Jim Graham has been a professional sculptor for over 10 years specializing in architectural stone carving, public art and most recently glass. Jim will be the new director of the glass blowing program at TPCA and is diligently working on making this exciting new addition a reality. Read more
Jim studied at Pilchuck Glass School for six weeks at the beginning of this summer “developing glass blowing skills and learning from some of the best glass blowers in the world,” before he began working with Jennifer on their visions for the hot glass workshop.
During his time at Pilchuck, Jim designed his own line of drinking glasses which he calls “Jimbocups,” made from a cherry wood mold which he blows a glass bubble into to create the desired effect – you can see a sneak peek on his website https://jimbocups.com/pages/handmade.
These new glass vessels are made by carving Styrofoam positives, from them making reinforced plaster/silica molds, scraping out the foam, blowing glass into the molds, carefully removing the mold material and finally cutting and polishing the feet and rims of the vessel.
Glassblowing (with a blowpipe) has been my hobby since 2000. There are many aspects of glassblowing which create the “moth to the flame” (quite literally) for me:
A crucible of molten glass has infinite potential, limited only by a person’s skill and imagination.
Anybody who has watched glassblowing knows that it is “the extreme sport of the art world”, combining together ballet with the blowpipe and glass always in motion (to counter the effects of gravity and keep the piece centered).
People can approach or specialize in glassblowing from many different perspectives including: history, functional craft, beautiful colorful art, science/chemistry, metals (both for molds/ tools, and also mixed-media). I especially enjoy what the Muranese glass masters call “Palloncino Veneziana” which literally translates as “Venetian Balloon”, of blowing glass inside a copper wire cage, combining together the transparency of glass, with the rigid structure of opaque metal.
People may think of glassblowing as a solitary activity, but it is actually much more common for glassblowing to be done in a group/team, it makes it both easier and more fun to collaborate.
Glassblowing is challenging, but websites are easy for me, so I created www.glassblower.info which is one of the largest “hot glass” websites in the world, with more than 3,800 web pages, over 26,000 photographs, and more than 3 million home page views. I was honored when the Rakow Research Library at Corning Museum of Glass asked if I would participate in their History of Glass video-interview series.
While many people in the area have learned to do glassblowing at Bucks County Community College, as a 3-credit course, that requires a semester-long commitment and is not a public-access studio, i.e. it does not provide individual MYO [Make Your Own] experience such as making a Christmas ornament, or your first paperweight, or a vase, or for the more advanced folks, an opportunity to rent glassblowing time on the weekends. Simply put, there is no public access glassblowing studio closer than 50 to 90 minute drive. And if you have never done glassblowing: here is one fact to keep in mind: you are not going to make just one trip. Anything you make needs to cool in an annealer for one to two days, otherwise it will crack. So, you are looking at a minimum of two round-trips, now we are talking about travel time commitment of 3 hours to 6 hours.
I have been working with glass for the last 16 years and have been creating things for as long as I can remember. I have yet to meet a material that I haven’t liked! My two main focuses are Handblown Glass and Jewelry. When the Glassblowing furnace is off for the summer, I switch over to kilnformed glass and funky, Folk Art inspired stained glass. When I catch up with the bills, then I take the time to make some larger Glass and Metal Sculptures.
I’ve come to this “Art” thing a bit later in life. No one ever told me you could study Art in college, so I got a degree in Biology. What was I thinking?
Anyway, I finally figured it out : )
Now, when I’m not making stuff and selling it, I work in the Art Department of a local college. Besides studying at the college where I now work, I have studied at the Corning Museum of Glass, Penland School of Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Pittsburgh Glass Center, Vitrum Studios, Tuscarora Lapidary Society, a Bronze Art Foundry as well as taking many other private classes.
Harvey Littleton (1922 – 2013). He was an American glass artist and teacher. He grew up surrounded by glass in Corning, NY, where his father worked in the corning factory and contributed to the invention of tempered glass and Pyrex). As he explored his interests, his vision and passion became glassblowing and creating sculpture with glass. Read more
At a time when most believed that glassblowing could only be done in factories, he organized a seminar for studio artists to make glassblowing an art achievable for all studio artists – introducing the idea that the artist could mix, blow, and work glass in the studio.
He began at the Toledo Museum of Art and some years later introduced the first University glass program in Wisconsin, from which a number of student became internationally know glass artists.
Littleton spent a lifetime investigating the properties of glass and experimenting with form and color. His studies and creations are unique, original, and complex works that others often quote him as the father of the American Studio Glass Movement.
In 1983 Littleton was awarded the Gold Medal of the American Craft Council. He is the author of Glassblowing: A Search for Form, published in 1971.
Tyler Park Center for the Arts is always accepting proposals for workshops and successive class programs in art, poetry, music, botanical arts and environmental consciousness. Other relevant program suggestions will be considered ~ Please complete a workshop proposal form and contact us with your information & inspiration – firstname.lastname@example.org or 267-218-0290
Cancellations made with 30 days notice for our adult workshop series and summer camps will receive a 90% refund if we can fill the spot in the class. For less than 30 days, partial refunds are granted based on our ability to fill the class. No refunds will be granted with less than a one week cancellation.
For our ongoing monthly workshop’s we do not offer refunds, but if cancellation is received at least 7 days prior to scheduled class, fee may be applied to the following monthly workshop .
Snow and Inclement Weather
Severe weather poses many safety concerns for participants that may require modifications to the workshop’s hours. Based on current conditions in the area immediately surrounding the event and our best judgment, the TPCA staff may delay the opening of a workshop or postpone a workshop by email . Circumstances that justify amending workshop hours include icy roads, rapid snowfall, tornado warnings, and other severe weather conditions. TPCA does not offer weather-related refunds of class fees unless the workshop is cancelled.
Support artists and artisans in a manner that facilitates sharing their talents and experiences with the Bucks County area community through art-based educational programs
Use the power of art as a tool for community and civic pride
Foster community engagement in groups such as youth minorities and the chronically ill through experiential art education
Partner with like-minded organizations to achieve our goals