As a Corning native and the younger brother of a glassblower, Dane Jack was exposed to glass from a young age. He has worked diligently for many years to develop his glassmaking skills.
Training on the Hot Glass Show stage under master glassblowers, Dane learned through repetition and gained muscle memory to make objects for demonstrations. “I wanted to learn the foundation of manipulating the material,” he says. By taking classes at The Studio, assisting other artists in the hot shop, and renting the Studio facilities to practice on his own, Dane quickly gained proficiency in the basics.
Over time, his work has become “technique-based rather than conceptual,” and, these days, he focuses on mastering advanced techniques. This dedication and perseverance has paid off, as he now travels for part of the year with the Hot Glass Show aboard Celebrity Cruises, demonstrating glassblowing in exciting places such as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.
Inspired by the colors at sea and the architecture of the cities where the ship docked, Dane experiments on stage. “The opportunity to make whatever you want in a glassblowing job is priceless,” he recognizes, and, because the Hot Glass Shows at sea can last a couple of hours, the team has the freedom to create more elaborate pieces.
At the end of each cruise, three to six pieces of glass art are sold at an auction, with proceeds benefiting a scholarship fund for Studio glassmaking classes.
Dane himself was a recent recipient of a Celebrity Scholarship. Receiving a scholarship for the Winter 2012 session allowed Dane to take Dan Mirer’s Glassblowing, Design, Production class, which emphasized mold making for faster and more efficient production work. The class spent much of the week-long session in the coldworking shop shaping molds, a process which intrigues Dane as he hopes to incorporate mold blowing techniques to create a production line in the future.
The community at The Studio has always been a supportive one. There’s always some one around who can collaborate, bringing a quick bit of glass while he’s working on a piece or offering advice when he’s stuck on a process. Dane has rented time at The Studio to work on his own art, has taken classes, and has even worked in The Studio’s Make Your Own Glass area.
Dane’s story is not unique. The Studio and the Museum work hard to support and develop glass artists, by employing talented artists like Dane, providing scholarships, offering classes and providing a community that encourages exploration of glass.