Making It: Creating glass art in the heart of Akron
Makers: Christian James, Head Gaffer and Studio Manager; David Mummey, Glassblowing Workshops Teacher, Glass Maker.
Business: Akron Glass Works
How did you get interested in glass working and ultimately find your way to Akron Glass Works?
Growing up here in Akron, Ohio, I knew a little bit about glass blowing because my uncle is a glass blower down in Atlanta, Georgia. So I always knew a little bit about glass blowing and I just sought out Akron Glass Works to see what it was all about. I got started glass blowing here at Akron Glass Works (because) the owner of the studio, Jack Baker noticed that I was a little bit familiar with glass. So he offered me a job to help out and start working with him.
How did Akron Glass Works get started?
Akron glass works started as a place for artists to have access to the equipment here in Akron. The owner, Jack Baker, started Akron Glass Works at a building on the north side of Akron, but it was a little too small. So we needed a little bit more space. (The current location is 421 Spicer Street in Akron.) So we found this building and we moved over here just so that we'd have a little bit more space for our gallery and for the hot shop.
What products and art does Akron Glass Works offer?
So we make a lot of functional art glass, a lot of ornaments and bowls and vases, just regular retail items. Right now, we're making a lot of the little bunnies, which we just made in the shop for you guys to see. (It's) just a nice, cute little kind of sculptural item that you can have around the house on a shelf.
Can you tell me about the different types of classes and workshops?
In the classes that we offer here, we have lots of different items, paperweights, ornaments, and even drinking glasses and they're all one on one with an instructor. So we're helping you through the process so that you come up with something really nice. So it really allows all of our students to get a little feel for the glass and really get to put their own creative spin on their own project that they get to take home with them.