THE AURA OF GLASS

For these four artisans, there’s satisfaction in the art of transformation

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words JOSEPH WEBSTER, Joseph Webster Glass
portrait photography ELLE DARCY PHOTOGRAPHY
glass images courtesy JOSEPH WEBSTER GLASS

Joseph Webster

My work is very much influenced by the technical aspects of glass making. I have always been fascinated by the process of making stemware, which is one of the more difficult things to make without the use of molds or machines. Through practice and repetition, I am always trying to better myself as a glassmaker. My work takes many different forms, both sculptural and utilitarian. It often consists of contrasting color, geometric shapes and always revolves around achieving a high level of craftsmanship. I get a lot of joy and fulfillment out of the process of glassmaking and that’s what keeps me going.

You can sign up for glassblowing workshops at josephwebsterglass.com

FAVORITE ...
Maine view?
It’s a secret. 
Drink? Bissell Brothers Substance Ale. 
Maine restaurant? Too many to choose from.
Place you’ve traveled to as an adult? The Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec. 
Shoes? Simms Guide boots.
Way to relax? Fly fishing.

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words JOANNE FRIEDRICK
photography KELSEY KOBIK

Terrill Waldman and
Charlie Jenkins

Tandem Glass Gallery, as you may intuit from the name, is a two-person operation: Terrill Waldman and Charlie Jenkins. We named our company after the two-seated style of carriage in which two horses are harnessed one before the other. It’s indicative of how we work: switching roles as leader or risk taker as needed.

We have individual styles, yet we collaborate on some of our collections, such as the Mosaic line, which has become our most popular offering. Mosaic, with its perfectly imperfect look incorporating pieces of glass and colorful cane pieces, threads and shards, is the result of experimentation; a creation born of whimsy, but also practicality for gift-giving.

Inspiration for us comes from different places: For Terrill, it’s driven by nature, especially botanical images often captured through photographs, and color. In the summer, when it’s too warm to fire up the furnaces, it’s time for Terrill to explore another aspect of glassmaking—cutting, etching and polishing. Charlie sees the inherent beauty in glass and the dynamic impact of color and uses that to shape his direction.

Whether it’s a mortar and pestle, a Scotch glass or a pig-shaped pitcher, we want people appreciate the artistic, sculptural aspect of our work, but not be afraid to explore the functional side as well.

tandemglass.com

FAVORITE …
Maine view? The view from our shop over the Eastern River. We face Richmond and the sunset over the water is always incredible. We break after work for a beer to watch it set pretty much every day. It’s very seasonal too because the leaves come off the trees and the light on the ice in the winter is just stunning.
Drink? One of our biggest pleasures living in Maine is being able to drink our well water right out of the tap, but we are both huge beer fans. How could we not be in Maine?
Maine restaurant? We love cooking so of course we also love eating out and seeing what other people are up to. Honestly, our steady freddy is the Sheepscot General Store. We love that it’s an old-time general store that some young hipsters took over. They have a great veggie Ruben.
Place you’ve traveled to as an adult? Wherever we travel we always visit the botanical gardens. We just came back from Montreal and their botanical garden is amazing. Mexico is on our wish list! We just finished reading Oaxaca Journal by Oliver Sacks in preparation...
Shoes? Bare feet.
Way to relax? Foraging for mushrooms and cooking at home.
We bought Meera Sodha’s Fresh India this year. It’s really fun to cook with because it includes a lot of what we are growing in
our garden.

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words BEN COOMBS, Casco Bay Glassworks
portrait photogrphay MOLLY COOMBS
glass images courtesy CASCO BAY GLASS

Ben Coombs

When I was asked to write a bit about myself and my craft, I shuddered. Talking myself up is perhaps my least favorite thing to do, which is unfortunate, as part of my job at Casco Bay Glassworks is selling myself, so it usually requires blowing your own horn loud and proud. I try to get by speaking softly and showing excellent work.

But one thing that intrigued me was to talk about my relationship with glass. Hmm, I never really thought about it that way. I guess I do have a relationship with glass, and I can describe it in one word: complicated. Glass is a passion of mine, but it’s also my job. Some days are magical, and some are, um, not. But that’s the case in any job, right? Part of the job is filing orders for wholesale accounts, then there’s custom work—awards, lighting, cowboy boot beer tap handles (that’s a real job I did). Sometimes
I get to go in and make whatever I’d like to, and that’s the frosting, like
date night for parents… a little break to get reacquainted with your
significant other.

Which brings me to one thing I like about making glasses and functional ware. The glass I make is used for holidays and date nights, at the end of good days and bad days. To me, that adds a weight to these objects—there is comfort in the goblet that was made by hand, that you’ve used in celebration; the small handmade bowl that holds your grandmother’s earrings—this also helps motivate me to keep going, to keep finding ways
to connect with my craft and audience at the same time.

cascobayglass.squarespace.com

FAVORITE ...
Maine view? Looking southwest from the mouth of the
New Meadows River toward Land’s End (Bailey Island).
Drink? Other than one of the many (many, many) delicious Maine beers, I like rum punch. Mount Gay Rum, lots of bitters.
Maine restaurant? Tu Casa Salvadorena Restaurant. El Salvadoran food on Washington Avenue in Portland. All of it is delicious.
Place you’ve traveled to as an adult? Mount Baker, Washington. This is a bit of a cheat…We lived in Washington for a few years. I love to snowboard and Mount Baker has a ton of snowboard history and is a magical place. Can’t wait to go back!
Shoes? Vans Old Skool Pro—the Pro has a nice footbed; the regular model is flat like a Converse.
Ways to relax? Snowboarding in winter, sailing and fishing in the summer. All with my family if possible. I also play lots of music, mostly bass.

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