Glass Studio

Closeup of a Glass Artist shaping a vessel with a blowtorch and a pipe. Photo by David Hoff.

Watch as Artists Transform Molten Glass into Works of Art!

The WheatonArts Glass Studio, a replica of the 1880s T. C. Wheaton Glass Factory, is a vibrant interactive public access studio home to resident staff artists, visiting artists, and the Creative Glass Fellowship Program. Visitors to the Glass Studio are afforded first-hand insights into artistic pursuits during operating hours. 

Glass Studio History
Initially, the Glass Studio was staffed by “old-time” glassblowers transferred from the Wheaton Glass Company. In 1976, the addition of interpretive staff included students coming out of college art programs. Young artists/craftspeople, costumed by day in Victorian garb, worked in the Glass Factory while also achieving success in their individual careers.

In 1978, contemporary glass artist Flora Mace, a top assistant to Dale Chihuly, was invited by WheatonArts and welcomed by Frank Wheaton as the first official artist-in-residence. Paul Stankard also worked with the WheatonArts staff on experimental work.

In 1982, WheatonArts founder Frank Wheaton Jr was approached by a group of artists, educators, gallery owners, and staff members to support an ongoing artist-in-residence program for emerging contemporary glass artists. By this time, the studio staff had grown to approximately 13 people, operating seven furnaces, and facilitating glassware production in the “hand shop” tradition. Wanting to cut expenses and encouraged by the success of Stankard’s and Mace’s residency experiences, he committed his support to fund the Creative Glass Fellowship Program (previously known as the Creative Glass Center of America Fellowship Programfor the first few years. The Fellowship Program was a turning point in the organization and a catalyst for the eventual broadening of the mission beyond its historical emphasis. At this point, the “Glass Factory” became a year-round “Artist Studio.”

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