I have long had the goal of becoming a designer craftsman, as it allows me to explore ideas independently, with few constraints on my aesthetics.

After earning my BFA in Graphic Design and spending many years working for other artists, I designed and built my own studio. This studio is a small shop with the capacity to melt one hundred pounds of crystal at a time and working capability for a twelve by twenty-four inch piece, though most work is on a smaller scale. There is only room for myself and one assistant, usually a student, who helps by being the extra hand during the blowing process, setting up decorations, and general shop upkeep.

My style employs tightly controlled, bright colors, simple shapes and a playful design sense. Much of my work is enhanched by the decorations which start out as long rods of color (or canes) that I make from imported glass. These rods can either be used as lines, or can be further manipulated into dots or swirls of vibrant color. I begin each piece by choosing a background color and reactive decorations. This reaction between background and embellishment sets up a conversation that can be evocative of anything from a love sonnet to a heated political argument.

Producing a form requires gradually building up successive layers of glass on the blow pipe, blowing into it to achieve the desired volume. I use wooden and metal tools to shape the piece. After transfering it to another rod, I open the form and shape the lip.

I am producing a newer body of work using fusing, which involves manipulating sheet glass into patterns, then firing the glass in a kiln to melt the design together into one piece. The fusing process allows me to have greater control of the decorative process, letting me develop patterns unavailable in the hot shop.

My work reaches completion in being a part of people's lives, taking that conversation into their living spaces and bringing an aesthetic pleasure from the utilization of everyday objects.

-Bob Gent