gallery, Barcelona, Spain, 2019; DFO Flameoff Competitor, Peoples Choice Winner, 2019; and Day of Dunks, RDM Gallery, Barcelona, Spain, 2019.
Says Hoobs: “Since I was a young, I have had an active imagination and have explored everything from drawing to computer graphics to clay and wood. But there was nothing that compared to melting glass in a flame. From the first time I touched glass I knew I would do it for the rest of my life.”
Collected and sold in over 18 different countries, Hoobs’ glass blends cultures and exposes the art form to a broader audience. As of late, he is creating more refined and smaller verions of iconic imagery such as his Fear and Loathing Cadillac collab. His solo work will be on view at the Festival of the Arts in Laguna Beach, California, in July 2022.
Earlier this month, The Corning Museum of Glass hosted an impressive group of flameworkers for a collaborative, multi-day demonstration that resulted in incredible work. The Museum’s resident flameworker, Eric Goldschmidt, invited Dan Coyle (aka Coyle Condenser), Ryan O’Keefe (aka sdRyno), and Hoobsglass to the Amphitheater Hot Shop where they showcased advanced flameworking techniques (frame building, cold bridging, and complex assembly) to create an intricate monkey-piloted robot. Here are photos.’/.
The completed piece is a great blend of their individual talents and styles. Coyle is well-known for his use of the monkey in his work, and his background in scientific glassblowing led to the highly technical hollow work necessary for the functionality of the piece. Hoobs has developed a reputation for building intricate structures of glass that allow for larger-scale, highly detailed objects. This structural approach is the foundation for this piece. Ryno has developed a reputation for his figurative sculpture and particularly for his use of the iconic rubber ducky in his work. The color scheme and ducky references in this piece are clear nods to his influence.
“The world of flameworked glass has been seeing a great deal of innovation and momentum over the past decade that has largely been driven by artists making pipes for cannabis consumption,” said Goldschmidt, Flameworking and Properties of Glass Supervisor. “These artists are constructing objects that are not only beautiful and intriguing, but they must also function in specific ways for their collectors.
“Collaboration amongst artists has become a unique way for artists to make work that goes above and beyond what they might otherwise accomplish as individuals,” Goldschmidt added. “The three artists we invited to be our guests have collaborated successfully many times over the past 5 years. The piece they created here presents a great example of how the individual strengths of these artists combine to raise the bar even higher.”
Parts of the collaboration were livestreamed with thousands of artists tuning in from across the country. It is now available on CMOG’s YouTube channel.
Studio Glass pioneer Sidney Hutter creates three-dimensional sculptural objects in which the intersection of form, glass, color and light unite to create works of art with an amazing and ever-changing spectrum of color, reflection, and refraction. Transformed from industrial plate glass into beautiful objects, Hutter’s iconic non-functional vessel sculptures read more like “three-dimensional paintings.” Hutter states: “As a glass sculptor, my interest is in the effects of light reflecting and refracting off and through glass. By laminating layers of glass, I am able to emphasize and manipulate the effects of light using color, shape and surface treatments.” After a fire temporarily closed the glassblowing studio during his second year in the graduate glass program at the Massachusetts College of Art, Hutter developed his layered and coldworked vessels. In the late 1970s, he was in the unique position of creating art uninhibited by financial pressures. The artist immersed himself in the idea of making large-scale glass sculptures based on historical glass research and influenced by his interest in architecture and work by his hero, David Smith. He focused on the creation of his Plate Glass Vase series, with which he entered the gallery world. Hutter says: “Now, 40 years later, it is inspiring to look back at the complex and unique pieces created during that time of freedom and ultimate creativity.”
Post-graduation, Hutter became an instructor at Massachusetts College of Art, Boston University and in Boston Public Schools. In 1980, he founded Sidney Hutter Glass & Light in Boston and later moved his studio to its current location in Newton, Massachusetts. There, he continues to create sculptures which combine fine art and glass craft with commercial processes used in architectural glass, adhesive and pigment industries.
During the heyday of Studio Glass, Hutter’s art and process became increasingly more technical. In response, he co-designed and fabricated machines to help make his work more efficient. His interests in glass, ultraviolet light and adhesive technology, and pigment applications have taken him around the country – attending conferences and researching the latest advancements in those fields. Through conversations with industry leaders, he has been able to adapt commercial processes to his studio practice and create landscapes of color between layers of glass.
Hutter’s work is represented by the country’s finest galleries and included in numerous private and public collections as well as major museums in the US, including the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Art and Design in New York and the Renwick Gallery in Washington, DC. In 1993, White House Vase #1 became part of the White House Craft Collection. The artist has created commercial projects for the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Hong Kong, the Hyatt on Collins in Melbourne, Australia, as well as for the Pittsburgh Gateway Hilton and the Righa Royal Hotel in Osaka, Japan, to name just a few.
With a career spanning more than four decades, Hutter has been an eyewitness to the changes in Studio Glass. In this conversation, he contemplates a shift in focus to include more lighting projects in his studio practice and reflects on advancing technology, economic highs and lows, and the ever-shifting interests of collectors and galleries.
Throughout the years, Hutter has developed a unique design style – influenced and cultivated from his passion for art and architecture and melded with his interest in the commercial glass and adhesive technology industries. He adapted information, materials, and equipment into a unique studio practice, which contributed greatly to the glass art movement. His work will be on view in a spectacular collaborative show, Masters of Modern Glass, at Shaw Gallery, in Naples, Florida, with Richard Royal, Toland Sand, Rick Eggert, Tom Marosz, and Alex Bernstein. It opens March 3, 2022.
In 1897, when The Judson Studios was established in Los Angeles by the painter and professor William Lees Judson and his three sons, they could have never imagined the scope of the work their studio would produce in the 21stcentury. Under the direction of David Judson, Lees’ great-great grandson, every project is approached with a cutting-edge sensibility and technological savvy, whether the client is a boutique hotel or a historic cathedral.
Helmed by Walter Horace, the eldest of Lees’ sons and a stained glass expert, Judson Studios thrived from the start, beautifying the booming metropolis of Los Angeles with works that represented the best in traditional and modern design. Today, Judson is the oldest family-run stained glass studio in America, still proudly offering an exquisite, handcrafted product made by local artisans, and continuing to serve the community that has sustained them through the decades. Located in the Highland Park section of northeast LA, the studio was founded in the Mott Alley section of downtown in the mid-1890s, but moved to its current location in 1920. The Judson Studios building was named a Historic-Cultural Landmark by the City of Los Angeles in 1969 and listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
In April of 2017 Judson Studios’ Resurrection Window, the largest single composition fused glass window in the world, was dedicated. Created for the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, the groundbreaking work measures 37 feet tall by 93 feet wide. For the ambitious project, Judson Studios collaborated with world-renowned artist Narcissus Quagliata to bring then Judson designer Tim Carey’s vision to life. This represented the first time a notable liturgical window was created entirely from fused glass. To accomplish the daunting task of producing this first ever fused window wall, Judson Studios expanded from their workspace in Highland Park to a new addition in South Pasadena. More than 5,000 square feet of modern factory and kiln capabilities enabled the studio, with Quagliata’s assistance, to complete their most challenging commission to date.
The changes necessary for the creation of The Resurrection window have completely expanded and redefined the studio’s offerings and capabilities, allowing Judson Studios to take on more work in fused glass and to collaborate with artists who don’t normally work in glass. As Director of Innovation, Quagliata works with the studio to further develop capabilities in fusing while also helping to guide Judsons’ growing artist development program.
Recent collaborative projects include: the Santa Clarita Fire Station 104 by Anne-Elizabeth Sobieski, commissioned by the Los Angeles County Public Arts Commission in 2020; “Embracing the World,” by Amir H. Fallah, was one of the studio’s first artist collaborations in its new fusing studio in 2017; “The Muralist, ”by David Flores. Judson Studios took a design by Flores and translated it into a stained and fused glass panel. The work was displayed as part of his solo show at Sullivan Goss Gallery in Santa Barbara, California, in October of 2017; “Portals,” by James Jean, includes three panels titled “Portal Verso,” “Portal Interior,” and “Portal Recto.” Judson Studios took designs from Jean and crafted them into a stained and fused glass triptych. The work was displayed as part of his solo gallery show Azimuth at Kaikai Kiki Gallery in Tokyo, Japan, in April of 2018. Judson’s 2019 collaboration with Jean titled “Gaia” is a nearly 8-foot-tall, three-dimensional crystal made entirely of fused glass and bound with lead in a custom steel frame. The piece was displayed at another of Jean’s gallery exhibitions, this time at Lotte Museum in Seoul, South Korea.
To commemorate the studio’s expansion and growth, Judson Studios along with Angel City Press recently released a new book, JUDSON: Innovation in Stained Glass, the first book of its kind to chronicle the studio’s remarkable five-generation history. From the earliest days of the studio during the Arts and Crafts Movement, to the newly refined fused stained glass used in today’s contemporary buildings, Judson Studios has been recognized internationally as among the world’s finest in stained glass artistry. You can pick up your copy today by clicking here.
Current president David Judson is the fifth generation Judson family member to own and operate the Studios. A supporter of the arts like his great-great grandfather William Lees, David believes in maintaining a workplace that fosters creative expression. The Studio has hosted on-site art exhibitions, and its staff includes a diverse group of artists who bring fresh eyes to this meticulous process.
With a passion for hot sculpting animals in glass, Grant Garmezy perfected his ability to capture not only form, but expression and movement, elevating each piece from just sculpture into a narrative work of art. From his Dragon Ranch in Richmond, Virginia, the artist continues to draw inspiration from the environment of the American South.
Says Garmezy: “Nature is truly perfect in its creation—impossible to reproduce. I do not strive to recreate the natural world exactly; instead, I try to capture the essence of the animal I am sculpting, not only in its physical features, but also its attitude and spirit.”
Garmezy’s work is created through the process of off-hand sculpting, meaning he sculpts the glass freehand while it is heated to about 2,000 degrees. Using an extremely hot torch and a variety of hand tools, the glass is manipulated without the use of molds. For that reason, each and every piece is truly unique. The artist works with at least one assistant, but most of the work requires the help of an entire team of skilled artists.
Born on a farm outside Nashville, Tennessee, Garmezy began his artistic career as an apprentice to metal and jewelry fabricator, Ben Caldwell. In 2003, he traveled to Richmond, Virginia, to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). While in the Craft/Material Studies program, he studied under Jack Wax, a furnace worker, and flameworker, Emilio Santini. Garmezy received the 10 Under 10 award from his alma mater, honoring 10 noteworthy and distinctive alumni of VCU who graduated in the past decade.
In 2008, Garmezy was awarded the International North Lands Creative Glass Residency in Scotland. While there, he was presented with the Benno Schotz Award through The Royal Scottish Academy for most promising young sculptor in the UK. In 2010, the artist served as teaching assistant for Karen Willenbrink and Jasen Johnsen at Pilchuck Glass School and the following year was awarded a position as an assistant at the new Chrysler Museum of Art Perry Glass Studio. During his time in Norfolk, he helped to break in the new studio and had a hand in shaping it into what it is today.
In July 2013, Garmezy was invited back to Norfolk as the featured artist for a Third Thursday performance at the Perry Glass Studio. At the conclusion of the evening, Grant surprised now wife Erin—and the entire audience—by taking a knee and proposing marriage to her. The special moment was very fitting to their relationship and is fondly remembered by all who were there to witness it. The husband-and-wife team returned to the Perry Glass Studio in September 2020 for the Visiting Artist Series, where they focused on a new series of works featuring reptiles and snakes coupled with sculpted flowers.
The pastoral environment of Garmezy’s youth— specifically interactions with livestock, wildlife, and natural settings—manifests in collaborative sculptures with Erin, which are typically pairings of flora and fauna. Erin moved from blowing glass vessels at the furnace to sculpting glass plant life on a torch when she studied with VCU professor Santini, and later Robert Mickelsen and David Willis.
Having traveled as far as the Northlands of Scotland, and Seoul, South Korea, to demonstrate his craft, Garmezy has studied with Scott Darlington, Ross Richmond, Martin Janecky, Raven Skyriver, Marc Petrovic, Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen and Jasen Johnsen. He has been invited to exhibit his work all over the world, including Seoul, Edinburgh, Prague, Paris, and Istanbul. Upcoming 2022 workshops will take place at the Toledo Museum of Art, May 9 – 13
and at the Glass Furnace in Istanbul, May 30 – June 9
In 2020, Garmezy embarked on the most ambitious project of his career – hot sculpting 200 glass dragons for Kugler color company in Germany. Kugler hand-crafts a wide range of colored glass based on recipes passed on for generations. Garmezy and Kugler worked together with Hot Glass Color Supply to design a new color reference chart. A glass color chart is a reference that shows examples of what each glass color looks like. It is a resource for glass artists to help them choose the correct colors for their projects. As a sculptor, Garmezy always wished for a resource that showed more than one way the color can be used. The goal was to create a chart that demonstrated the bar color encased and blown, as well as powder color applied to the surface of the glass and sculpted.
Says Garmezy: “I created one dragon sculpture for each of the colors on the poster. It was important that each dragon head was a similar size and style, but each completely unique. This color chart will give both blowers and sculptors a good idea of the potential of each color. We chose the image of the dragon because dragon imagery can be found in cultures around the world, and its symbolism brings to mind good luck, fortune, wisdom and strength – things we wish for all glass artists out there.”