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A Glass Blower’s Companion with Jason Michael -Helping Today's Glass Artist Think Like an Artistic Entrepreneur

Sep 27, 2016

Episode 127- Co-Founder Nick Deviley
talking "Glassroots"

The Glassroots Education Project

The Glassroots Education Project is a unique opportunity for new and advanced lampworkers to learn from artists, tool makers, and raw material suppliers about technique, tricks, and insight into many aspects of the Functional Glass Art Industry.

Monday October 10th
Tuesday October 11th
Wednesday October 12th
10:00AM - 3:00PM

Education Project Ticket (3 Days)
$200 - Includes all 3 days of classes except Darby Holm Master Class

Darby Holm Master Class Ticket (3 Days)
$1500 - Includes All-Access to the entire show, lunch daily, and a gift bag with a Glassroots T-shirt and Grassroots hat.


10am to 12 pm :
Tito Bern - “What Happened?”

Interviews focusing on the day the pipe industry stood still. How “Operation Pipe Dreams” and Headhunter affected our lives.

BIO: Tito Bern is an American pipe-maker based in Burlington, Vermont. In 1999, Tito discovered the art of glassblowing, his new passion was born. In 2004, he co-founded The Bern Gallery with Mikeala Boman, whom he later married. In 2006 the pair launched the Pipe Classic, the world's first Pipe-Making Competition. Tito's work is often sculptural, and animal-centric. His uncanny ability to sculpt the natural form infuses his work with a vitality rarely seen in the medium. Tito lives in Bristol, Vermont, with his wife and their ever-growing menagerie of rescue animals.

12pm to 3pm :
Roger Parramore - “Understanding the Fundamentals”

No matter where you find yourself in your glass career, whether a beginner or well experienced, it is never too early or too late to take the time to familiarize yourself with the fundamentals.

Often times more experienced lampworkers will find themselves at a stand-still, and beginners will be baffled simply trying to plot a course. Glass can often seem mysterious, fickle, and downright ornery; however, with a proper understanding of the material itself and how it interacts with the heat and chemistry of the flame, the artist is freed form the mystery and variables associated with struggling and is allowed to work more closely oriented to the act of creativity. After all, the fun is in working with the material not wrestling against it. This presentation will focus in more directly on gaining an understanding of the material itself and on tightening up our approach to process.


With 40 plus years of glassblowing under his belt, Roger Parramore consistently seeks to develop his work while teaching others the passion for the medium. Robert Mickelsen writes: “Parramore is known for his decanter and goblet sets, lidded urns, and broad-lipped compotes. Extremely adept at forming relatively large blown forms, Parramore has sometimes been called the ‘human lathe.’ The bodies of some of his vessels are formed of clear borosilicate glass with color being reserved for ornamentation, stems, and handles. The clarity emphasizes the sense of fragility, while the form lends a feeling of strength. Others are built in the Italian incalmo style with heavily reduced colors giving the surface a ceramic-like appearance. Roger’s vessels are precise and impossibly thin. The perfect shapes of his paper-walled goblet bowls and bottles are a testimony to his extremely high skill level. His highly developed technical skills and uncompromising design aesthetics place Parramore squarely among the very best lampworkers in the world today.” Fellow glass artist and author Bandhu Scott Dunham writes: “Among lampworkers, some of the most sublime goblet bowls are created by Roger Parramore, who pays respect to the Venetian tradition. His scientifically-derived technique produces simple, dramatic, deliciously satisfying forms.”

12pm to 3pm:
Tracy Drier x Erich Moraine - “Scientific Glass Technique on the Lathe”

This is a hands-on lathe technique class which will also provide a mental framework for how to approach scientific glass work. Bring your notebook – there are no hand-outs.

BIO: Tracy Drier began his career as a paper engineer, but glassblowing was always his first love. When he turned 30, he decided to make the switch, and moved to South Jersey to enroll in the scientific glassblowing program at Salem Community College. For the last 20 years he has worked as a scientific glassblower in industrial production and university research environments.

Erich Moraine is owner of Wild Rose Glass where he designs/builds/repairs custom scientific glassware. He attended Salem Community College in 1977 to start learning the profession. That's where he ran into his first glass lathe. He never fully recovered from that accident.

Education Project Tickets:
$200 - Includes all 3 days of classes except Darby Holm Master Class


10am to 12pm
Germ - “A Quest for Balance”

Germ will talking about his adventures in crowd funding the 10000 Cranes project.

BIO: Germ (Jeremy Grant-Levine) is a Philadelphia based glass artist and teacher. His parents are both artists and encouraged him to experiment with all materials from a very young age. Germ has a degree in Scientific glassblowing and spent several years working in the scientific glass industry, before returning to making art full time. He has traveled extensively, collaborating and learning from some of the best glassblowers in the country. He has been teaching in studios around the US and internationally for the past few years.
Germs work is always in flux. One series of work could focus on the sea and his New England up bringing (Smoke on the Water, 2015) and the next could reference eastern spiritual practices and communal ritual (Tools for Enlightenment, 2016). For many years he experimented with traditional German glassblowing techniques and tried to give them a more contemporary feel.

12pm to 3pm - TORCH DEMO
Jason Howard - “Jedi Mind Tricks”

This class will cover topics such as optic stemware, fuming, using compressed air, and soft glass hot shop techniques to expand your fundamental understanding of glass.

BIO: Jason Howard first began working with glass in 1997 as a senior studying ceramics at Hamilton College with glass artist Robert Palusky. Seduced by its alluring qualities of light and the sheer technical challenge, Howard's glass experimentation soon turned to obsession and total immersion. After a two-year internship as Hamilton's ceramic studio technician and a scholarship to The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass, he began studying both off-hand glassblowing and flameworking. His work has been exhibited in national galleries and is in the permanent collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He won a NICHE Award in 2009.

12pm to 3pm - LATHE DEMO
John Meinke (Circle Glass / Mobius) - “Lathe Setup for Smooth Workflow”

Demonstration of how Lathe Setup affects workflow and how a well thought out setup can expand the possibilities of work. Then, a demonstration of ideal setup to make a small beaker style pipe, and a 30-45 minute Q&A.

BIO: John Meinke, also known by his torch name Circle, has been a full time glassblower since November of 1999. After becoming disillusioned with what the future might hold for him while pursuing a BA in music performance for classical trombone, he decided to drop out of college and take an apprenticeship at a small shop in the San Fernando Valley. It was there where he first began to learn about real life, the meaning of intensely hard & hot work and the magic of molten glass. Almost 16 years later he still finds great satisfaction working with his hands and moving glass into shapes that function well and are pleasing to the eye. The first 10 years of John’s glassblowing career were spent blowing glass to stock the shelves of the retail store that he and his brother owned together. He has made everything from five dollar clear dry pipes, to downstems, to bubblers, waterpipes, lighting sconces, ashtrays, cheap bowl pieces, headdies and everything inbetween. The skills that he acquired making everything that could possibly be made to put on the shelf of a smoke shop, gave John an incredibly broad skillset that he draws from on a daily basis. 5 years ago he started Mobius, a production scientific glass waterpipe company, where he is the sole owner and designer. When not working, John is an obsessed gardener and beach bum. His garden could be considered a small farm. Both gardening and surfing time are always spent with his family, his wife Rose and 2 kids. He also enjoys camping, fishing and running. Creating a life with a healthy work, family, food and exercise balance has been an ongoing challenge and one that he feels if very important to not lose sight of. John is 35 years old.


Education Project Tickets:
$200 - Includes all 3 days of classes except Darby Holm Master Class


10am to 12pm
Carmen Lozar - “Cultivating Style (Listen to yourself)”

How do you make an artwork that is unique and recognizable as your own? In this workshop we will discuss different methods that can help an artists identify and cultivate themes that they would like to realize in glass. A pipe has the potential to become a work of art when the artist chooses to incorporate political statements, personal narratives, or even pop culture into the work. Ms. Lozar will give a brief lecture on her own artistic journey and then invite workshop participants to complete a series of exercises that will help identify and develop their own unique style.

BIO: “The sculpture I create with glass is meant to inspire and provoke imagination. Telling stories has always been my primary objective. Some narratives are sad, funny, or thoughtful but my pieces are always about celebrating life.”

Born in 1975, Carmen Lozar lives in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois where she maintains a studio and is a member of the art faculty at Illinois Wesleyan University. Carmen has taught at Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Craft, Pittsburgh Glass School, Appalachian Center for Crafts, The Chrysler Museum, and the Glass Furnace in Istanbul, Turkey. She has had residencies at the Corning Museum of Glass and Penland School of Craft. Her work is included in many collections including the Bergstrom Mahler Museum, WI and the Museum of Art and Design, NY. Carmen Lozar was the 2008 keynote speaker and demonstrator at the International Flameworking Conference in Salem, NJ. In fall of 2016, Carmen will travel to New Zealand to present at the New Zealand Society of Artists in Glass conference.

12pm to 3pm TORCH DEMO
Robert Mickelsen - “Organic Freeform Hollow Construction”

Mr. Mickelsen will construct a life-size clear glass human hand out of borosilicate tubing. Followed by a Question and Answer session

BIO: Born in 1951 in Fort Belvoir , Virginia and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Robert's formal education ended after one year of college. He apprenticed with a professional lampworker for two years in the mid-seventies and then sold his own designs at outdoor craft fairs for ten years. In 1987 he took a class from Paul Stankard that opened his eyes to the possibilities of his medium. In 1989, he stopped doing craft shows and began marketing his work exclusively through galleries. Since then, his career has taken off. He shows his work in some of the finest galleries in the country and participates in prominent exhibitions each year. His work is exhibited in many prominent collections including the Renwick Gallery of American Crafts at the Smithsonian Institution, the Corning Museum of Glass,

The Toledo Museum of Art, The Museum of Arts and Design, The Carnegie Museum of Art, The Mint Museum, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and The Museum of American Glass at Wheaton Village. He has taught extensively at the major glass schools including the Pilchuck Glass School , Penland School of Crafts, The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass, and The Pittsburgh Glass Center. He has filmed and produced two videos on his flameworking process, and he has designed and maintains an elaborate web page dedicated to his own work and the galleries that represent him ( He has published numerous technical and historical articles on flameworked glass. He served for six years on the board of directors of the Glass Art Society and was their treasurer and vice-president.

12pm to 3pm TORCH DEMO
Brian Serck aka BERZERKER - "Dichroic Extract Application"

BIO: Berzerker aka Brian Serck, born in 1972 is a Colorado native, currently living in beautiful Gunnison Co. where he attended Western State University, and received a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts. After graduation in 1996 he began his career as a glassblower, and works out of his home studio nicknamed "The Bubble".

In 2008 Berzerker invented a technique he calls "Dichroic Extract”, which involves painting the dichroic directly on the glass in sandblasted areas and encasing. Not only did he coin the phrase, but he also created the product with the cooperation of Coatings by Sandberg. Now, Dichroic Extract is used all over the world, in all types of glass. Consistently pushing the boundaries of glassblowing techniques, some of the other discoveries to Berzerker's credit are "Multiple Layered Graal with Watercolor Frit", and "Glow Powder Back Fill", and "Berzerker's Dark Matter", a mold making clay for glassblowing.

Berzerker’s favorite thing about glass as a medium is, “the magical quality…the misunderstood nature that has been kept {a secret}. Once you understand the basics, you will find that isn’t even the beginning of knowing.” He claims to obsess over breaking down other people’s techniques to understand them and recreate them as his own.


Education Project Tickets:
$200 - Includes all 3 days of classes except Darby Holm Master Class



10am - 3pm
Darby Holm - "Building a better bong"

The master class will cover building and dressing up a mini bong. Stacking sections, shaping, how to make a female fitting by hand. What go's into the function, and how to adjust it to your preference.

BIO: Forged from the heart of an oak tree and born deep in Bigfoot country southern Oregon, my journey in life began. Destined to be a self sustained artist I quickly dove into the stereotypical life of a “starving artist” with little to no income. I learned fast and found my way doing odd jobs to support my habit of painting on windows or detail accents on cars, some T-shirt designs and lots of drawings on whatever I found cool at the time. Glass found me in the mid 90’s like a moth to a light I could not look away. April 5th 1996 I lit my own torch for the first time under the guidance of my younger brother Carsten Carlile. From that point on I realized the glass world was wide open and all mine to play with and explore as I pleased. Thanks to an incredible community of like minded and equally talented family and friends I have watched this industry grow into something I am very proud to be a part of today.

Darby Holm Master Class Tickets:
$1500 - Includes All-Access to the entire show, lunch daily, and a gift bag with a Glassroots T-shirt and Grassroots hat.