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Chris Ahalt has been blowing glass since 1998. Chris went to Venice, Italy in 2004 to apprentice under world-renowned master flame worker, Cesare (Chez-a-ray) Toffolo. There he learned the centuries-old techniques of Venetian Glass Blowing which had a huge impact on his work allowing his perfectionist/showy side to push glass to its limits. Chris will assist Cesare whenever he is able with classes in the U.S. Chris has also delved into making sculptural glass animals look like balloons. A graduate from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2000 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture/ Furniture Design, Chris taught a Venetian glass class at LSAG in January 2014.
An unprecedented glass artist collaborative established in 2003. This award-winning team is comprised of three childhood friends Michael Richardson, Justin Tarducci, and Timothy Underwood. All met while exploring their shared enthusiasm for art, glass, and creation in and around Newport Rhode Island. Combining their shared passion for hand blown glass after more than 10 years of personal development, Anchor Bend Glassworks continues to redefine the glassblower's art. The talents from each artist encourage and compliment the energy and originality that permeates every piece of hand blown glass that Anchor Bend creates. Their award-winning designs can be seen at select galleries and museums Nationwide. Through their work and mission, they help support many nonprofits and charities including The American Heart Association, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, March of Dimes, Boys and Girls Club of Newport, etc.
Douglas Becker has over twenty years of glassblowing experience. His designs focus on capturing the fluid movement of molten glass. To convey this into his finished pieces he creates softly distorted shapes and softens the surface of the pieces with etching and acid polishing. From whimsical birds to exquisite vases, you can see the playfulness in each piece.
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Most recycling plants don’t accept window glass. It ends up buried in landfills. Ron diverts glass from the waste stream and turn it into sculptures, tiles, backsplashes, and privacy windows for homes businesses and schools.
His goal is to create eco-friendly art that is fresh, positive, and enhances the quality of the space for the people who inhabit it. Whether it’s a huge mural on a commercial building or a few tiles in someone’s kitchen.
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Allison studied fine art at the Kansas City Art Institute in the Fiber Art Department. After college, she was employed in a fiber art lamp; design studio in Bonner Springs, Kansas. It was in Bonner Springs where she met owner of the Moon Marble Company, Bruce Breslow, and began working for the Moon as their graphic and web designer. Exposed to many talented glass artists, she couldn’t resist the draw to take up the medium herself and began taking classes in stained glass and later in glass fusing. Allison actively pursues her work in fiber art, glass art, and kaleidoscope making and maintaining a balance in all areas. Her weavings and stained glass panels are primarily nature inspired, while her work in kaleidoscopes is inspired by her observations through the kaleidoscopes themselves.
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Cherry glass is a team of friends who work together in Cherry, MN creating unique and eclectic glass art pieces. They add geodes, rocks and also add real insects to their art, by electroforming them, and applying them onto the pieces. They state, “We have three months of summer to collect bugs where we live, so we gather what insects we can, and the rest are shipped to us from collectors and friends! We incorporate crystals, stones, and Brazilian agate slabs in our work.
Tom is a second generation glass blower living in Grand Marais, MN. By day he works making scientific glass and by night he creates reticello and fillacello style pendants. To create a reticello, he uses stringers (rods of glass stretched thin) to draw on symmetrical patterned designs. A fillacello is created the same way but the negative spaces are then filled in. He backs some of his pendants with dichroic glass to add some sparkle to the under layer.
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Jes creates both functional items and sculptural art objects with borosilicate, such as beads, animal totems, variations of plant life materials and abstract art about the mysterious great galaxy. His influences are based on the different elements of the natural world and its relationship to himself and his Ojibwe heritage. Jes has a studio in downtown Duluth. He has studied all over the world from glass masters. These include: Cesare (Chez-a-ray) Toffolo in Venice, Italy; the Corning Museum of Glass in New York; Robert Mickelson; and Eric Goldshmitte in Ithaca, NY among others. (Butterfly millefiori/murine)
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For approximately 15 years, Kari has been creating and designing handmade jewelry. Her love of beading began while on vacation at her grandmother’s home in northern Minnesota. Since then, she has spent hundreds of hours creating unique pieces of jewelry. Each piece is one-of-a-kind combining contemporary design with a variety of colors and textures. She offers beaded necklaces, bracelets, watches, earrings, bridal jewelry, beaded bookmarks, beaded wine glasses, beaded wine dresses and greeting cards. All jewelry is made with quality items and close attention to detail. LSAG carries Kari’s slumped bottles made from all recycled/upcycled glass bottles.
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In a stained glass class in 1983, Jodie realized the possibilities of combining her passions to create recycled glass jewelry. This early effort has evolved into her current line of handcrafted earth friendly jewelry. Stained glass artists supply her with a wide array of colored glass remnants and recycling centers are her source for bottles and jars. She is always on the lookout for anything made of glass that can saw, cut or break into raw materials for jewelry. This reclaimed glass is cut into the desired shapes and either fired in a kiln or processed in a rock tumbler. The kiln fired glass retains the shiny surface and the pieces of tumbled glass are etched to a beach glass texture. These individual recycled glass earrings are then fitted with hypoallergenic surgical steel ear wires. The results are guaranteed to delight!
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Rachel has been working with fused glass for years now, fusing and slumping sheet glass into plates, bowls, decorative display pieces and ornaments. The Pebble Technique involves a combination of sheet glass, frit, and powder migration and relies heavily on reactive glass combinations and silver foil to achieve the desired effects. The finished pieces are several layers of glass thick, have been through the kiln a minimum of 3 times to achieve various effects, cut with a tile saw/diamond blade, and cold worked on a lap wheel to achieve the final shape and beveling, before a final fire polishing in the kiln. She also hand make some of the bails from silver metal and/or white copper clay. Rachel lives in Greenbush, MN.
Charles Grisham began his career in fused glass art began when he and his wife (also a fused glass artist) were invited to do an art show with nationally known ceramic artist, Amy Sabrina, at her Art Harvest in 2007. Since then their art has grown in popularity. They find the biggest compliment is when buyers come back to purchase more pieces due to the success and compliments they gain after their first purchase. Their art has found homes in Sweden, Australia, Norway, Germany, Guiana South America, Hawaii, Washington, Wisconsin, Florida, New York and many other states. They have done special requests for special occasions, and have not only met, but rose above their expectations.
Margaret Handley started working with stained glass because she loved the jewel tone colors of stained glass windows. She didn’t love to solder, though, so when she learned about glass fusing she bought a kiln and changed course. Having been trained as an engineer, she brings a sense of geometry to her pieces, laying out designs on graph paper, layering pieces to build structure, choosing kiln temperatures to “fuse” the pieces together and finish the edges. She has been fusing glass for over twenty years, attending workshops and classes at Bullseye and Hot Glass Horizons in Portland, OR, and at Arrowmont Craft School in Gatlinburg, TN. She now lives in Eveleth, Minnesota.
Scott Hartley (Infinity Art Glass)
Sitting in church, a young child was handed a Sunday bulletin from his father. Feeling the texture of the creamy paper in his fingers, the small child gently turned the folded sheets over his lap. A glimmer in his eye appeared as he glared at the curving lines and shading that appeared on the smooth paper. The designs and characters came alive in the child’s head as he studied the pencil lines. As he turned slowly toward his father, a huge smile spread across his tiny face. As their eyes met, the father saw the love in his son’s eyes and the spark that had brought him so much joy since his own childhood. The torch had been passed. That young boy had art in his blood.
My appreciation for art has come a long way since that glorious day in church. I have grown up experimenting with all different kinds of media. Throughout my days in school, I expressed myself with the most meaning and desire with a set of graphite pencils. Two-dimensional art, I felt, was the only outlet for my life. I love art, and I knew that it would always play a huge role in my life.
I graduated as Valedictorian of my high school class and attended a small liberal arts college, which has one of the greatest science departments in the area. My priorities were to receive the finest education that I could, play basketball, graduate with a biology degree, and attend medical school. In college, I realized that biology was my passion, not medicine. In the end, I found that what matters is not the amount of money you have in your pockets but the impact you have on the lives of those around you. So, I became a high school biology teacher, determined to make a difference … but where was ART?
My life was great. I married my high school sweetheart, had a great family, and was doing my best to have an impact on the lives of today’s children, but something was missing. I searched and realized that there was one thing that was missing from my life…ART. I quit my teaching job to pursue my love for art full time, and I could not be happier. GLASS is my escape. GLASS is the glimmer in my eye. GLASS gives me that same huge smile and flutter in my chest that I had on that Sunday morning staring at the church bulletin. GLASS is the perfect marriage of both art and science! My wife, my family, and my art have shaped me into the person I am today. My work is hard – both physically demanding and mentally draining – but it is by far the most rewarding work that I have ever done in my life. If you question my love, my happiness, and my joy that I have found in art and glass, look into my eyes…the shine is bright, just like a piece of glass. Be careful, or you just might catch the fever.
*Scott creates solid glass forms unlike any other glass artist. His pieces have a lot of movement that truly capture the flow of molten glass. –Scott was born in Duluth (Hartley Nature Center/Hartley Park)
Growing up in a family of glass artists, I began working with this medium at an early age (8 years old which means he has been blowing glass for over 70 years!) and I chose to make glass art and sculpture my life and career. I have had a long career of traveling to art shows, giving lectures, lessons and demonstrations on the art of glass blowing and sculpture lampworking using borosilicate. I have maintained several shops in various states and now work in my private studio in Kansas City. I sell to and display in galleries across the United States.
My passion and drive as a glass artist is reflected in each of my pieces as I continue to strive to produce new and exciting forms everyday. Each of my pieces is made exclusively by me; I do not use the work or product of anyone else in my art.
My goal, as an artist, is to bring joy and appreciation of color, form and nature to those who purchase and collect my work.
Gretchen started working with on mandrel glass bead making in 2002. There was an instant obsession with glass and a few months after creating her first bead, she began working at the shop where she purchased her supplies. There she was able to learn fusing and stained glass techniques. She has taken dozens of professional classes and continues to explore glass art. Her work can be seen at several churches and The Great Lakes Aquarium.
I find glass to be a beautifully satisfying medium to work with. It balances out my desire for instant gratification with the excitement of anticipation. The colors melt, glow and disappear, sometimes reappearing depending on the fuel of my flame. After 12 years I’m still excited every time I turn my torch on. I think anyone who took the time to look at glass in its molten state would see how beautiful it is and want to work with it too. -Rebecca Loken
Located in Minneapolis, MN, Thomas has been blowing glass for over 20 years and has achieved national recognition for his glass through his use of simple, elegant forms and bold use of color. His horizon bottles are created by layering color and a stippling technique, the pieces have vivid color with significant movement. Thomas said "Glass has a reflective quality unlike any other medium and I love the pure translation of color. Creating art is taking risks by defining something original from your perspective and skill. Glass-blowing is both my passion and my lifeline.”
Artist Statement: Our vision has the greatest effect on our understanding of the world. Through my artwork, I create scenarios in which the viewer must question their capacity to navigate between reality and illusion. My curiosity of perception is driven by the fact that I am red-green colorblind. Having a deficit in my color vision is an alternative way of seeing. Inspired by Trompe L’oeil, H2O/SiO2 is entirely hot sculpted glass, which appear as bags of water. The trapped movement of the rising bubbles and the gesture of the forms convince the eye that the sculptures are just as they seem. What is fascinating is that our desires often override our perception of reality and you believe what you think is visible as the truth.
Artist Bio: Best known for his realistic water bag sculptures that challenge the viewer’s perception, Dylan Martinez’s artwork explores the playful and intriguing properties of glass. Dylan began blowing glass in 2007, while earning his BS in Broad Field Science from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in 2008, with a minor in Outdoor Education.
He received his Master of Fine Arts, in Glass, at Ball State University in 2017. He is now running his own studio in White Salmon, WA in the scenic Columbia River Gorge where he continues to explore and push the boundaries of glass. His artwork has earned several awards of recognition and has been exhibited and collected both nationally and Internationally.
Anthony Michaud-Scorza (Tony Scorza)
I am a hot glass blower and sculptor from Minnesota living and working in California. I am a studio manager at the Bay Area Glass Institute. I create forms and color schemes to evoke emotion in the viewer. My main goal is to make objects that visually bring the onlooker to a place they have not yet experienced. I do this by utilizing the simple beauty of a form, the excitement of a brilliant color scheme or the narrative qualities of a series of realistic sculptures and their subjects. I make all the parts that lead to these final creations starting with the equipment in the studio ending in the finishing of the final work. This is a lifelong pursuit and passion for me. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t contemplate some new focus, subject or technique in the hopes of creating that work of absolute beauty and expression. I have something inside me dying to escape into the glass that is my medium.
*From vessels to sculptures, Anthony employs a variety of techniques which exhibit his knowledge of the medium using soft glass. He does this without sacrificing quality. Note: the inside of most of his bowls have a sheen, this is not done after the fact but as part of the process that occurs naturally when working with colors that reduce. Tony started working with Doug Becker.
Born in 1951 in Fort Belvoir, Virginia and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. Robert's formal education ended after one year of college. He apprenticed with a professional lampworker for two years in the mid-seventies and then sold his own designs at outdoor craft fairs for ten years. In 1987 he took a class from Paul Stankard that opened his eyes to the possibilities of his medium. In 1989, he stopped doing craft shows and began marketing his work exclusively through galleries. Since then, his career has taken off. He shows his work in some of the finest galleries in the country and participates in prominent exhibitions each year. His work is exhibited in many prominent collections including the Renwick Gallery of American Crafts at the Smithsonian Institution, the Corning Museum of Glass, The Toledo Museum of Art, The Museum of Arts and Design, The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Mint Museum, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and The Museum of American Glass at Wheaton Village. He has taught extensively at the major glass schools including the Pilchuck Glass School , Penland School of Crafts, The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass, and The Pittsburgh Glass Center. He has filmed and produced two videos on his flameworking process, and he has designed and maintains an elaborate web page dedicated to his own work and the galleries that represent him (www.mickelsenstudios.com). He has published numerous technical and historical articles on flameworked glass. He served for six years on the board of directors of the Glass Art Society and was their treasurer and vice-president.
Brian moved with his family to Northern Minnesota in 2010, living and working in Grand Rapids, MN. He started working with glass 15 years ago in Arcata, California on the North Coast. Brian works with Borosilicate and each ornament is individually made and hand blown. Much of his work features an ancient pattern dating back to Egyptian times (in glass!) called feathering or wrap & rake. Brian worked at the pipe-making shop in California that was featured in the Degenerate Art (pipe making documentary) called 101 North. In the film, the owners of that shop were arrested for making glass pipes!
To realize his work Dan uses a blend of traditional, innovative, and esoteric glassmaking techniques. Invention is often a necessity – many designs require custom tools and processes. While Dan sees beauty in an efficient production, he takes pride in personally making each piece himself from start to finish. Dan currently works and lives in Corning, NY. Dan incorporates white and yellow gold leaf in his work.
Samantha has a similar background with experience in both fused and blown glass to her partner, Fredric Vilina. She has the added experience of interior design which helps to influence the way she arranges and designs her work piece by piece in order for it to flow together in the best way possible. Also from and works in Minneapolis.
Vicki works out of her home in South Minneapolis, Minnesota. She fell in love with glass about 12 years ago while working on her teaching credentials in college. She uses her eye for design to create colorful, trendy pendants, ornaments, earrings, barrettes and more. She creates her own decals to fuse the images onto her glass work.
I started beading in 1997. I started by just making earrings and stringing beads. I couldn’t believe people actually used those little seed beads! I thought I would never do that! Well… we see how well that worked out! I then became addicted to seed beads and signed up for every class I could to learn new techniques. In 1999 my husband bought me a torch for my birthday and I started making my own glass beads. I just played with making a bead here and there for a few years and in 2003 I decided to dedicate more time to it. There were not many classes in my area so I am mostly self-taught. After a few years I started traveling to other areas to take classes. I have taken classes with some of the best bead artists, Kimberly Affleck, Jennifer Geldard, Andrea Guarino, J C Herrell and Trey Cornette. --Sue Peoples
*Sue uses mostly Moretti glass (also known as effetre (EF- ET-TRAY), which is an Italian glass). All of her earrings are sterling silver w/ Swarovski crystals. Her daughter Alyssa is a former LSAG employee.
My contemporary style is inspired by the natural beauty of glass and my belief that its fascinating properties should be the focus of my work. By making glass beads in clean, colorful geometric shapes and keeping my metalwork clean and simple, I strive to create jewelry that makes a statement with vibrant color and bold design, yet is easy to wear every day. I make each glass bead used in my jewelry one at a time using the lampwork technique. I work in mostly Italian and American (Bullseye) glass. I also hand fabricate each of my sterling silver setting and Component. I discovered my love for creating jewelry while in high school in 1984 when I took my first class in jewelry design, focusing on metal fabrication. Through the years, I explored a variety of styles and techniques while developing a particular fondness for incorporating beads into my work.
In 1999, as a birthday gift, my father paid for a series of glass blowing lessons for him and me to try together. I had always been inspired by the colorful, shimmering blown glass displayed in local galleries. I immediately fell in love with working molten glass. As my obsession with glass grew, I was eager to find a way to work with glass in as much of my spare time as possible. Lampworking, and the ability to incorporate glass beads into my jewelry designs, became the perfect way to combine my two favorite media.
Kris is the owner of Glass Robin LLC. He is an artist and vendor at the Arizona Renaissance Festival and North Carolina Renaissance Festival as well as the Norman, Oklahoma Medieval Fair. He has been working with Boro for over 10 years. He specializes in jewelry and sculpture and he does demonstrations here at LSAG. He is also an outdoor enthusiast and a musician with Mama’s Stolen Horses.
David uses traditional glass blowing techniques to achieve a variety of both sculptural and functional forms. His approach to glass relies heavily on layering of colors and extensive cold work and carving to reveal those colors. At the age of 15, David apprenticed for Tom Rine and Thomas Maras at Island Glass Studios in Minneapolis. David studied glass at Anoka Ramsey Community College and the University of River Falls, and then managed Foci Glass in Minneapolis. The surfaces of his bottles are sand blasted and the areas of white streaks are accentuated with carving. His studio is in Little Canada, MN.
Julie is a self-taught stained glass artisan in Rice Lake, WI who’s line is called Rainbow Treasures. She is enthralled with nature and the true beauty of it, which is why she tries to capture those shapes and colors in her art when designing her own stained glass patterns. Unlike the common conception of stained glass, Julie often incorporates 3-dimensional pieces of glass and even entire wine bottles to give her pieces an extra level of depth. Some of her more geometric and symmetrical pieces reflect the work of well known artist, Frank Lloyd Wright.
Matt Seasholtz’s education at Lehigh University and early work experience were in the field of mechanical engineering. He began working in glass with Joel Bless at the Glasslight Studio, a studio specializing in hand-blown glass lighting. At Glasslight, Seasholtz was a senior gaffer and product designer. He also taught beginning to advanced glassblowing.
Matt started designing his own work in the late 1980’s, selling locally. In the mid 1990’s he began exhibiting as an independent artist. He has always tried to create work using simple and clean lines. His Optic Flower bowls and vases are examples of this approach. The bowls and vases use transparent colors and the optic mold to create forms that give the appearance of expansive blooms. His Bottle series redefines the bottle to hold only light, line and color.
Matt Seasholtz left Glasslight late in 2003 to move to Vermont. He finished building his own studio in November 2004 and has been producing his blown glass creations there since then.
*Matt uses brilliant colors but only in their transparent form. This allows you to see the optical properties of the glass while still enjoying the use of color. Matt was Dan’s mentor artist for his first American Craft Council Show.
Now retired, Tonder worked with recycled plate glass, kilns, and sandblaster – Michael created one-of-a-kind glass sculptures. Hand-cut from flat sheets of glass, each creation is carefully assembled, then fired in an electric kiln. After firing, the fused glass forms are then carved and etched to completion.
Within each form, Tonder employs internal lines, altered surface textures, and light reflection, refraction, and diffusion to create tension, stimulate curiosity, and engage the eye. His art reflects the many influences of his experience as a forester and park manager, and excursions into Minnesota's Boundary Waters and Ontario's Quetico Provincial Park. * When creating his pieces from recycled window glass, Michael only uses one pain per creation due to the consistency and make of the glass. Though several window panes may be from the same building, each pain can differ a small bit which can weaken the glass and cause it to brake. This makes Michael’s creative process more unique and thoughtful.
Fredric is a truly multifaceted glass artist who often combines his background in both fused glass and blown glass while also creating his own custom metal stands and brackets for his work. He finds great satisfaction in repetition, orderly design, augmenting pieces with metal and wood, and the occasional creative spontaneous expression. Fredric's work has also been a ribbon winner at the Minnesota State Fair. He works very closely with his partner, Samantha Nollen, in Minneapolis; sometimes even collaborating on pieces.
Filip Vogelpohl, owner at Boise Art Glass, was born in Prague, Czech Republic, and fled to the United States in 1987 as a refugee. He grew up in Boise, Idaho, and took numerous art classes throughout high school. After graduating, while traveling the Northwest, Filip visited Eugene, Oregon, where his instant attraction to glassblowing sparked. The first two years of flameworking involved extensive torch time and guidance. Filip continued to travel while taking classes all over the world. He studied with such greats as Robert Mickelson, Kevin O’Grady in Colorado, and Casare Toffolo in Murano, Italy. Now, Filip works everyday blowing glass and teaching classes at Boise Art Glass. He has his glass art in galleries throughout the country and his custom-ordered chandeliers can be found in many restaurants and homes. Dan and Filip have been friends for over 10 years. Filip helped to mentor Dan as he was starting his business and broadening his attendance of art shows.
Touch of Glass - Adele & Russel Lewis
We are a husband/wife team working in our glass blowing studio in Idaho. We have been around glass for more than 30 years and enjoy working in many mediums of glass art, including blowing and sculpting, slumping and fusing, sandblasting and etching, hand engraving, and most recently screen printing on glass. We enjoy working with our customers to create unique pieces for them to enjoy for many years to come. Adele and Russel have made this glass studio their own husband and wife business. Their glass ventures first started out as a hobby rather than a business. What’s most impressive is that their work was all self-taught before they began. Adele explained how she had a fascination with glass. Russel decided then to pick it in his spare time back when he was a pipefitter and taught Adele how to do it. Now, he creates all sorts of beautiful pieces along with his wife.
Jakob Speich is a glass artist living in Duluth, working as LSAG studio manager. He started blowing glass over 12 years ago at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and since then has developed a great overall understanding and appreciation of glass through FOCI - The Minnesota Center for Glass Art. His work often explores a playful attitude toward color and design, while maintaining an advanced technical skill. Paying homage to those before him, he strives to share the advancement of soft glass.
Ryan Mell was born in Minnesota and currently lives in LA, California. He studied at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art. While attending school, he explored all the different art forms they teach and when he took a glass blowing class he knew he had found his calling. He apprenticed under Dan Neff at Naf Glass and Lake Superior Art Glass located in Duluth, MN and is currently the Hot Shop Manager and Instructor at Lake Superior Art Glass.
When working with glass, he often finds himself trying to further understand the medium as thoroughly as possible. With the furnace worked ‘soft’ glass, he tends to move between technical production style work and sculpture. Whether it is on a torch or the more traditional style furnace glass, Ryan finds that he is utterly captivated by the potential and ever-expanding capabilities of glass. Through his work, he often will revisit the correlations between abstract and reality through color, form, and technique.
Born and raised in Northeastern Minnesota, Dan took a Community Education class on torch-working glass in the spring of 2003. He then began a two-year apprenticeship program learning the basics of the craft and in the spring of 2006, began demonstrating his torch-work at festivals and fine art shows. In 2008, after finishing his undergraduate studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth, Dan started traveling around the country to show his work and to learn from world-renowned glass artists. Since then, Dan has shown his work at over 100 exhibitions around the country.
I find inspiration in the palette of the outdoors and often try to emulate this in glass. I enjoy the medium itself and the act of working with glass in its natural state. In its molten form, glass loses its fragility, and becomes something I can control. By shaping, stretching, and blowing I bring it to life. New colors are constantly emerging and the thrill of working new colors or new techniques keeps me coming back for more. When creating a work, I strive to use techniques that will foster a sense of awe in those who view my art.
*Dan limits marble back patterns to one pattern per year
2010: feathering pattern (dates back to the ancient Egyptians)
2011: 3 dot pinwheels (with adventuring glass)
2012: feathered dots that are pin-wheeled in a cylindrical pattern