Melanie and I met in person to discuss her designs, dimensions and color questions. After explaining my glass making process and color applications, Melanie set off to the glass color shop to look at sample colors. Our next meeting was in the hot glass studio, my office, where I would shape Melanies designs into life.
I have had the good fortune of working with studios in California, Ohio, England and Italy, often filling the role of head maker or head gaffer. As head gaffer my job is to make the studios designs, ideas and product line to specific dimensions and color requirements, often with a team of assistants. This can be a very demanding role and requires in-depth knowledge of each aspect of the glass making process from start to finish. Throughout the years and thousands of hours in such possitions I have honed my skills and abilities to be able to make work for designers like Melanie.
When looking at Melanie’s Marais Vases it is important to understand and appreciate the level of craftsmanship that went into each piece. Each piece embodies the culmination of Melanie’s experience wood turning, her growing designs and my 16+ years of experience making glass and my ability to listen and understand what Melanie is trying to convey and achieve. The Marais Vases are a brilliant example of what can happen when experienced makers come together to create something beyond their own capabilities.
Presenting Jason’s glasswork is always a challenge. We want to do it justice, make sure it sparkles and shows it’s best side. But not having our own studio we pack the glass treasures in and out of boxes, and each time we work on promotional photography it is a big deal to get everything we need in one place. But presentation is important. This is not a place to cut corners. Can you do it yourself!? YES you can. Is it incredibly helpful to delegate and focus everybody’s attention and time in a way that they do what they are best at: I don’t even need to ask, right!?
Perseverance. Sometimes getting the right photo can take a lot of shots and even multiple session tries. Then learning to do the photo editing, how to use software, which software to even use: all that takes perseverance. But it is worth it to honour and treasure the glass creations.
Yesterday we realised that we had misplaced the original edit of the image below, but we urgently need a specific file size of it. We have used this image on Jason’s business cards and now need it at a specific size for a residency application. So of course it needed editing immediately tonight, from the original file format, all over again. After an hour it looked like it does in image #1. I had touched up to reduce some odd reflections and a couple of too obvious fingerprints (what were we thinking not wearing gloves when photographing!!!) We were reasonably pleased but I just wasn’t sure it was all it could be. It looks a bit flat and the white was refusing to be white and it just had a bit of the ‘meh’ quality about it… I could have just leant right into the contrast, and thrown my weight around the curves but it didn’t feel like that would be enough by itself..
Fast forward another 2 or so hours, it is now 1:30am in the morning. Way too late, as I have other things to attend to besides Jason’s glassblowing career (i.e. my own career / an early morning language class to teach) but honestly I couldn’t leave it as it was before. It just didn’t look fresh enough! And Jason is such a hardworking and talented glassmaker, he needs better than average effort from me!
So.. I wrestled 2 photo editing softwares, created layers in Photoshop Elements; and with a combination of Lightroom > Photoshop Elements and back into Lightroom the end result is a fresh, fantastic, clear and exciting image that I have now saved in 3 different file sizes for Jason. We are now prepared for all eventualities! Don’t you agree that this is now a tasty eye candy, colour popping photograph of Jason Stopko’s Glass ?!
I know there is still room for a little more subtlety in the image but it is 1:30am.. there is no time to work on subtlety. But in the future I will try out working with more than 2 layers in photoshop and fine tune my overall approach with more thought before action..
If anybody would like to know how this was done let us know. I can add a description of the photo editing workflow for you to follow.
Signing off duty until the next time, Birgit Deubner. The woman for everything that is not glass in this little business of ours.
As usual Jason leans to squirrelling away his glass and hiding it in storage boxes.. This particular vase is actually quiet new, it was recently made in about July or August 2016.
We have gone ahead and added it to Jason’s Etsy shop because it just is too stunning to wait for it’s forever home at the glassblowing studio any longer.
The vase is very thick and quite heavy but doesn’t lose it’s elegance at all. You know how sometimes thick glass isn’t very elegant? Well this vase is stunning and exquisite! What an incredible statement piece it will be in somebody’s home who also loves this rich lucious colour!
If you are getting the feeling that I am reluctant to part with this beauty then you would have guessed right! But we often move house and until we one day own our very own beautiful little villa we shouldn’t hold on to objects of desire that should really be enjoyed in the present moment.
Let’s not delay! May you feel inspired to acquire this treasure.
With many greetings from the office where I work for Jason,
Hello Squirrels! (and everybody loving autumn fruits and nuts.).
The acorn harvest is in the bag, we have already selected boxes to ship them in, are just waiting on labels from the printers. This is the season to be nutty.
Clear acorns are proving difficult to photograph, but they are easy to admire. They have lovely light catching qualities and complement well with the etched acorns that we have recently added to the repertoire.
We have a big, giant autumnal goal to get as many acorns out into the world this autumn and winter as possible. Everybody should have some of these precious nuts.
Fun fact: Did you know that acorns are edible? They were an essential crop used to grind into a flour by Native Americans. Since we found out some months ago we have been rearing at the bits to go acorn harvesting (in nature, not the glass studio) and try them for ourselves.
Have we already missed the acorns?!
Another great fun fact: California is home to a great variety of acorns / Oak Trees!
Want to get more connected? Love acorns so much you want to ask about a commission for your wedding table decoration? For a graduation ceremony? For Christmas? For a gift for somebody recently returned from hospital..?Acorns are fabulous, you can use the contact form below to say ‘Hi’ to Jason.
Why wait for February to treat yourself and your romantic other to a special experience? It is always a good time to book a glassblowing class session and learn to create your very own glass Objects of Desire with the accommodating and highly skilled glassmaker Jason Stropko!
In one of the most recent classes both students got really into their experience and designed and created outstanding glass projects with Jason.
The participants always get as much hands on time with the glass as they are comfortable with. Jason encourages each student to take over their own project as much as possible but is always ready to step in to guarantee that every class participant walks away with some finished work.
Here is what the students made in this class:
What would you like to make…?
You can follow the shop or take a class with Jason tabs on the homepage for more information on how you could join a class, too.
Jason accepted employment in a key position with a successful West Coast glassmaking company and got really busy working a few regular shifts each week for them. Additionally there were so many glassblowing classes to teach and students to manage that somehow we fell off the wagon keeping you up to date with it all.
Birgit (who takes the photos and does a lot of the posting, but not all) hasn’t been able to spend time at the glassblowing studio to capture all the glassmaking sessions with Jason’s students, which is why there is so little to share at the moment.
What we do have are some amazing feedbacks from students of the past 3 months. Incredibly positive and very happy customers!
” After conducting some research and reading other reviews, I decided to try out the “Beginner Glass Blowing for 2” with Jason. What an awesome experience! First off, Jason is a PRO when it comes to the art of blowing glass. His skill and passion is transparent (no pun intended). Second, it takes a certain personality type with abundant patience to be a good teacher. My wife and I learned a lot to say the least. Finally, the finished product(s) we created actually didn’t suck; Jason assisted me with a wide bottom wine decanter, and my better half crafted some heavy bottom glasses. When I confirmed my appointment, I gave Jason a heads up what our favorite colors are and when we showed up, he was prepared. The end result was exactly what wanted. Now I’m not one to write reviews since everyone can have a different experience and/or opinion. All I can say that for the two of us, we were “blown” away.. (pun intended). Thanks Jason! “
Did this wet your appetite, too?
You can book classes STRAIGHT through Jason for a lower cost than using our booking agent. Or if you don’t know Jason go ahead and DO use our booking agent (that link above the feedback will take you there).
For all other’s: click on the ‘HOME’ button and you will see options: shop (pay Jason directly) or take classes: pay the booking agent who takes a total of 20% of the price you pay in fees.. 5% fees you pay and 15% we pay. Gig economy… Always go straight to the artist when you feel confident to do so!
It’s been quite a while since we made a post from the glass studio! Here you can see some of the working process that goes into creating lidded vessels, which serve beautifully for functional as well as decorative use.
They make amazing trophies but also can be custom made for sweets and table displays or special flower arrangements. If you send Jason Stropko your design he can give you a quote and create pretty much any object of desire thanks to a well rounded technical ability that takes many years to master!
Jason has now been making glass full time professionally for 10 years + 4 years study before beginning on this career path!
when special orders arrive for Valentines and Jason is asked to create a set of ornaments to be suspended above the dinner table set for two the he gets straight to work and delivers within 12 says of the order placed.. For this fast tracked special order the minimum order will be 15 pieces but when it comes to the maximum: the sky is the limit….
Now can you picture these hanging from the ceiling, or from branches of a spring blossoming tree.. while two love birds share a glass of wine and a special moment…?
These ornaments are of medium weight, they are neither as light as the thin blown glass that you might be familiar with from Eastern Germany and Eastern Europe, nor are they as heavy as some of the import products from India and China. The durability of these glass decorations is above average and with some tender care they can last a lifetime and become an heirloom gift to your ancestors..
Availability in both Europe & America, with legal rights to sell in both places. (work permits for both locations are fully legitimate. Large wholesale orders are welcome. Jason Stropko has experience in meetings Targets in both quality of production as well as timeframe.
colour choices: a wide range of options, you can speak with Jason about your requirements.