BAGI Core Group of Glass Instructors
Fusing and Kilnworking
Johnathon Schmuck -Johnathon started glassmaking at San Jose State in 1988, and ten years later received a Fulbright Scholarship to study glass in Australia, where he received a Master of Visual Art. He has worked with Klaus Moje, Lino Tagliapietra, Pino Signoretto, Jiri Harcuba, Stephen Procter, Dan Dailey, and Flo Perkins. Johnathon has taught at the Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass, the Eugene Glass School, Pittsburgh Glass Center, and Escuela del Vidrio in Spain. He is well traveled -- having worked glass on four continents, and well versed in fusing, blowing and coldworking. Johnathon recently published a book, The Joy of Coldworking - a guide to grinding smoothing and polishing blown and fused glass. Presently, he lives and has a studio in Santa Cruz, CA. www.schmuckglass.com
April Zilber - April Zilber has been fusing, slumping and flameworking glass since 1992. April introduces students to a variety of techniques and encourages learning through working with the materials. “ Heat, gravity, light and imagination“ have been her guiding principles in working with glass. She taught beadmaking and fusing at StudioOneArtCenter for 11 years and The Crucible in Oakland for 6 years, and at Public Glass for 1 year.
Shirley Cook - Shirley took her first torch working class in January of 2000 and became totally infatuated with the medium. Since that time she has studied with a list of professional glass workers that is too long to list here. In 2003 she became a full-time glass bead maker and began teaching bead making classes at BAGI the following year. Shirley is a member of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers, the Bead Society of Northern California, and the Society of Glass Beadmakers Northern California. Her work was juried into the ISGB Auction "Obsession: The Ten Year Affair With The Bead" and the Lark Books publication "1000 Glass Beads". She sells her glass beads online and at shows around the country. www.jumpingjackglass.com
Brayton Furlong - Brayton Furlong has been flameworking since he was 19 years old. His narrative sculpture in glass has been shown in some of the most prominent contemporary glass galleries and museums in the country including, The Bergstrom Mahler Museum, The Southern Ohio Museum, the National Liberty Museum, Stewart Fine Art, and the Gallery Of Fine Glass during Glass weekend. In 2009 Brayton was nominated as a Niche Awards finalist for his sculpture “Hair Of The Earth”. Most recently Brayton was invited with 8 other glass artists to take part in the first ever flameworking Professional Artist In Residence at Pilchuck Glass School. Brayton has been teaching flameworking since 2004 and in 2010 he was selected as a teaching assistant to Kari Russel Pool at pilchuck glass school. In his spare time Brayton also writes technical and educational articles for glassline magazine and the flow magazine. To learn more about Brayton and to view his work please visit, www.braytonfurlong.com
Kevin Leopold - Kevin Leopold is a self-taught artist who first experienced glassblowing in the early nineties, while watching a friend make marbles in his small, self-built studio. Leopold is consistently trying new techniques and adapting his unique style. He has an eye for detail and symmetry, as seen in both his abstract and realistic works. His reproducing and customizing skills were fine-tuned during the years spent producing glass jewelry for a Santa Cruz company.
Janice Peacock - Janice has been flameworking since 1992, and has studied with many glass masters including Vittorio Costantini, Lucio Bubacco and Loren Stump. Her glass beads and jewelry have been featured in several exhibitions nationally and internationally, the most recent being "Convergence II" a traveling exhibition which will tour the U.S. during 2010 and 2011. Her work has been published in several books, including Beads of Glass: The Art and the Artists by Cindy Jenkins, 1000 Glass Beads by Lark Books, Design! by Steve Aimone, andContemporary Glass Beads from America by Torbin Sode. Janice has taught flameworking and glass bead making in the San Francisco Bay Area for the last 12 years and also travels nationally to teach intermediate and advanced classes. Janice has been a featured speaker on several occasions for the Northern California Bead Society, as well as many other bead societies, at the California Glass Exchange in 1998 and 2002, and presented demonstrations and lectures at the national conference of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers 2002 and in 2009. www.janicepeacock.com
Timothy Siemon - Tim is a talented glass worker. He has had a long relationship with glass. Tim discovered and learned glass blowing at Shasta College with Clif Sowder. He continued studying art at San Jose State University with Bob Fritz, where he completed his MA in art. Since then blowing glass has been a treasured avocation for him. Tim was looking for new ways to include hot glass in his life. He set up a studio at home and began flameworking with glass. Since 2008 he has been exploring the sculptural possibilities of soft glass. His years of experience and education with glass blowing have been valuable to his flamework. He is patient and skilled at the torch while he coaxes the glass into marbles, masks and busts. Tim’s work is available at https://www.etsy.com/shop/RicoDelux.
Demetra Theofanous - Demetra Theofanous works in flamework glass, furnace glass, and pate de verre. Her flameworked and cast nest and flora sculptures have received numerous awards, are exhibited nationally, and held in many private collections. She is a three time NICHE Award Finalist for best in the nation in Flameworked Glass, has exhibited in several Museum shows, and was awarded the Juror’s Award by Dorothy Saxe at the 2012 BAGI Auction. She operates a private studio in San Francisco where she creates her work, is also an educator and serves on the Board of The Glass Alliance of Northern California. www.sculpturebydemetra.com
Janie Trainor - Sitting at the torch and melting glass is fun. I love the physicality of it, the heat and that it requires my full attention in the moment. That I can shape the molten goo into pleasing shapes makes me happy. I love to make colorful, playful beads. I also love making beads that show off the enchanting qualities of glass-- the shine, sparkle, glow, reflection, depth.
Since 2008 I have been making all kinds of beads--round ones, donut ones, barrel shaped, clear, opaque, translucent, reduced, encased, hollow with dots, spirals, flowers, curled lines. I’m always experimenting. Some experiments work, some don’t. It all works out because I will be back to the torch soon.
I get ideas and inspirations from so many sources; from moss on a tree to sunlight on water to colorful textiles to my cat and on and on. Many ideas pop out spontaneously. Somehow I know what bubbles out of my mind in the moment needs to be expressed, shown some light, freed. Thankfully I have the medium, the time and the space to explore, discover and play with my chosen art expression. Glass is my habit. That’s my first choice activity. I want to do it. I don’t get deep and philosophical about understanding my drive to make art. What I know for sure is I want to do it, I get to do it and it’s a ton of fun. That’s all I need to know. Janie's work is available at https://www.etsy.com/shop/RicoDelux. A photograph of her beads are featured in 1000 Beads, published in 2014 by Lark.
Treg Silkwood - Treg Silkwood was born and raised in the big sky country of Montana. Growing up he knew that he wanted to work with his hands. He studied pre-medicine at the University of Montana before deciding to pursue a career in the arts. In 1996 he received his BFA from Alfred University graduating the Top Student of the Art and Design school. At Alfred, he was exposed to a variety of art making materials and processes and concentrated primarily on mixed–media sculpture and cast glass. In 1995 he spent a semester studying at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague. In the Atelier of Glass he learned Czech mold-melted glass and cold-working techniques.
Treg spent the next five years working as a production glassblower recreating early American glass at the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village. At the “Village”, he deepened his knowledge and appreciation for the history and the craft of working with glass. It was there that he developed his exceptional skill as a gaffer and discovered the value of using blown glass as a vehicle of expression. After pursuing a year of graduate studies with Jack Wax at Illinois State University, Treg was honored to become one of the first Gaffers for the Hot Glass Road Show of the Corning Museum of Glass and continues to work closely with The Studio of the Corning Museum of Glass.
Treg moved to the Bay Area in 2002. Shortly thereafter, Treg and Candace Martin formed Silkwood Glass-- a custom, handcrafted glass company. As a team, Candace and Treg continue to create many new innovative designs largely inspired by the natural world. In 2008, Treg had his first solo show at the Steuben Flagship Store on Madison Avenue in New York City. He was honored to be one of only two artists invited to take part in the “Steuben Selections Series,” which showcases some of the world’s foremost artists in glass. Treg’s work has been exhibited internationally and showcased in many prestigious galleries. He has become widely recognized as a premier California Marine Glass Artist. Treg and Candace’s work can be seen at www.SilkwoodGlass.com
Treg thoroughly enjoys sharing his love and knowledge of glass. He has demonstrated and taught glassblowing at numerous institutions across the United States and abroad. He has been a teaching assistant for numerous glass maestros including Elio Quarisa, William Gudenrath, Randy Walker, and Karen Willenbrink-Johnsen. Treg was a three-year Resident Artist and Teaching Assistant at San Jose State University and has worked closely with Mary White. Treg is currently working as an independent glass artist and instructor in the Bay Area. He is the Senior Glass Instructor and Visiting Artist Coordinator at the Bay Area Glass Institute, as well as an active Board Member.
Dean Bensen - www.deanbensen.com
Greg Tomb - Greg's exploration into the world of glass began as a child. Growing up in the Northeast, his family frequently visited the Corning Museum of Glass during their road trips. A passion for travel and a love of glass reflect in Greg's life and his work. His journey of working with glass began in the spring of 1997 while studying art at Hartwick College, in Oneonta, NY. That summer, while teaching art in Boulder, CO, Greg apprenticed torch-working for the Mystic Family Glassworks. In the summer of 1998, he took a workshop from Emilio Santini at Urban Glass. Greg participated in a work study program at Urban that summer. This was a influential experience, watching and assisting many Urban Glass artists work professionally in all areas of glass.
Returning to Hartwick, Greg graduated in 2000, with a Major in Art, focussing on Sculpture and Glass Blowing and with a Minor in Religious Studies. Occasionally renting glass time for the next few years, Greg explored the adventure sports of whitewater raft guiding and ski instructing professionally. Always returning to glass, he gained precision working as a glassblower in a factory for Simon Pearce. He became a team leader of their production from 2004-2006. Following his spirit of adventure in the outdoors, Greg moved to Lake Tahoe, CA in 2006 and then Santa Cruz in 2011. He worked as a professional musician for about four years before returning to glass. In that time he has worked for Girl Glass, Chris Johnson Glass, Half Moon Bay Art Glass and The Bay Area Glass Institute. He has participated in art shows and sold his work at galleries nationally.
Currently Gregory lives in Santa Cruz, CA. He instructs glass blowing and glass fusing at The Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI), in San Jose, CA. For the last 2 years he has supported The Crucible, during the Fire and Light Soirée, by donating for their auction. Greg creates. His understanding of and desire to improve on the craft of glass making is evident in his work and his life. His passions of exploration new processes are insatiable. He uses fusing, cold working, torch working and furnace glass to make his personal work. This work is largely influenced by sacred symbolism, colorful expression and classic forms. Gregory strives to positively contribute to the space and world around him. He describes his process as a meditation in action.
“The quality of my work is a direct reflection of my spiritual condition. Glass feels, it remembers, its alive in the intense heat. You must be present in the moment. Every movement leaves an impression on the final piece. As you dance, with diamonds grinding and fire polishing, a serene feeling comes the moment when the glass turns from a gooey glob to the beginning the form, to an expression of your idea.” www.gregorytglass.com
Zach Rudolph - Zach Rudolph works meticulously on perfecting his unique style of hand blown glass. He interprets a lineage of forms that function, and arranges colorful designs while creating unique modern works of art. Presently living in Santa Cruz California, Zach Rudolph produces high quality drinking glasses, vases, bowls, and bottles for everyday enjoyment.Since 1997 Zach Rudolph has been dedicated to the age old tradition and techniques of glass blowing. He worked as a freelance glass assistant and Teacher in Seattle and from 1999-2000 he worked for Chihuly Inc. where he was strongly influenced. Mr. Rudolph attended Pilchuck Glass School and the Studio at Corning where he furthered his studies on a collegiate level. He has studied with some of the world's most accomplished glass artists, including: Elio Quarisa, Davide Fuin, Richard Royal, Preston Singletary, Boyd Sugiki and Lisa Zerkowitz. He is an instructor and glass art educator at BAGI. www.zachrudolphglass.com
Biagio Scarpello - Biagio Scarpello is a mixed media artist specializing in blown glass, kinetics, and found object fabrications. He grew up in Santa Ana, California where he was exposed to glass blowing at summer art festivals, and began making glass beads in his family’s wood fired pizza oven. Biagio soon moved to San Diego where he studied art, blew glass, and played saxophone for a reggae/funk band. He then moved to San Jose for the MFA program at San Jose State University. While at SJSU, Biagio taught 3D design, assisted teaching beginning and advanced glass blowing, and worked as a shop technician for glass. In addition to now working as an art handler and glass instructor, Biagio continues to exhibit his artwork in the SF bay area and abroad. www.biagio-scarpello.com
Richard Small - Rich stumbled into glassblowing in 2000, and was drawn like a moth to the flame. Initially self taught, over the years he has studied with Randy Walker, Laura Donefer, Boyd Sugiki, Jenny Pohlman & Sabrina Knowles, Jay MacDonnell, Marc Petrovic, Charles Lowrie & Michael Menconi, and Cassandra Straubing. His work tends to focus on texture (both tactile and visual) and contrast. www.asmallproduction.com