Paul studied at Penland School of Crafts. He then joined a cooperative craft community and continued to teach himself, designing and making his own equipment, developing his colors and refining his forms. When asked why he chose glass for his medium: “I like the immediacy of glass. I can conceptualize and finish a piece in one process. Glass is like watercolor. It needs to be in your mind ahead of time and done swiftly. If you lose a piece, you learn something and go to another. You learn to see the potential of the work and make allowances for those special things that happen when it is in process. You save the ‘mistakes’ you like and correct the others.”
Hudson Beach Glass
John and Wendy Gilvey, Michael Benzer and Jennifer Smith founded Hudson Beach Glass in 1987. Our main studio is located in a renovated ice house in the Hudson Valley of New York state. In 2003, we opened our gallery and glass blowing demonstration studio on Main Street in Beacon, NY. We are located in a restored firehouse.
Michael works out of a studio in California. His love of color is evident throughout his work. “My work emphasizes the process of blowing and forming hot glass using design elements that can be incorporated into the molten material. The long tradition of working with the material in it’s “purest form” is compelling. My challenge is to add these elements into the pieces and still maintain the integrity of the process. I want to capture the beauty that can be implicit in the simplest form, line and color.”
Henry Levine / Thorn Ridge Glass
“Inspired by ancient roman glass, I strive to create work that is both beautiful and useful in which the color, pattern and shape are balanced. I use a rich medley of colors that glow with translucency and create a sense of depth. Recurring themes in my work are repeated patterns and applied motion. My favorite shape to work with at the moment is the candy dish; the thick bottom and flared lip allows me to create a space in the cone that is intimate and jewel like.”
“When I owned the neon shop, I told people that it required bumblebee wings to run that business-bumblebee wings are an apt metaphor because of the incessant flapping of the wings to keep the thing flying, and bumblebee wings defy conventional wisdom as to how they actually work. The glass art business requires butterfly wings. Butterflies need perfect conditions to fly; if it is too cold, a butterfly will sun itself and pump warm liquid into its wings. When its wings are warmed it will take off flying.
While at the beach last summer, I was walking down a shaded sand road grazing on blackberries and chokecherries. It was a glorious day with bright sunshine and a surreal blue sky-a perfect 82 degrees. I looked down the path from where I had come and saw a large butterfly bobbing and weaving fast towards me. With all of its hot flower nectar energy, it swooped around me and zipped on down the road in front of me.. Yeah, blowing glass is a lot like that.”
Heron American Craft Gallery • 16 N. Main Street, Kent CT • 860.927.4804