In his role at the Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG), Eric Goldschmidt gives demonstrations in flameworking, glass breaking, and optical fiber, in addition to teaching, lecturing, and exhibiting his work around the world. In the winter of 1998, he took his first formal class in flameworking with Roger Parramore at the Museum, which opened his mind and illustrated the possibilities of what could be done with the material and processes.
In 1993, with the goal of gaining residency to attend The University of Vermont, Goldschmidt relocated to the state and found work as a short-order cook, then as a candle maker. As a Dead Head, he had seen Snodgrass pipes in the early ‘90s, and his roommate at the time had worked with Chris Shave, one of Snodgrass’ early students in Oregon. With a torch set up in the garage, Goldschmidt began making mushroom pendants and marbles, working hollows, and by 1996 making his own pipe work.
Goldschmidt began working for The Studio of The Corning Museum of Glass in 2001 and returned to work for the Hot Glass Demo Department in April of 2008. In between, he worked for Arribas Brothers Company at Disney World from July of 2007 to March 2008. Making dragons, fairies and mermaids to entertain the public, Goldschmidt had to push his skills daily, perfecting the very techniques he relies upon today.
Missing the academic atmosphere of CMoG, Goldschmidt returned, moving from studio to demonstrations. From the walk-in workshop where guests made a piece of glass to serving as Resident Flameworker, he taught, advised, helped other instructors, and made his own work in the classroom when it was free. Having the opportunity to assist, observe or interview artists in Italy, Germany, and the Czech Republic, Goldschmidt was able to tune into cultural differences in the way flameworked glass is considered and approached.
Some favorite tasks in his current role as Flameworking and Properties of Glass Supervisor at CMoG include assisting Toots Zynsky during her residency and making work for a Robert Wilson installation that was shown at Design Miami in 2019. One of his many responsibilities is setting up glass demos such as the recent multi-day demonstration that resulted in incredible work by Dan Coyle (aka Coyle Condenser), Ryan O’Keefe (aka sdRyno), and Hoobsglass. 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.
Says Goldschmidt: “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. These artists are constructing objects that are not only beautiful and intriguing, but they must also function in specific ways for their collectors.”
Although Goldschmidt stopped making pipes when he began working at CMoG, he has been welcomed into the functional glass community as a “brother of the torch.” With a passion for goblets, he is known for both his Cage Cup series as well as his series of elegant Lidded Goblets. Sheet glass figurative work is his most unique contribution to flameworked art. The artist’s Cage Cups feature fragmented face imagery surrounded by twisted vine-like “cages.” These cages create a more in-depth narrative beyond their traditional silhouettes, presenting a metaphor for the cages that we become entrapped in within our lives. They draw the viewer in to find the deeper narrative. Each of his Lidded Goblets has a removable lid accented with a delicate finial.
In comparing pipes to goblets, Goldschmidt states: “Goblets are other objects that have potential for decoration. They involve the use of hollow forms, solid forms, and pattern work. Pipes and goblets are certainly related. The techniques and materials are very similar, if not exactly the same. People talk about the taboo of pipes because they’re used for cannabis. Cannabis is gaining huge acceptance these days. It’s a matter of time before the taboo is completely gone. Goblets and drinking vessels have been used for the consumption of alcohol for a long time. I don’t see too much of a difference. Some people are now connecting pipe makers and collectors with drinking vessels.”
Currently travelling in Italy, Goldschmidt is working with Cesare Toffolo’s sons on the beginnings of a film series that will cover a great deal of the history of flameworking. He will teach a workshop at Salem Community College, Goblet as a Tool for Growth, June 13 – June 16, 2022 and at Snow Farm: The New England Craft Program, a nonprofit, residential craft school in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, in October, 2022.
Executive Director of the Stained Glass Association of America (SGAA), Megan McElfresh has dedicated her professional life to community service and the art and science of stained glass. With a background in fine arts and operations management, she joined the Association as a professional member in 2015 and became the Executive Director in the fall of 2017.
Growing up in small stained glass studios, McElfresh continued to build on her technical skills in the medium by seeking mentorship opportunities throughout college. Some of the highlights of her glass studies were traveling to Pilchuck Glass School and time spent at the nationally recognized kilnforming resource center, Vitrum Studio. Prior to working with the SGAA, McElfresh worked in a variety of roles from operations management at a life sciences firm in Washington, D.C. to IT and web support for small non-profit art organizations.
In 2011, McElfresh moved from Northern Virginia to Buffalo, New York, and founded her studio, McElf GlassWorks. With a passion for her professional career as well as her new community, she never turned down an opportunity to collaborate with neighborhood teens and local programs to provide enthusiastic and creative educational enrichment. In her personal work, McElfresh uses her artwork in the advocacy of issues she became passionate about during her time working at a forensics laboratory concerning subjects like domestic violence and rape, and DNA backlogs. Her studio work has been featured in the Stained Glass Quarterly, Design NY, The Buffalo News, and Buffalo Rising.
With a background in operations management and art history, McElfresh is uniquely qualified in her role as leader for the National Trade Association as it approaches its 125th anniversary of service to the industry. In her role with the SGAA, she focuses on sowing the seeds of long-term change and strengthening the organization’s core programs. She endeavors to showcase the Association as a hub for the industry through strong partnerships with manufacturers, preservation and stewardship groups, and education centers. By bringing together the nation’s foremost architectural art glass studios in technical skill and integrity, the Stained Glass Association’s cumulative knowledge can be combined for the benefit of all who are tasked with the care and investment of our nation’s stained glass.
Approaching its 125th anniversary, the SGAA is headquartered in a new cooperative office space where staff can serve along with others working toward a similar mission. McElfresh remains enthusiastic about the SGAA’s renewed vision. For more than 100 years, the organization has held its annual summer conference, serving a vital role in the industry by bringing together artists and studios from across the country to exchange ideas and perspectives. The SGAA’s 111th Annual Summer Conference will be held June 27 – 30, 2022 in Toledo, Ohio.
Says McElfresh: “Each year’s national conference provides an educational and creative hub for glass artists, historians, manufacturers, and architects. Whether you’re an established studio or just learning stained glass; if you’re an architect or building caretaker; if you’re making public art or small panels for private homes, SGAA’s conferences have something for you. Please plan on joining your friends and colleagues both familiar and new for an inspirational and thought-provoking conference that will bring every facet of our industry together in celebration.”
Alexander Rosenberg rose to national prominence following his incredible run on the Netflix glassblowing series Blown Away, where he was among the final three contestants. His laid-back attitude, intelligence, and commitment to mining the history of the form and genre for deeper connections and stories left a lasting impression on viewers. This attention to the philosophy and historical detail of glass sets Rosenberg apart – not only on the show, but in his studio practice.
Glass is at once archaic and high tech – a mixture of poetry and functionality. On Blown Away, Rosenberg often strayed into the realm of historical and scientific objects like beakers and containers for exotic plants. He won the first challenge and a Pilchuck residency with his Lachrymatory, a “tear-filled” vessel that magnified like a lens a photo of his late dog, Cleo. He capitalized on the material’s absence, allowing us to see the inside and outside of an object simultaneously.
Wrote Ben Dreith, for Nuvo: “Rosenberg’s preference for exploring glass’ possibilities for modulating light rather than straying into a heavy use of color gives his work an elegance appropriate for both the art gallery and the historical or interior design collector—putting him somewhere between mad scientist and aesthete.”
An artist, educator and writer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Rosenberg received a Master of Science in Visual Studies from MIT and a BFA in glass from Rhode Island School of Design. His artistic practice is rooted in the study of glass as a material, in conjunction with broad interdisciplinary investigation crossing over into many other media and research areas. The artist pursues his practice though residencies, teaching, performances and exhibitions locally and internationally.
The recipient of the 2012 International Glass Prize and 2019 Awesome Foundation Grant, Rosenberg was also awarded The Sheldon Levin Memorial Residency at the Tacoma Museum of Glass, A Windgate Fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center, The Esther & Harvey Graitzer Memorial Prize, UArts FADF Grant, and the deFlores Humor Fund Grant (MIT). He has participated in residencies at Recycled Artist in Residence (RAIR), The MacDowell Colony, Wheaton Arts, Urban Glass, Vermont Studio Center, StarWorks, Pilchuck Glass School, GlazenHuis in Belgium, Rochester Institute of Technology, Radical Heart (Detroit), and Worcester Craft Center. He was a founding member of Hyperopia Projects (2010 – 2018), headed the glass program at University of the Arts (2010 – 2017), and was an artist member of Vox Populi gallery (2012 – 2015). After teaching at Salem Community College, he has recently taken a position at Wheaton Arts as Glass Studio director.
Through the masterful use of colorless glass, Rosenberg asks probing, existential questions about the use and value of specialized handcraft in contemporary society. His art practice includes projects such as 2.6 Cents an Hour (2006), for which the artist created his own version of currency, produced by casting lead crystal, then applying a chemical coating that gave the coins a metallic appearance. Rosenberg states: “I was excited about the prospect of some stranger getting these coins as they entered circulation. But I was also thinking about how to measure the worth of skilled labor.”
In Repertoire (2011–12), using glasses and vessels he made during demos while teaching, Rosenberg created an arrangement that, when lit correctly, cast a shadow onto the wall that perfectly resembled a man with an exaggerated erection lying down. Rosenberg says: “I started thinking about shadows as a new medium to explore. I had a hard time showing this work because I couldn’t teach anyone else to install it. I tried working with a studio assistant, thinking that if I could teach one person to assemble the work, then maybe there could be a way to get people to install it elsewhere. But nobody ever could. The piece won a prize from Glazenhuis, Belgium in 2012, and part of the deal was that they were supposed to acquire the work. But they told me they couldn’t, since nobody could install it. They just wrote me a check instead.”
Rosenberg continues: “I usually feel more comfortable pairing these technical exercises with something more self-effacing, and I wanted to poke fun at the machismo one often encounters in the hot shop.” The work was shown once more at the Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark. On the last day, visitors were invited to take one piece home, until all that was left was the one long, vertical shadow.
Currently making a chandelier out of automotive waste and glass, Rosenberg also has an ongoing exhibition at the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site. He compares working with glass to the highly focused mental state of flow defined by psychologist and professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, whose research examined people who did activities for pleasure, even when they were not rewarded with money or fame. He considered artists, writers, athletes, chess masters, and surgeons – individuals who were involved in activities they preferred. He was surprised to discover that enjoyment did not result from relaxing or living without stress, but during these intense activities, in which their attention was fully absorbed. Glass continues to be an essential ingredient in Rosenberg’s flow.
Creating playful objects and curious scenes inspired by childhood memories and dreams, Caterina Weintraub uses glass, a fragile and heavy material, to recreate iconic toys or re-imagine personal memories that evoke a sense of sentiment, wonder and discomfort. She utilizes a variety of techniques to create sculptures and installations in her Boston-based studio, Fiamma Glass. From intricate torch work to large-scale kiln castings and hot blown pieces, she chooses the process best suited to realize her vision.
Fiamma Glass Studio was established in 2010 in Newton, Massachusetts, by native Bostonians, David and Caterina Weintraub. Both are graduates of Massachusetts College of Art & Design, where they met over 13 years ago. Fiamma Glass Studio offers flameworking and glassblowing instruction, design, fabrication and consultation.
Caterina’s glass experience includes internships with Dan Dailey and Bel Vetro Glass, Brockton, Massachusetts. She has been awarded scholarships to the Corning Museum of Glass, Penland School of Crafts and Mass Art and was presented with Habatat Gallery’s International Award. Recent exhibitions include Not Your Grandma’s Glass, Habatat, Royal Oak, Michigan. In 2021, the gallery promoted a year-long glass competition featuring 12 artists, including Weintraub, who push their medium beyond the norm. Each artist chose a single month of the year to create an online presentation. Habatat asked the artists to create on such a level that the body of work could be displayed at their dream museum.
Says Aaron Schey, international art dealer, owner and partner of Habatat Michigan, founder of the Glass Art Fair and Not Grandma’s Glass: “This exhibition promoted 12 unique online presentations by 12 artists that are pushing the medium beyond the norm – creating work that is probably not in grandma’s collection…..yet. These artists are extremely innovative, and I propose that they will all be important in the future of the glass medium.”
Glass Lifeforms, on view in 2021 at Fuller Craft Museum’s Stone and Barstow Galleries, Brockton, MA, featured Weintraub’s sculpture. Curated by Sally Prasch, Glass Lifeforms 2021 featured contemporary artworks inspired by Harvard University’s acclaimed collections of plant and invertebrate models produced in the 19th and 20th centuries by Czech glass artists Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka. The exhibition included artists working in various glass techniques, including lampworking, glassblowing, pâte de verre, and others. Exhibited works were selected by a jury based on accuracy in representing the organism, aesthetic beauty, presentation, and originality.
Unforgettable, Weintraub’s signature polka dot bunnies, glass lab rats and humorous finger puppets linger in the viewer’s memory long after initial viewing, proving this artist has conquered the ultimate challenge of finding a style and voice in glass.
With the magical beauty and slight foreboding akin to Tolkien’s Fangorn Forest, the painted and stained glass panels of Petri Anderson entrance the viewer with their mystical lighting and woodland content. A stained glass artist working from his studio in Hertfordshire, UK, Anderson’s inspiration comes from two primary sources: the wealth of 19th– and early 20th-century British stained glass and the woodland habitats of his Finnish roots.
Beginning in 1989, Anderson studied restoration glass painting under Peter Archer and Alfred Fisher, and in the late ‘90s succeeded Archer as head designer and painter at Chapel Studio in Hertfordshire. Currently heading his own studio, Mongoose Stained Glass, Anderson undertakes domestic and ecclesiastical commissions as well as restoration, producing work that can be seen in churches, livery companies, schools and private homes. Liturgical projects include the Pat Salvage memorial window for St. Nicholas Church in Kelvedon Hatch, which received a diocesan award for design, and three windows for St. Andrews Church, Hyde Heath.
Having mastered techniques to include the use of traditional kiln fired glass paints and enamels, Anderson’s woodland scenes include detailed acid etched areas employed to achieve rich color varieties through the application of Jean Cousin and pigment made from steel wool soaked in vinegar. He designs and fabricates commissions and produces individual gallery pieces, some of which are available for exhibition. Independent works, such as Fox and Owls, are often inspired by global events. Others, such as Doves Rising, pay homage to the natural world. The artist has recently finished a circular panel based on Bruckner’s 4th Symphony.
Anderson will co-teach a design workshop with Tim Carey and Helen Whittiaker on Thursday, July 14, at the 2022 American Glass Guild (AGG) Conference in Corning, New York. Students will learn how to design using the program Procreate. The artist has also donated his latest work, an adaptation of a painting by E R Hughes called Oh, what’s that in the Hollow? to the AGG auction. The auction is the sole source of support for the James C. Whitney Scholarship Fund, which has awarded over 125 scholarships to worthy recipients, many of whom have traveled nationally and internationally honing their stained glass skills and knowledge.
Stained glass painting techniques have not changed dramatically since the earliest known examples of the craft back in 9th century Germany. Anderson wrote for buildingconservation.com: “A 14th century development in glass painting technique was the use of the badger hair brush. This is a broad brush (some modern badger hair brushes are 5” wide) which is used as a dry brush on wet paint to soften the paint effect and remove application brush marks. Frequently the badger brush was also used to achieve a ‘stippled’ paint effect by pouncing the wet paint. This allowed the painter to achieve a more refined appearance. Another addition to the glass painter’s repertoire was ‘silver stain’. In the early 14th century it was discovered that applying a compound of silver onto the glass and then firing it would stain the glass anything from a pale lemon color to a deep orange color. This discovery revolutionized stained glass. Suddenly there were lots of new possibilities: for the first time color could be applied to the glass and controlled depending on the firing temperature and thickness of the application. While the paintwork was confined to the side of the glass that faced inwards, the silver stain was applied to the outside face of the glass.”
A master of manipulating paint and stain to reproduce lush woodland environments, Anderson discusses both historical painting processes and his own unique take on the centuries-old techniques used to create his stunning body of work.
For two decades, the beauty of the Canadian Rockies has informed the sculptural work of Leslie Rowe-Israelson. Wondrous locales such as Banff and Jasper National Parks inspired her to express an emotional connection to nature in kiln formed glass, often enhanced with one-of-a-kind flameworked beads made by twin sister, Melanie. Leslie has mastered the creation of large fused panels as well as massive color bar bowls made in homage to streams flowing through the mountains.
Using a color bar process that allows her to strip away layers of color, Israelson then uses that color to create paintings of light in glass. She expands on these skills by placing different types of reactive glasses together, such as copper bearing glass, silver, and reactive cloud glass. Continually challenging, this combination of techniques evokes different seasons and climates, sharing the artist’s passion for both glass and nature with the viewer.
In the mountains of Canada, glass consumed Israelson’s thoughts and dreams. Beginning in stained glass, a new visual language of kiln forming was born of training and dialoging with other glass artists. From 1985 to 1994, Leslie and Melanie attended the world-renowned Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington. Both sisters agree that Pilchuck changed their lives. There they met Klaus Moje, Richard Whiteley, Rudi Gritsch, Richard Marquis, Paul Marioni, Dante Marioni, and William Morris – encouraging their evolution from flat to sculptural work. They also met Thomas Hamling, developer of Zircar Refractory Composites, who introduced Leslie to Mold Mix 6, which introduced her to a new visual vocabulary.
The sisters received additional training from the Alberta College of Art, Calgary, Alberta; Andrighetti Glassworks, Vancouver, British Columbia; Boyce Lundstrom’s Camp Colton, Colton, Oregon; and the Vancouver College of Art. Together they have participated in a number of residencies, both at Pilchuck and Uroboros Glass, Portland, Oregon. In 1995, Leslie and Melanie attended a month-long symposium in Teplice, Czech Republic, held by Glav Union, one of the largest flat glass manufacturers in the world at that time.
In early 2000, Israelson spent six months making a wax for a new piece that featured a huge glass circle with multiple figures. When she finally fired it, the piece cracked in the kiln due a thermocouple failure. She explains: “It was awesome! When I took it out of the mold, a big chunk came out, revealing the way the glass had flowed and melted. I wanted to figure out how to recreate that look intentionally.” This event marked the beginning of her work assembling, fusing, and slicing color bars. Now, the artist carefully stacks all the glass, knowing how it’s going to flow and move, and which way to cut it. “I try to create the flow of the mountains through the flow of the glass,” she says.
In 2004, Israelson studied with Irene Frolic and Lou Lynn at Red Deer College, Red Deer, Alberta. There she discovered wax, and suddenly her work evolved from flat bowls to three-dimensional sculpture. She began to work larger, incorporating metals in the work by applying iron oxides on the surface of the mold material. Without access to a hot shop, the artist accomplished all of her creative goals in her kiln, layering Bullseye Glass in sand, talc and Mold Mix 6 molds. She states: “No one was doing this at the time. I was a teaching assistant for Warren Langley at Pilchuck, and he gave me the sand and talc mixture. I experimented with mold materials that would allow me to take the skin off and see inside the glass – to let the light reflect through it.”
Israelson’s commissions include: Government of Canada, Governor General Arts Award, cast glass hands; Banff School of Fine Arts, Mountain Film and Book Festivals: Awards 1996 – 2014; Government of Canada, Secretary of State for External Affairs: International Gifts 1990; and Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Acquisition for Permanent Exhibition. She has demonstrated or taught at the Glass Art Society, virtual demo, 2021; Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York; Pilchuck Glass School; Alberta College of Art and Red Deer College of Art, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada.
For the last few years, Israelson has been working on a new series of larger works made via a fusing/ glassblowing hybrid process with the assistance of glassblower, Ryan Bavin. Bavin is both glassblower and award-winning nature photographer. His father, Pat, started Bavin Glassworks in Invermere, BC, in 1988. Ryan served an apprenticeship there that lasted for eight years before moving on to Pilchuck, where he studied and has been invited back several times as a teacher and gaffer working for and with respected glass artists from Canada and other nations. His blown work is represented by Canada House Gallery, Banff.
Says Israelson: “Our glass work together has developed over the years, and I cannot think of a better glassblower to work with blowing out our Bullseye Glass than Ryan. Our paths have overlapped over the years at Pilchuck, giving us a solid foundation for experimenting and creating together or separately.”
Always moving in new directions, Israelson now feels she can truly interpret the land, sky, and mountains by painting with glass. Through experimentation, she hopes to create an artistic link between glass and stone and the world in which we live. Her collaborative work with Bavin can be seen in 2022 at Canada House Gallery, Banff, and The Hearth – Arts on Bowen, Bowen Island, BC.
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.”