Creating with Glass

Chad BalsterChad Balster and Brenda Gardner

The Frame Clinic and Art Alley on Court Street featured an amazing artist this past weekend.  Chad Balster is a veteran glass blower who has been making incredible pieces of glassware for 20 years.

Chad, who has his own glass blowing studio in Louisville, decided to show off some of his work on Saturday here in Lawrenceburg.  From plates, to tumblers and Christmas ornaments, he hand makes dozens of unique items all out of a soda lime glass, which according to Chad, is softer than lead crystal glass and is safe to eat or drink out of and run through the dishwasher.

He originally got into glass blowing back when he lived up in Minneapolis, MN, as just a summer job.  But he stuck with it, learning under a master artist and developing his technique when handling the 2000F glass.  “You can’t study glass from a book,” Chad said. “It’s a challenging media to work with.”

Although his art is called glass blowing, Chad rather calls himself a glass maker. “Very little of my job involves literally blowing the glass,” he said.  “Just a couple of puffs and you’re able to make a tumbler.”  Most of his time is watching and moving the glass as it cools.

But what makes his art and talent unique is that he has constructed his own line of mobile glassblowing equipment.  Although he didn’t bring his mobile furnace with him on Saturday, he promises to come back to Lawrenceburg in the Fall when temperatures are cooler and demonstrate just how he makes such beautiful glass.

For more information about Chad, check out his website.

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