Celebrating 13 years of glassblowing in Baltimore, Maryland

Well our world just got flipped upside down and shaken up a whole lot in the past month due to COVID-19! This global pandemic has changed everyone's perspective on damn near everything now, and I am thankful and grateful for my friends and family members, who are all currently safe and sound - social distancing, but staying connected as best we can in these uncertain times.

"Art helps us identify with one another and expands our notion of we - from the local to the global"

- Olafur Eliasson

The glassblowing community has been hit especially hard as you may imagine, because even the most basic and fundamental techniques require blowing into a steel pipe and constantly switching back and forth between the different team members involved in making any piece. That doesn't make for ideal operations in the midst of an infectious global respiratory pandemic! The way that we blow glass will inevitably never be the same. What will it look like moving forward? I'm not sure because the future is most uncertain. But I DO know that making glass by oneself is going to become a lot more widespread, perhaps even the "new norm" for glassblowers when feasible. If the proper precautions are taken, solo glassblowing adheres to social distancing guidelines, while presenting new challenges to glassmakers everywhere.

As I begin to navigate my own glassblowing career moving forward, I WAS able to get back into the studio for one last session last week in order to make some glass flowers to sell for Mother's Day! I make the flowers by myself, each one is individually crafted and we sell them in single, 2-pack, 5-pack and 10-pack quantities. We have limited product availability, so PLEASE place an order sooner rather than later to guarantee your color choices and to allow ample time for processing and shipping to your loved ones in time for Mother's Day delivery.

So we encourage everyone, don't let social distancing keep you from celebrating Mother's Day this year! BUT SKIP THE ONLINE FLORIST BOUQUET ORDER! God only knows those big flower delivery companies don't need nearly as much support as your local artists do in these uncertain times. Fresh flowers go bad after a week, but OUR HANDCRAFTED GLASS FLOWERS ALWAYS STAY IN BLOOM YEAR IN AND YEAR OUT! Mothers everywhere deserve something extra special and thoughtful this year for Mother's Day. Not only will she remember your gifts for years to come - but you will be helping out our local small business in the best way possible! Thanks to everyone for the continued support ... we'll all get through this and we'll come out better on the other side.

*Here is a short edit of me working solo to create a flower from a blob of molten hot glass ... ENJOY!

"Do good, feel good, be safe." - JT

It's hard to believe that I've been blowing glass in Baltimore for 15 years now ... although that may sound like a long time in most professions, in this line of work I am just beginning to hit my full stride! A lot has changed over these 15 years ... but much has remained the same as well.

I still make my work at Corradetti Glass Studio in the Woodberry neighborhood of Baltimore City, only now I am Anthony Corradetti's full-time Assistant! For the last two years, I have had the honor and privilege of working with my lifelong mentor every day, absorbing everything that I can about the art and craft of glassblowing - as well as all of the lessons to be learned from running a business in today's market.

It seems like only yesterday that I was helping him move from his old studio in West Baltimore into the current space, which has now become one of the cultural centerpieces of the revitalized Hampden, Woodberry and Clipper Mill communities.

In 2004, I was a starry-eyed 23-year-old looking for a glassblowing job in my hometown and it was just my luck that Corradetti, a very accomplished glass artist, was looking to hire extra help. Full-time work wasn't in the cards back then however, and I bounced around from coast-to-coast for the better part of a decade, working for Anthony intermittently, while trying to balance another career as a Sommelier... then as a Chef... then as a Restaurant Manager... the list went on. After enduring much frustration and heartbreak within the restaurant industry, I decided to hit the restart button on my career trajectory, and thankfully all roads led me back to my true passion - glassblowing.

Now I wake up every day eager to come to work in one of the most beautiful private glassblowing facilities in the country - if not the world! We are next door to one of the best restaurants in Baltimore, the Woodberry Kitchen, and we are across the street from a gorgeous private community pool for the warmer months. We host weddings and private events in the space nine months out of the year, and we teach glassblowing classes and workshops as well as college-level classes at MICA (Maryland Institute College of Arts).

Much has changed indeed, but one thing that has always remained a constant in this city, and in my life personally ... Corradetti Glass Studio is the place that I am proud to call home.

Here is a slideshow of some old images taken throughout the years ... it seems like only yesterday!

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Updated: Apr 2, 2019

We had another record sales year in 2018, thanks in no small part to some new holiday craft shows and markets in the Baltimore area. B.Willow's Greater Goods Market in Remington was a hit, and Union Craft Brewery hosted their inagural "Art Mart" holiday craft festival at their new tap room in December. We are looking forward to both events again next Winter!

In other news, my wife and I bought a house in November ... we have made it through our first Winter and ... WE ARE TOTALLY READY FOR SPRING !!! It has always been our dream to purchase an old house on a tiny piece of land in the country, and well ... voila! Married in June, homeowners in November and hoping to add a third human to our little family in the very near future!

But in the meantime, we have plans to begin working on a new flower farming venture at our homestead in Phoenix, MD. I spent the Winter months in a MD Farmer Training Program called BFTP Future Harvest, and I furthered my knowledge of small commercial organic produce and flower farming. My wife and I are laying the foundation for a cut flower farm on our land with an adjacent retail stand and distribution infrastructure and we hope to begin launching introductory products by August 2019 !!!

Not only will we be selling live cut flower stems, but we will also sell our new glass flowers and other farm-fresh goods and artisan products. Here are some glass flower photos as well as some inspiration photos we shot on a recent trip to Longwood Gardens in Southern PA...