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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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Your Podcast Source for Interviews and Information on

Hot, Warm and Cold Glass!

www.glassartmagazine.com

Mar 24, 2022

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.