About the Artist
Glass has enchanted and challenged me ever since I picked up that first blowpipe at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1981. Born and raised in Wisconsin, I moved to Providence, RI in 1987 to share a studio with a friend. I love my work and feel lucky to be able to make a decent living doing what I love. Recently, I was able to purchase a building to create a studio which is truly my own, and now employ several assistants. Dennis Delomba takes care of shop maintenance, packing and shipping, invoicing, model making, and more. Mark Ducharme helps with grinding, polishing and sandblasting. Now and then Luke Jon Bernfeld pops in to lend a hand with whatever we are working on.
My work is inspired by nature and the nature of glass. When I arrive at the studio, the ovens and furnaces are usually smoking hot and ready to go. A typical workday may begin with an image in my mind being rendered in chalk on the floor, outlining a shape I would like to create. These drawings help us communicate and figure out how to make whatever it is we are attempting. We often spend an entire day making only one type of object, be it flowers, fish, vases, paperweights or something completely different. Our creative process involves varying the design, colors and techniques until I finally end up with a product I am reasonably happy with. With these endless variations, we refine our methods and hone the skills we use to make our pieces, evolving and potentially improving with each rendition.
I have been making my own colored glass for many years. By adding various metal oxides to the raw glass, I get to play with a unique palette of colors in addition to several hundred commercially available colors. I rarely measure anything, relying on my experience to add just the right amount of colorant. Things do not always come out as expected, so I adapt what I’m doing and go with the flow!
Christopher R. Belleau