In my spare time, I blow glass as part of Wonderworks Glass. We used to have a private studio near downtown San Jose, nestled in the few blocks of the Japantown community. In more recent years, as we’ve shifted around the Bay Area to the East Bay, the studio has moved too — now among the remaining industrial arts blocks in Berkeley.
The equipment — furnace, reheating oven (better known as a glory hole), pipe warmer, bench, etc — were all made by hand (with the help of grinders, welders, miter saws, grit, sweat, grime, and tears.. and maybe some blood too) and therefore, maintained by hand and a furrowed brow.
We primarily make vessels (vases, cups, bowls) but also play around with cane and murrine, lamps, natural wood molds, jewelry, pumpkins, pufferfish, flying pigs, and whatever our hearts desire.