Modern design with Melanie Abrantes

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. 



Jason Stropko in the studio making drinking glasses for a commission

Below a few very short videos to show part of the process. Photographs of the finished pieces are coming soon, too…

We received final details of an order for drinking glasses a couple of days ago and Jason got into the studio to make each glass specific to the colours, shape design choice and sizes requested.

optic mould :


blow mould (error in labelling that says optic mould, but it is a blow mould)

It is time to begin thinking about Christmas / Season ornaments…

We agree, it feels like it is just a little bit too soon to say those words, but knowing how time can fly and how making glass to meet orders can take a little time we decided to join the and shops that already play Christmas Music, except we aren’t playing the music (just yet), we will wait until December before we do that!

Jason blowing a huge clear glass bubble...
Jason blowing a huge clear glass bubble…

Just playing around making a large clear glass bauble, thinking about larger than life christmas ornaments made in glass! These will only be made by special order and cost from around $95 for a clear/transparent colour and around $125 for an optic mould blown one.. Orders should ideally be received during the month of November. It will be possible to make some in December, too. But the sooner you dream up your christmas ornaments colour choices and designs the sooner they can be in production!

more possible Christmas ornament designs..
an idea for possible Christmas ornament designs..

But here an early offering of: place your order early and be guaranteed a timely delivery (in good time to send gifts as ornaments to friends around the world even!)

October Glassblowing Class London at Studio: Michael Ruh

We would like to send a big shoutout for Jason’s friend the London based glassmaker Michael Ruh & his team who are offering weekend Glassblowing classes starting this October.

Classes will be for a maximum of 4 students only, 8 hours per day and include a light home cooked  lunch. Please follow the link to Michael Ruh’s website for detailed information about the classes and teaching team.

then there was the day when everybody was at the Glass studio…

… there was a hive of activity, everybody was working.. David worked on his line of drinking glasses with rocks embedded in them, Evan assisted, Jerry worked with a  group of clients with another glassmaker assistant, Heather was just outside the field of vision working on a deadline…

Glow Glas Studio in Oakland, California, full of activity!
Glow Glas Studio in Oakland, California, full of activity! (David Battaglia, Evan Kolker, Jerry Kung and Cody Nicely assisting + 3 brand new glassblowing students / designers standing around)

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Jerry Kung explaining something

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David Battaglia at work making his rock-drinking glasses

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Jerry Kung giving a glassblowing demonstration to his students, with Cody (to the far right) assisting

..but where was Jason?

Sometimes every hardworking glassmaker needs a restorative siesta...
Sometimes every hardworking glassmaker needs a restorative siesta…

Today in the studio

spending the day developing project ideas and making more of the blown glass table set items.. drinking glasses, bowls and functional vessels will be ready soon!

The process benefits tremendously from teamwork. Good communication, a sense of humour a steady hand and years of skill are all requires from both the gaffer (Jason) and his assistant; today Evan Kolker who is an incredible glassmaker, on other days Jason assist him in the making of his intricate and highly technical skill requiring glass art objects! It is a real stroke of luck that Jason found this glassmakers community. Where many colleagues also have very high skills levels. There is also Alex Abajian, the studio owner and another outstanding glassmaker. A series of glassmakers rent the studio and there are a lot of fantastic projects happening here. You wouldn’t know what you are missing until you see what these people make out of molten glass..

these are the tools of the day…

Preview of one of the latest additions to the line of Jason Stropko’s glass works…

Small sample vases that double as mini servings wine jugs..
Small sample vases that double as mini servings dessert wine decanters..

Fresh from the Glass Studio are these sample vases / wine decanters. Beautifully made, elegant and intricate but not too fragile for daily use.

(sneak preview) This one is still at the end of the blowpipe

Jason working on developing shapes and lids for the bulbous, luxurious vessels home ware line ..
Jason working on developing shapes and lids for the bulbous, luxurious vessels home ware line .. This requires a great deal of technical skill and sensitivity to the pliability of the glass during it’s varying hot and cooling stages. One mistake and the project will crack.

Glassblowing Classes

Jason (on the right) teaching glassmaking to a private student

Jason (on the right) teaching glassmaking to a private student

Private and group glass blowing classes

currently teaching public classes at Public Glass in San Francisco, The Crucible in Oakland and private classes at Glow Glass Studio in Oakland, Ashby area. For costs please select the tab above labelled: