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Posts from the ‘Glass Connections’ Category

Glass Auction

 Thank you for all who came to celebrate and donated to the glassblowing initiative.

We had a great group for the private screening of “Pilchuck, A Dance with Fire” – It definitely fueled the excitement of building the Tyler Glassblowing Program!

A silent auction, with generous glass & ceramic donations from local artists.


Click here to learn more about the glass program & donate


Glassblowing Program Sponsors

We are grateful to have the following Sponsors as a founding members of the Tyler Park Center for the Arts Glassblowing Community!

Jim Graham

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

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.

Tony Patti

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.

Read more

Glassblowing is challenging, but websites are easy for me, so I created 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.

-Tony Patti

Chris Rogahn

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.

Read more

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

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.

Timeline of Glass History

Take a look at the Timeline of Glass History by the Corning Museum of Glass. Read more


Glass Facts

Little is known about the first attempts to make glass. However, it is generally believed that glassmaking was discovered 4,000 years ago, or more, in Mesopotamia.

Scholars believe that the ability to make glass developed over a long period of time from experiments with a mixture of silica-sand or ground quartz pebbles – and an alkali. Other high heat industries, including ceramics and metalworking, could have inspired early glassmakers. Perhaps the development of glass began with potters firing their wares. Click more to see more glass facts. Read more

1. Before man figured out how to craft glass, nature was already making it. When lightning strikes sand, the heat sometimes fuses the sand into long, slender glass tubes called fulgurites. The intense heat of a volcanic eruption sometimes fuses rocks and sand into a glass called obsidian. In early times, people shaped obsidian into knives, arrowheads, jewelry, and money.

2. Around 3,000 B.C. is when we find the first real evidence of manufactured glass by people. The Mesopotamia, Egypt, Syria were hubs of glassmaking. But you can thank an ancient Roman for the fact for glass in your everyday life. Because of their empire-making ways, Romans spread a more modern glass manufacturing knowledge to its newly conquered lands.

3. Glass is made of super-cooled liquid. The molecules are just moving very, very slowly

4. The blowpipe was invented about 30 B.C. and was probably created along the Mediterranean coast

5. Glass was believed to be first manufactured in the form of glaze on ceramics, around roughly 3000 B.C.

6. Glass never wears out, meaning it can be recycled over and over again

7. Fiberglass is made from the same substances as normal glass. It’s heated and pulled into threads. The threads are then woven together to make fiberglass

8. Glass is made from readily-available domestic materials, such as sand, soda ash, limestone and “cullet,” the industry term for furnace-ready recycled glass.

9. Many glass making terms have entered the language: ‘Shut yer gob’: a molten lump of glass is called a ‘gob’ to which the glass blower attached a tube to blow the glass into shape. The blower had to blow hard which made his cheeks very large. Today someone with a big mouth is told they have a big gob.

10. Glass is not just manufactured, but can also exist in nature. It can be found inside volcanoes in the form of the natural stone Obsidian.

11. By the 17th century, ordinary people in Europe could afford to use glass for their windows. This resulted in an improvement in their quality of life as it allowed them to lead a more hygienic and disease-free existence.