How lidded vessels are made

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!

A unique solid clear glass acorn

.. the acorn is shown photographed from the same angle but with slight changes in the light direction.. DSC_8050

This particular acorn is currently unique in Jason’s collection because of the way that the acorn cap was created. Every time Jason is in the studio we try and experiment with one thing so expand the overall range. We haven’t made more of this one yet, so in case you love it: it is here and has no twins and might never have any, but it fits really well with all the other acorns and nuts and seeds… DSC_8068

Yes, sorry, I am getting a little bit ‘salesy’, its coming up to that time of year and Jason is coming to spend Christmas in Germany & England, he might depart as early as December 15th, so we are ‘laying our eggs’, ready to hatch as early as we can this year..

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We imagine these seeds to look just fantastic in window displays, on table settings, anywhere where light reflects, at Thanksgiving dinner tables or displays. The symbolism of acorns is reflective of the symbolism of Oak trees, their strength and the characteristics of prosperity and wisdom. Seeds in general are great symbolic gifts for anybody who is planting seeds in life, starting something new, beginning a journey of education, career or health… Glass like this acorn is a really good gift idea for minimalists as well as those people who love to populate their home with treasures and objects of desire..DSC_8115

We will upload more pictures of acorns in the coming weeks. Keep your eyes on Jason’s blog.

Working with glass artist Evan Kolker

Working with glass artist Evan Kolker on his high quality Pitcher Plants for exhibition later this year.

Working with Evan Kolker on his amazing blown glass Pitcher Plants.
Working with Evan Kolker on his amazing blown glass Pitcher Plants.

creating an extra large blown glass acorn

THIS acorn is now SOLD.

Jason Stropko creating a special order, extra large, blown clear glass acorn.. The small ones are usually solid glass and weigh about what a good paperweight does. All size acorns are available well in time for the Thanksgiving Winter season, some special orders can be fulfilled within 5-10 days of order placement (large quantity orders of 12+ can be collected or shipped within 5 working days, small orders will be grouped with other orders and may take 10 days to be ready for shipping or collection). Prices for all acorns currently range from $45- $185

Jason Stropko creating a special order, extra large, blown clear glass acorn..
Jason Stropko creating a special order, extra large, blown clear glass acorn..
large blown glass acorn
large blown glass acorn
large blown glass acorn
large blown glass acorn made by J. Stropko

(Limited acorns are available for $35. These are seconds, which are still tactile, beautiful and daydream invoking but may contain a small defect, which can be that the size doesn’t match it’s brothers and sisters or that it’s cap sits a little differently or it may have caught an unintended dent. Still a beautiful heirloom piece with a character all of it’s own)

introducing glass making colleague: Evan Kolker

Glassmaker and Artist Evan Kolker at work in Glow Glass Studio in Oakland, working on a pitcher plant, September 2015. This is very technical work requiring years of glass working experience. Evan is regularly assisted by Jason Stropko and sometimes assists with Jason’s projects, too. There are some things that are very difficult if not impossible to create without having a competent assistant who also has a thorough understanding of how glass works.

Evan Kolker at work, making a pitcher plant, September 2015 @ Glow Glass Studio in Oakland
Evan Kolker at work, making a pitcher plant, September 2015 @ Glow Glass Studio in Oakland

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Glassmaker Evan Kolker at work @ Glow Glass Studio, assisted by J.Stropko (September 2015)
Glassmaker Evan Kolker at work @ Glow Glass Studio, assisted by J.Stropko
(September 2015)

Evan Kolker at work, making a pitcher plant, September 2015 @ Glow Glass Studio in Oakland

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…

Assisting Alex Abajian making large blown glass lampshades for a commission

As an outsider I just keep finding it amazing how much physical energy and simultaneous fine tuned technical skill goes into making each object that emerges from the hands of any of the glassmakers here at the studio.

Alex Abajian making custom lampshades matching existing sets precisely. When you work with technically advanced glassmakers you will get what you pay for: very special glass pieces!
Alex Abajian making custom lampshades matching existing sets precisely. When you work with technically advanced glassmakers you will get what you pay for: very special glass pieces!

Alex Abajian has some serious skills and a few more years of experience than most of the other glassmakers around the studio. It is always additionally exciting when two or more talented makers work together!

#2 from the day of working with Alex Abajian and Ivan Mora

(written from the perspective of a glass-layperson)

This was one of the most exciting projects that I have been able to witness at the Glass Studio so far. The teamwork among these glassmakers is really great, there is a huge amount of competency coupled with fantastic working atmosphere. The day is spent working incredibly hard with serious concentration and yet there is always a surprise moment when Alex’s intelligent sense of humour gives occasion for laughter and short refreshing relief. I have rarely seen people work so incredibly well together as here at Glow Glass Studio in Oakland.

Alex Abajian holding the blowpipe with the large body cast glass (project for Ivan Mora)

Witnessing this process and the attitudes the makers and artists here have with each other has done a lot for my appreciation of the craft and technical skills-manship but also is taking dusting influence over both Jason and my (Birgit’s) future choices of places to live and creative paths to pursue.

Having this opportunity to be here is incredible. Seeing all this hard work affects hugely how I, as an artist and glass-layperson, am able to appreciate this material and the possible forms of expression. Coming from a conceptual arts background it is refreshing to be surrounded by the down to earth labour these creatives are bringing to the table each day.

Jason torching the large glass body cast to keep it at even temperature to protect it from cracking before it can be placed into the annealer for a day long, controlled cooling process.. Project by Glass Artist: Ivan Mora
Jason torching the large glass body cast to keep it at even temperature to protect it from cracking before it can be placed into the annealer for a day long, controlled cooling process.. Project by Glass Artist: Ivan Mora

After witnessing just how much dedication and years of skill are required to excel in this field, seeing the amount of dedication as well as equipment required to build a smooth running glassblowing workshop changed my perception a lot. The value of glass in our society is huge, this is an age old but simultaneously incredibly fresh and contemporary medium that can teach us something about the value of an object that a China or Mexico produced (knocked out) mass ware item will never be able to.

When you see or hold handblown glass there is a connection that you will not experience with mass market products. In theory wine, juice or water should taste the same out of every drinking glass for example, however in practice: if you have any sensibility at all then the experience of drinking from a handmade vessel will be far superior and infinitely more pleasurable than from a  throwaway valued glass or paper cup..

Alex Abajian holding the blowpipe with the large body cast glass (project for Ivan Mora)Don’t let the price fool you: you will receive what you pay for. A lifelong heirloom treasure or an anonymous object that is the same the world over…

Back to Ivan Mora: look him up! He is a really successful artist making his way in the world; quite literally globally! And all the while he is also a real pleasure to speak with. This is the best combination in an artist isn’t it? Talent, success and absence of attitude. Brilliant stuff!

Making large cast glass work to commission for Ivan : at Glow Glass Studio – teamwork

Watching the casting process for a large glass art piece for Ivan Mora, another inspired and talented glass artist who works internationally! Today we had the opportunity to catch up with him a bit and I learnt that he was artist in residence for an extended period of time at the glass studio Berengo in Murano, Venice, Italy.

In Spring – summer 2013 Jason spent some time at Berengo Glass Studio before moving on to getting more hands on involved at Zanetti (practically around the corner from Berengo).

These are some of the world’s utmost renowned glassmakers and it was really exciting to hear personal stories of Ivan’s time there as well as to get to know him a bit better over a cup of coffee.

Casting at Glow Glass Studio with Alex Abajian, Ivan and Jason
Casting at Glow Glass Studio with Alex Abajian, Ivan and Jason