Glassblowers, or gaffers, show off their ‘methodical’ craft
Venture just off Main Street in Frisco and watch as glassblowers slowly and methodically transform 2,000-degree blobs of glowing goop into a works of art.
On Saturday afternoon, Jon Hudnut and his apprentice, Stetson Mumma, demonstrated glassblowing to visitors at the Gatherhouse shop on Second Avenue. Hudnut and Mumma heated molten glass in a furnace, then as one blew into a steel pipe the other used tools to shape an intricately patterned drinking glass.
Hudnut has been supporting himself as an artist since the 1990s. He has studied the craft in corners of the world ranging from Paris to Seattle, and said he’s happy to share his passion with the Summit County community.
“I went from the model of cheap rent in a warehouse to expensive rent with a storefront where people can just walk in,” he said. “When they get the chance to see our work, a lot of people are inspired to support us.”
The Summit County resident has a background in product and environmental design, but fine art has been a passion since grade school.
“Put something in my hands and I would start to manipulate it,” he said.
The glassblower, or gaffer, said that over the years he’s learned from some of the best in the business, and has gained his own following of up-and-coming artists.
“For me to improve is great. But really I’m only going to be as good as the people who are helping me, so I am trying to bring them to a point where we are exponentially better,” he said. “Solely, you can only do so much, but as a team you have so much more fun and get so much more variation.”
Mumma has been blowing glass with Hudnut since February.
“It was a birthday present from my girlfriend, and I got hooked,” he said. “I really enjoy it.”
The glassblowers said they are attracted to the calm and methodical nature of the craft.
“There are unlimited possibilities of what you can do with it, in terms of designs and sculpture,” Mumma said.
Mumma, also a Summit resident, said he’d like to continue glassblowing well into the future.
“I’m getting better every week, and I’m going to keep coming back as long as they’ll have me,” he said.
The Gatherhouse glassblowing studio and gallery is located at 110 Second Ave. in Frisco. For more information about demonstrations, gallery products and classes, call 485-2909 or visit www.gatherhouse.com.
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