Glass Art Society

Rev. 2002-0702, 2003-07-24, ... 2006-09-12, 2009-03-16, 2010-02-22

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The Glass Art Society is a fundamental organization in the development of the modern art glass movement, its growth paralleling the growth and popularity of the art glass.  It came from meetings sponsored by the Toledo Art Museum and celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 1993 with a meeting there.  I think it fair to say the for most of its years it has been primarily for the furnace glass artist, collectors and academic people in the area.  In recent years, there has been a considerable increase in warm glass (kiln worked) and lamp working (torch worked).

The primary activity from a member's viewpoint is the annual Conference which is commonly held in early June unless some feature of the site - such as Michigan Glass Month - suggests holding it earlier. This attracts 1500-2500 people and costs about $300 (with room & board, transportation, and workshops as extras - going to Seattle, with guest housing, cost me $1800.)  The Journal is sent to all members at the end of the year and reports on the Conference.  A newsletter, improved in recent years, reports between times and has informative articles.  Members have access to the membership listing and can buy labels of the mailing lists.

I encourage any person involved or interested in furnace glassblowing (my interest) to attend the Conference at least once. There a person will find a considerable sampling of the people important in the Art Glass movement and virtually all of the equipment and tool makers. Each conference tends to have a different emphasis depending on the resources of the local area and the people running it. I attended in 1993, 1995, 1997 and 2003.

Please make sure your address book is up to date.
Our OLD E-MAIL: is NO Longer Active.

Executive Director:
 Registrar / Administrative Assistant:
Tamara Gill, Communications Coordinator:
Karen Skrinde, Database Manager:

Glass Art Society | Conferences
  Corning NY 1991    
  Mexico City 1992    
My Visit Toledo OH 1993 April 10  
  Berkeley CA 1994    
My Visit Ashville NC 1995 May 11  
  Boston MA 1996    
My Visit Tucson AZ 1997 April 9  
  Japan 1998   G.A.S.Site
  Tampa FL 1999   G.A.S. Site
  Brooklyn NY 2000   G.A.S. Site
  Corning NY 2001 June 13-17 G.A.S. Site
  Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2002 May 30-Jun 2  
My Visit Seattle WA 2003

June 10-15 (T-X)

  New Orleans LA 2004    
  Adelaide, Australia 2005 May 7 - 9, 2005 G.A.S. Site
  St. Louis, MO 2006    
  Pittsburgh, PA 2007 June 7-9,2007  
  Portland, OR 2008 June 18-22, 2008  
  Corning, NY 2009 June 11-14, 2009 G.A.S. Site
  Louisville, KY 2010 June 10-12, 2010 Click here to view the
pre-conference brochure.
Tucson,  AZ moved
Seattle, WA
2011Immegration law protest
Toledo, OH2012June 13-16, 2012
43rdBoston, MA2013Canceled
43rdChicago, IL2014March 19-22,2014
44thSan Jose, CA2015June 5-7, 2015
Hot Glass Bits 35
>Anybody going to the Glass Art Society show in Tucson in April? This will be our first year there and I'm curious to know what it's like.
>Thanks very much.
I am going to be there, having gone two and four years ago. Each conference is different, the last one in Boston having had a very strong lamp work influence, the one before that leaning a lot more to furnace work. This one seems to have some strong furnace workers on hand though the state seems to have more lamp workers than furnace. [turned out to be strong on warm glass, with good furnace demo sites MF 2002]
Two things that GAS offers every year are the chance to see the top glass workers in the country actually working and the chance to see, in one large room, all of the good tools for furnace working and lamp working. Actually handling pipes, jacks and shears made choices about spending $60-120 each a bit easier. This year scheduled demos are available for Lino and Shane and Dante and Dino,  Bandhu, Powell and Lundberg (and others)
Sessions may explore starting in a career after college, building a studio, safety and glass on the Internet (golly gee whillikers, Mike, who could be on that panel?)
About half the value of the Conference is the ability to visit studios and talk with people at the studios and at the conference. The people who come are very open and I have asked the question "How did you do that?" to some very good artists and got very good answers.

 2004-03-06 3 am  I have been a member of GAS since 1991. I attended in 1993, 95, 97 and 2003. I subscribe to Glass Magazine. When I skipped GAS, I did so because 1) The emphasis in the preview material seemed weak on furnace glass working (Boston), 2) I couldn't go as cheap as I had to/wanted to (UrbanGlass) 3) I couldn't/wouldn't leave the country (Mexico, Japan, Australia)
For me GAS offers the following experiences in the formal structure (i.e. other than being able to talk to Stephen Powell over one of his pieces.)
0. Academic "old farts" giving out papers of interest to other guys/gals and their resume (just like the old American Theater Association)
1. Personal remembrance of the history of us (mostly since 1960) Gee whiz guys showing images of art and discussing it. Meeting people met before.
2. Professional information on surviving outside the school - a continuing topic at every GAS
3. Technical information at discussion panels and in the tech displays.
4. A chance to do a workshop on the same travel money.
5. A chance to see a LOT of glass - since usually dozens of gallery displays and shows are on in the city and region.
6. A chance to see a LOT of studios that I could never get in on my own.
7. A chance to see a LOT of glass being worked and to watch it intensely and to ask questions during or after the process.

For me, the Seattle GAS was great. I glanced at the tech meetings and skipped almost all. I visited a lot of studios and a lot of demos. I missed several artist discussions because other things were stronger interest at the time.
This whole thing reminds me of the American Theatre Association in the late '70's, where tech and art were in battle as well as academic vs. community theater, kids vs. adult. I started and ran a Playwright's workshop. The ATA died when it tried to hold its convention, a major fund raiser for the organization, in Canada during an economic downturn when professors could not get funding to get out of the country.

What really gets me in all this discussion is my personal bone to pick - technique. Glass Magazine refuses to present/document technique under direction of its board. GAS does not document its demos with other than snap shots. Videos are done, but not released. I can do it on my web site - with no money or time to travel and only one chance to get a reasonably good image - but it certainly would be nice if someone was documenting how people did things in the Fifth Decade of the modern art glass movement.

Contact Mike Firth