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November 15, 2015

Gathering Glass Studios



 KEITH GABOR - shown working on the right in both photos

Keith began his glassblowing career in 1994 at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, VA where he earned his BFA in Crafts with a focus in Glassblowing. While he was earning his degree, he worked for the Williamsburg Glass Company where he experienced all aspects of a glass shop; from blowing in the hot shop to grinding, polishing, cutting, mixing batch and finishing glass in the cold shop. It was there that he developed respect for the art of production and the Early American glass techniques developed in East Coast factories. He then began working in various west coast states as a glassblowing instructor, gaffer and casting lead crystal. He also discovered a passion for technical work while employed at an aerospace company. He settled in Seattle, Washington in 2003. He resumed teaching glassblowing classes and assisting at Art by Fire while living, assisting and gaffing at Blowing Sands Studio with David Smith. Wanting to expand his knowledge and experience in all aspects of glass while pursuing knowledge about the operational aspects of a studio, Keith took a job as the studio technician for The Glass Eye Studio. He later left to become the lead hot shop technician for Tacoma’s Museum of Glass and Contemporary Art. He was responsible for maintaining all aspects of the museum’s hot shop, working with every visiting artist and teaching glasswork to the museum’s donors and sponsors. Keith felt ready to get back to creating his own glass and soon moved to beautiful and artist friendly Ashland, Oregon. Keith is now a partner at Gathering Glass Studio where he uses his skills as a technician and glassblower to both teach various community members and to create new and innovative product lines while working with his brother-in-law Scott Carlson.

November 15, 2015

Glass Mountain Studios


Glass Mountain Studios is home to artists Edward Schmid and Elena Enos. We are located in beautiful Bellingham, Washington, in the northwest corner of the United States near the Canadian border.

Working cooperatively since 1993, Ed and Elena encompass many facets of glassmaking including: glassblowing, torchwork, sculpting and mixed media.  They are inspired by forces of natural and man-made. They are also influenced by the history and future of glass and glassmaking.

Ed and Elena have both received their Masters in Fine Arts Degrees in 1990 (from The Ohio State University in Columbus, and San Jose State University respectively).

They are committed to education and learning. Ed and Elena spend nearly half of their year teaching classes and workshops in glassmaking at home and in colleges, universities and private studios worldwide. The other half of the year they devote to developing new work, writing projects and raising their two young children in the scenic Pacific Northwest.

Glass Mountain Press is the self-publishing company of Edward T. Schmid. It is responsible for overseeing the production and direct distribution of Ed’s books: Beginning Glassblowing, Advanced Glassworking Techniques and the most recently released The Glassworker's Bathroom Reader

November 15, 2015

Marja Germans Gard Studio

Marja Germans Gard is an Oakland-based jewelry artist.

Here is her profile:  I've been making jewelry since I was a kid- I was always googly-eyed walking into a bead store and collected beads like other kids would collect stickers or matchbox cars.

As an adult, I returned to making jewelry when I was working on my Ph.D.- I needed to do SOMETHING that was creative and that was ANYTHING BUT running statistical analyses! Little did I know that creative escape would land me here (so happy to be here, by the way).

I love, love, love creating. I will go on benders when I am filling notepads with designs and can't wait until I have that precious time in the studio to try and realize my visions. It's thrilling to me to take a sketch and make it real, and even more rewarding when my work makes someone else feel just a bit more glamorous.

I'm really happy to say that the silver and 14K gold that I use in my designs come from reclaimed metal. I also use eco-friendly metal smith practices in my studio.

I love to design pieces with clean lines and a modern feel, and then to create interest by mixing metals and textures. I'm constantly working on new designs, so be sure to come back often!
November 15, 2015

Offhand Designs & Sage Luxury

"I am dedicated to creating products that showcase the rich, luscious textiles of the world."

- Larisa Flint Snydal  
Larisa and the Camille in Cherry Leather
Larisa set out to provide the bold and self-assured woman with high-quality alternatives to leather and now finds inspiration in both textiles and luxury leathers. Vowing to offer only products that she would die to own herself, Larisa creates her limited edition handbags, baby bags and knitting bags from a hand-picked treasure trove of brocades, velvets and chenilles. 
Her background is as diverse as her handbag designs. Through more than a decade of living and traveling in foreign lands, her passions for the arts, crafts, textiles, architecture and nature have given her a highly individualistic style and sharpened her eye for design. Did we mention that her Master's thesis was entitled "Fashion in the Brezhnev Era: Unzipping the USSR." 
Larisa has a great talent for making something amazing out of materials no one has any use for and seeing potential where no one else sees it. Friends and family have often teased Larisa, calling her an "idea hamster" because she never stops designing, or seeing inspirations in the shapes and textures of everyday things. The cracks in a sidewalk or the grounds in her coffee cup can inspire entire lines of handbags! 
Larisa also finds inspiration for some of her designs from the textiles themselves. Random finds in her ongoing search for interesting materials may kickstart the whole design process in directions that no one, not even she, could predict. The name Offhand Designs reflects this element of spontaneity. The name also represents her dedication to this openness in her creative process. She believes in designing whatever strikes her, however she envisions it, whether it is a handbag, coat or slippers. 
Enjoy the Offhand Designs adventure!
November 15, 2015

Moving Mud




Sarina and Johnny at their torches    Sarina's workbench and view   Johnny's workbench


Moving Mud is a truly small business.  Johnny and Sarina make, design, package and sell all of the product.  Scout, the littlest of the bunch, lends a hand in packaging quite often.

Living in Vermont provides us with a healthy lifestyle that keeps us busy.  On an average day we cook up a storm, tend to the generous garden, take care of chickens, throw in some kind of exercise, work on the torch, daily chores of course, and get together with neighbors.

Moving Mud uses the traditional glassblowing technique called lampwork.  Each button is made of borosilicate glass, which is pyrex.  The glass is melted and formed with a torch that combines oxygen and propane.  For added strength, all pieces are annealed.  Annealing is a strengthening process of slowly cooling glass to relieve internal stresses by using a kiln.

November 15, 2015

Bonnie Bishoff


Design and Manufacturing

The Shawl Pins and Stick Pins are designed and handmade by Bonnie Bishoff and her husband J.M. Syron. They feature colorful inlays of polymer clay in white bronze and lead free pewter settings. Some of the polymer based pins encase metal armatures in their structures. The hooks are made in the USA, of nickel silver, exclusively for her designs. The Stick Pins and Shawl Pin settings were originally fabricated by Bonnie in sterling silver and then cast in New England.


Bonnie has been collaborating with her partner J.M. Syron, since 1987, designing and building one of a kind and limited edition studio furniture. They exhibit their work at high end galleries, craft shows such as the Smithsonian Craft Show and museum exhibits across the country including the Museum of Art and Design in NY and the Fuller Craft Museum in MA. Their furniture features veneers of polymer clay and carved surfaces and sculptural elements. From this Bonnie began to combine her carving skill with metal working and polymer clay to create one of a kind jewelry. She created a line of shawl pins on the request of her mother in law, Barbara Jones, a talented fiber artist. The design and functionality of these pins has evolved as their popularity has grown and are now available in yarn and needlework stores around the country. 

For a look at their other collaborative artwork : syronbishoff.com

November 15, 2015

Becky Caraco Glass



Becky Caraco    Becky's workbench   Becky's buttons


Becky loves to fill her world with handmade and "re-purposed" things and so do we!

Becky's glass lampwork beads and buttons are all handmade by her. Each button and bead is unique because she shapes each and every one free-form. She loves to see organic imperfections as flavor. She adds a few polka dots and ruffles here and there sometimes, too! To accent her love of the surprise in her work she often uses "odd lot" glass which gives a wonderful variegation and variation to each piece. 

Becky lives with her husband and son, chickens, cats and dogs in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains in California with Yosemite National Park in her backyard. Though she misses the city life now and then, she loves the colorfulness and un-predictability of the country.