Glass artists John and Erin Blackwell work with an ancient art form that has been around for millennia. It is a craft that appears mythical with its fiery furnace, the creator’s ability to take sand or silica with lime, potash, soda or lead oxide, melt it and infuse it with different patterns, designs, shapes, functionalities and have it harden into these beautiful pieces of art. It was first manufactured near Egypt and Eastern Mesopotamia in roughly 3000BC and has since been used for a variety of purposes.
John Blackwell became wildly passionate about glassblowing when he was just 21. He had moved to St Louis, MO at age 17 after being kicked out of his parent’s house, never finishing high school and found his calling when he witnessed a glass blowing demonstration. The next day he spent his life savings, including the next month’s rent and bought all the glass blowing supplies he could afford. He enrolled in a glass blowing class for two semesters, but was told by his ceramics professor that he would not be good enough for a career in this field.
Undeterred and confident, he continued working with this material, learning on his own, advancing his skills, and finding his own style. He met his wife Erin, who was eighteen at the time and taught her the craft. They built their own private studio thirty miles west of St Louis on a four acre piece of property and together they work on every glass item, stretching their talents, their creativity and lovingly fashioning each individual piece. Please visit their booth, admire their raw talent and take home a wonderfully creative and unique glassware item by the Blackwells.