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These pieces are the most recent in a series of explorations in clear glass. The aim is to feature the basic nature of the material an emphasize what glass does so well simply by being glass.
The “ vocabulary” I try to bring to this work includes:
As I engage with this vocabulary, I try to keep in mind these meaningful quotes from some of our finest and most influential glass artists, rare individuals who I consider friends, and masters with whom I’ve had the great pleasure of working.
“ Light exists as the specific quality of the material…the overriding characteristic.” —Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova
“ Sculpture and glass develop together, without having to imitate other materials” — Libensky/ Brychtova
“I hope to be true to myself. To be true to the material.” — Lino Tagliapietra
I began blowing glass in 1983 at the New York Experimental Glass Workshop (NYEGW) in Little Italy, NYC, now Brooklyn based Urban Glass.
During a 1985 Dale Chihuly workshop at NYEGW, I was chosen to be on the team as assistant to Dale’s gaffer, William Morris. We hit it off well, and later that year, William ( Billy) asked me to join his team at Pilchuck Glass School during the winter season.
I relocated to Pilchuck in April, 1986, and acted as Billy’s first assistant for the following six years. His mentorship, coupled with the deep immersion into large scale glass blowing, gave me a very rapid and in depth education. It was GREAT!!! During the summer months, I was the Hot Shop Coordinator for Pilchuck, and worked my way into the Gaffer’s bench.
During this time, I was fortunate to work very closely with many of the Seattle based glass artists closely affiliated with Pilchuck, including:
During a 1987 research trip to Murano with Billy Morris, I met Maestro Pino Signoretto, and returned the following year to stay and work in Pino’s studio during the winter of 1988-1989. His work style and aesthetic had a profound effect on me, and I knew I must pursue this type of work. I worked regularly with Pino in the U.S. and returned to Murano when I could over the next 10 years. Pino has been a mentor to me, and always encouraged me to continue with this type of work.
I relocated to Santa Cruz, CA in 1998 to begin construction on our glass studio. Since 2000, I have owned and operated Blaker / DeSomma Glass with my wife and partner, artist Marsha Blaker. We produce independent lines of sculpture, collaborative sculpture, production lines and lighting.
2001 Kinsley St. Santa Cruz, CA 95062 ph: 831-479-0906
Born: Pittsburgh, PA 1959
Education: Cornell University B.S. 1982
Currently: Owns and operates private glass studio with Marsha Blaker DeSomma in Santa Cruz, CA