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I like the flexibility of working with glass and I still experiment with sculpture and other objects, but ornaments are what I most enjoy making. I have been known to overblow an ornament until it "pops" and to use the burst bubble to construct a flower; my wife likes these.


In 1994, I was doing custom remodeling work with my dad, and when we got snowed out for a week, I got my first taste of lamp-working through a family friend, Gary Newlin from A Touch of Glass in Asheville. Gary and I played around making beads. For the next two years, Gary hired glass artists to teach classes, and I attended most of those and experimented with sculpture, marbles, and various forms. Two years later, I began working for a scientific glass company in Raleigh. That experience taught me the qualities of glass I use to create not only beautiful, but strong and sturdy craftsmanship. In the fall of 1998, I returned to A Touch of Glass and started making ornaments and have been making them ever since.

Crafts by Jeff McKinley view all