Jon Offutt

Glass Blowing Artist

I have always been a vessel maker. Starting with clay in high school, I felt a real affinity for the vessel form, and when I encountered the blowing process in college, it just felt right. For years I worked on basic processes and techniques, developing my ability to produce symmetrical forms.

In graduate school, the majority of my work was sculptural blown from clear glass. The work was based on the physical processes and the physical forces inherent in the process—gravity, buoyancy, balance, centrifugal force.

Once I had the ability to craft the material into the shapes I desired, I started spending a lot more of my attention on surface. I’ve been working with reactive colors directly on the surface of the hot glass—allowing the characteristics and chemistries of the different colors to interact, react, and create organic patterns.

 

I’m very process-oriented in my work. Each piece I design is produced and choreographed like a one-act play: with glass, there’s no opportunity to edit. I enjoy the theatre, the drama, of the process. I try and share this part of the work with my audience when I’m doing glass blowing demonstrations and traveling throughout the tri-state region with my mobile glass studio.

At the beginning of my career as a glassblower, I worked in my home shop—developing my contacts, relationship with galleries and patrons, raising a daughter, and making my mortgage.

After many years of building my skills, marketing my work, serving the community, and having the community, in turn, support me, it’s time for me to pull back and reevaluate my relationship with my work—I’m experimenting with new colors and researching new color applications.

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