I was only eight years old, during the Bicentennial year, when I came across an old, faded clapboard shed just south of Waitsfield village in Central Vermont. Centered in that room on the dirt floor was a small glass-melting furnace, roaring brilliantly orange. It was incredibly hot. It hurt to look directly into the flame but that’s what I did, fascinated by the power and majesty of glass. This was the domain of two local glassblowers, and their world of manipulating glass, one of the oldest and most basic craft materials.

And now, thirty-two years later, I am also manipulating glass to manifest my creative vision. With only a few basic elements, silica sand, soda ash, and limestone, I use intense heat to melt a clear base glass, which I then weave into a tapestry of art and objects from the simplest vase to the most complex sculpture.

Much of my work is an exploration of possibilities using intricate traditional Italian cane, in the Murano tradition. During a visit to my studio you might see my team at work producing these remarkable glass rods. Using a wide array of ancient techniques I blend clear base glass with colored glass from Germany and New Zealand, drawing and twisting large masses of glass into rods up to 50 feet long and sometimes no thicker than a familiar yellow pencil.

Making my own cane allows me the latitude to carry a creative concept from the very first hint of an idea to its full fruition. This cane, when broken into shorter lengths, informs the final design of much of my glasswork, both functional wares and sculpture.

I invite you to visit my glass studio in Central Vermont. I blow glass seasonally from May through October and then November through February. My studio has become a destination for people traveling the northeast. People tell me they learn a lot while visiting my studio. Describing the process as it unfolds brings the outsider closer to the actual experience of glass working. I love demonstrating glassblowing in the presence of visitors. Come and visit!


MICHAEL EGAN
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