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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Tracy Glass

I caught a fever... for hot sculpting glass fish!

Updated: Mar 19, 2022

I started blowing glass in 2001, and for the last 20 years I have mainly focused my skills on making vessels and blown glass sculptures "in the round" - meaning that everything is basically on-center and usually symmetrical. I had delusions of grandeur that one day I would start making figurative glass sculptures, using torches and hot bits to manipulate the material, but deep down I wasn't sure if I could push myself in that direction. I don't like being bad at things, especially something that I do for a living, but in order to be good at something new you've gotta be bad at it first! So, after 19 years doing the same type of work, I decided it was time for me to get a little uncomfortable, and started learning how to sculpt the hot glass in entirely new ways. In December of 2019 I switched gears completely and began to explore the sculptural side of glassblowing by making blown and hot sculpted trout (fish). That body of work has grown in the past two years, and I am eager to continue developing these sculptural techniques in order to fine-tune the finished products. Making the fish require everything that I know about glass - all of my skills, techniques and understanding of the material get called upon during the process. It is unlike making vessels in so many ways, requiring hours and hours of prep work to make the fins, and set up the colors and patterning. Making the fish itself takes about 3 or 4 hours non-stop of glassblowing, torchworking, sculpting and hot construction - the whole time I am on edge because if the piece breaks, then usually about 10-20 hours of prep work will go to waste. The level of intensity is high and so are the stakes, but that's now such a new and exciting aspect of my creative process! It's not dissimilar from the feeling I get when I have a big fish on the end of my flyline, there's an excitement that the fish might somehow "get away" or break while I'm working on it - and that's what really gets the blood pumping! So far I have made 7 sculpted glass fish and they really seem to be getting better quickly, which definitely feels good in terms of my over-anxious learning curve. Here are some of the images below, please enjoy and be on the lookout for more to come soon!**

*Currently we are accepting commissions for bespoke glass fish sculptures for new and existing clients. If you have serious interest in commissioning a unique work of art, please call 443-641-7788 and leave a VM, I will return your call right away! - JT


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