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The Best of the New Class of Handblown Glass

Photo: Adrian Samson

Over the past couple of years as the ceramics craze built steadily to its saturation point, another artisanal movement has been swiftly gaining traction: glassmaking. A surge of young glassblowers inspired by the studio-glass movement of the ’60s are creating loopy glass straws and warped vessels (like those pictured above, by Jochen Holz, available at thenewcraftsmen.com) that have found their way into hypercurated homewares shops far and wide. In May, anecdotal evidence that handblown is the new hand-thrown was confirmed when online design magazine Sight Unseen erected a glassware exhibit at the Hudson Yards shop Forty Five Ten: Stylish young men and women (whose home shelves are more than likely lined with BZippy & Co. clay vases and Workaday Handmade ceramic mugs) mulled around, buying up handblown vessels by Sophie Lou Jacobsen and marbled cups by BaleFire.

Asp & Hand

Veritas Glass in Sweet Olive
Photo: ALEX MARKS, COURTESY OF FREDA
Veritas Glass in Sweet Olive

These colorful handblown glasses made by art-world couple Blair and Eli Hansen debuted in 2017 at Mirabelle Marden’s Chinatown holiday shop.

Sophie Lou Jacobsen

Cleaning Vessels
Photo: CHARLIE SCHUCK
Cleaning Vessels

The glass cleaning bottles that Jacobsen, a designer for Ladies and Gentlemen Studio, created for Furnishing Utopia prompted her to begin commissioning glasswork.

Misha Kahn

Bellyflop Glass Straw Set
Photo: COURTESY OF PROSPECT NY
Bellyflop Glass Straw Set

The artist, represented by Friedman Benda, is known for his cashmere sofas, bronze desks, and, as of 2018, his glass straws, which were done in collaboration with Prospect NY.

Andrew O. Hughes

Octahedron Table Lighter and Ashtray Set
Photo: COURTESY OF VENDOR
Octahedron Table Lighter and Ashtray Set

Hughes sells his work everywhere from Roman + Williams to Goop; he recently created a collection of prismatic lighters and ashtrays that are for sale on Tetra.

Helle Mardahl

Bonbonniere Honey / Pink
Photo: COURTESY OF VENDOR
Bonbonniere Honey / Pink

The Danish designer launched her line of bubbly mouth-blown lamps in 2018 at 3 Days of Design; they have since consistently sold out on her site.

Upstate

Hand dyed Kokomo Cup
Photo: COURTESY OF VENDOR
Hand dyed Kokomo Cup

Upstate started as a line of dyed textiles by stylist Kalen Kaminski. In March, she introduced her Galaxy glasses, which she has since had to restock several times.

Alexa de la Cruz

Corazón Glass Ring
Photo: ALEXADELA_CRUZ/INSTAGRAM
Corazón Glass Ring

Glass jewelry too is having a moment. De la Cruz, a Mexico City–based designer, sells her pieces at Bird in Brooklyn.

Neal Drobnis

William Drinking Glass
Photo: DEGEN
William Drinking Glass

A longtime glassblower and sculptor, Drobnis has started selling his hand-painted-face vessels at Sounds, a new café-slash-shop in Park Slope.

BaleFire Glass

Small Flamingo Cups

Robbie Frankel’s vases made the rounds of last year’s gift guides (in the New York Times’ “Hard to Please” section, Domino, and The Wall Street Journal).

Anna Karlin

Bedside Carafe
Photo: COURTESY OF VENDOR
Bedside Carafe

Originally a furniture and lighting designer, Karlin released a two-tone bedside carafe in 2016 that is at least partially responsible for the current glass mania.

Austin Stern

Red Fatty (detail)
Photo: STERNGLASS/INSTAGRAM
Red Fatty (detail)

The 30-year-old artist, who is represented by Vetri Gallery in Seattle, most recently released a series of funk-art-inspired sculptures called Little Monsters.

Toumei

Cloud Flower Vase in Amber
Photo: COURTESY OF VENDOR
Cloud Flower Vase in Amber

Baku Takahashi and Tomoko Wada, who met in a beginners’ glass class and are now married, make objects out of their popular studio in Japan.

If You Want to Try It Yourself

The city’s top-three glassblowing studios.

Photo: COURTESY OF VENDOR

The Biggest

UrbanGlass
647 Fulton St., Fort Greene

Fort Greene’s UrbanGlass has been around since 1977 and was where Dale Chihuly worked in the ’80s. Courses are taught by local artists and range from workshops (from $60) to intensives (from $890).

Photo: COURTESY OF VENDOR

The Most Specific

Brooklyn Glass
142 13th St., Gowanus

It’s all about the highly niche classes here: from a one-day apple-making workshop ($180) to a make-your-own-shot-glass class ($220) to a five-hour terrarium intensive ($220).

Photo: COURTESY OF VENDOR

The One With a Water View

Scanlan Glass
499 Van Brunt St., Red Hook

Kevin Scanlan, a glassmaker who has shown work at the Museum of Modern Art and the Corning Museum of Glass, teaches beginner, intermediate, advanced, and private classes out of his waterfront Red Hook studio.

*This article appears in the June 24, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!

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The New Class of Handblown Glass