Mark Gottlieb has blown glass since 2004, he got serious about it 2006 and works now in hot shops on regular basis. He has attended classes in The Studio at Corning Museum of Glass, Snow Farm New England Craft Program and Franklin Pierce University.
His favorite technique is cane work, but he won’t say no to blowing drinking glasses, pumpkins and ornaments as well.
The thought of building a hot shop of his own had been developing for couple years before becoming reality in spring 2015, when he and Annukka opened Silver Street Glass in North Granby, CT.
I took my first glass blowing class in the summer of 2004, with the intent of learning to make cane vessels in the Venetian style. It rapidly became apparent that the type of work I was interested in making was going to entail a significant learning curve. I found my first encounters with glassblowing to be less than ideal. All glassblowing is done right handed, and as a left hander, it was extremely difficult to work the tools with my right hand. I realized it would take some time to make the necessary adjustments.
After a three year hiatus during which I explored fused, lamp-worked and stained glass, I decided to return to the hot shop and pursue my original goal. I have taken multiple classes at Snow Farm, the Corning Museum of Glass, and Franklin Pierce University, and rented time at a number of studios. By the end of 2011, I was making the type of glass I had envisioned.
The bulk of my work is centered on cane, using modified Venetian techniques. These techniques date from the early 16th century, and have been carried forward by generations of glassblowers. It is not my intent to replicate classic Venetian glass, rather to use those techniques, as well as those from other traditions, to create vessels and objects that are esthetically pleasing to me and hopefully to others.
Annukka Ritalahti has worked with glass since 1980, professionally since 1988. She had her shop and studio in Tampere, Finland until 2014.
Her main public works are in Finland, but her art has found its way to private residences around the world. She has had several private art exhibitions in galleries in Europe and her art has been accepted to several juried art shows, not to forget having been displayed as invited artist in many occasions.
Annukka has thought both hobby and professional students since 1988. Stained Glass, mosaics, painting, flame working, jewelry etc. are in her range of techniques.
Annukka is continuing to create her art and to teach in the USA. The new studio together with Mark offers a great venue to bring her inspiring visions alive.
My love for glass was always there since I saw a deep blue broken piece of glass while playing on rock hills close to our home. I started to paint and draw earlier than I can remember, experimented oils with my Dad, and had my first pieces in a juried show in age of 14. Desire to make Stained Glass came along after reading a novel where a woman bought a lakeside house because there was a beautiful hyacinth Stained Glass window, and there were no pictures, just my imagination of changing lights and colors and reflections…
I graduated from school, and after that made a year in a preparing School of Art where I started to learn to make Stained Glass. Earning my living as a free artist did not seem such a clever option so I continued studies becoming a cultural producer and worked couple years in cultural departments of municipalities. I was still all the time active in arts and teaching in children school of art etc., Started my own shop and studio back in 1988 and carried on until 2014 before moving from Finland to States. All the time I’ve been pulled into many directions: making money, making commission work and making what I really want to express. Throughout the many years all different techniques settled on my workbench when needed to produce certain outcome. Nature, colors and atmospheres affect my work the most. If I don’t have a list of jobs when I start my hours in studio, it seems that I have no control in what I do, the art takes my hands, body and mind and there we go again, creation work is on.
I really like teaching; I wish to give all the technical info for any student’s success. Break through in something new, or some other you have been struggling for a while with, is absolutely fabulous. To be able to help others on their path of creating beautiful things is a blessing.