The Glass Studio


Quite a large project.

Like any large project, I am sure that I am not alone in saying that one never fully appreciates how much work it takes to build and maintain a glassblowing studio until they do it themselves. I wanted to build a professional studio that was similar to the one Lance Friedman built in Chicago. That meant a professional gas furnace that runs 24/7, a 12” reheat furnace (aka Glory Hole) and an annealer that was suitably sized to handle the types and sizes of pieces we would create. It also meant the proper safety systems and controls as well as the gaffers bench, pipes and punties and the myriad of tools needed.


Challenging and rewarding work.

Building and maintaining a glassblowing studio is a LOT of work. It was one of the most rewarding projects I have worked on and it has enabled me to share my passion for glass with the community and at the same time pursue my own work. My goal for the studio is to one day transition it to another or multiple instructors so that it will continue to serve the community and future generations.


The village’s help.

The saying that it takes a village is true. There were a numerous people who helped me get this project started and over the finish line. I would be remiss if I did not mention them. First and foremost, my lovely bride of nearly 40 years who not only supported the building of the studio but also my passion for glass for 25 years. My glass partner and dear friend Henry who has been steadfast, patient and fun. We push each other to continue learning and trying new techniques. As Henry likes to say…the first 100 are the hardest. To Lynn Caldwell who entertained a meeting with me when I called to ask if she would have an interest in a discussion about partnering on a glass studio. To Tom Mahaffey, the architect who helped get the plans developed and approved. To John Bliezner, Dan Winslow and Lear Keller who helped me build the building. To John Bliezner for his commitment and support in the final days leading to lighting the furnace! To Dan Caldwell that helped me learn how to weld and fabricate and who I still consult with today on all things metal. To Charlie Correll (who built my furnace) and recommended I learn CAD (SketchUp) to design and fabricate my equipment and who continues to help me understand how to take care of and maintain a glass studio (especially the furnace). Charlie is a wealth of knowledge and a treasured resource for me. And finally, to Lance Friedman who shared his passion for glass through his teaching and encouragement and who provided the inspiration for me to pursue this passion.