In the mid 90’s I was working in Lower Manhattan at a job that had very subjective criteria for successful completion. A friend had asked me to accompany him for a weekend glass blowing class at a small studio in Connecticut which became the beginning of my interest in exploring the glass blowing profession.
I took only weekend classes at first, but eventually—after a lot of trial and error—blowing glass provided me with a sense of accomplishment that was removed from any judgment one might pass on who I was or what I was making.
I then located a small studio in Little Italy, the precursor to Urban Glass in Brooklyn, NY, that was above some of the restaurants on Mulberry Street. At the time, I had the privilege to watch Bill Gudenrath work. It was like watching a ballet dancer performing in front of a 2000-degree furnace. From then on, I was hooked. I had found my outlet, a way to express myself and relax at the same time.
I furthered my avocation throughout the years with classes in Penland, NC, as well as through many one-on-one classes among fellow glass blowing friends. After moving to western North Carolina, I spent 8 years thoroughly enjoying the advancement of my craft at the Jackson County Energy Park in Dillsboro.
Upon my retirement a few years ago from a position here in the Asheville community, I have taken my pastime to a new level. With my wife’s support, I decided to open a store to sell the many glass creations I had blown over the past years. We were lucky enough to find a small craft village just outside Hendersonville called Horse Shoe Gap Village that was re-opening and we were identified as their anchor store.
The name of my store, Woodhaven Glass, was selected as a nostalgic remembrance of my childhood neighborhood in Queens, New York. After much prep work to make an old shack into a store, we opened in late August of 2019. To our surprise, we sold the glass I had blown and have since been hard pressed to keep the store stocked.
As a result of this success, we decided to expand and open our own glass studio on the same site as our store. Throughout the spring of 2020 we have worked to finish the construction of converting a late 1800’s corn crib into a modern glass blowing studio.
I am excited to share the art of glass blowing with the local community by providing a safe and open platform for them to experience this art form.
The original building that became the storefront.
The Woodhaven Glass storefront at Horse Shoe Gap Village.
Before it became the studio where Woodhaven Glass is blown, it was originally a corn crib used for storing corn from nearby farms.
The studio at Woodhaven Glass now. This is where the magic happens!