At 2300°: Multiplied in February, Adam Holtzinger demonstrated his work in hot glass creating simple, elegant forms that incorporate intricate details. I caught up with him after the show.
How did you get started in glass?
I was actually a photography major in college. I worked a part-time job giving tours for the school and on my first tour I saw the glass department and I saw someone blowing glass and that was it. I knew right then and there that that’s what I wanted to do. So, I quit photography and I started blowing glass that day.
Did you get started making sculptural forms or did you study historical techniques?
Yea, historical, I first started studying books and actually coming here—my first class that I took was here at Corning—and going through the Museum and the Library. I started with historical pieces and trying to replicate things like that and learn how the old Masters made the things that they made. That’s my biggest influence, historical work, not necessarily sculptural.
When you graduated, you moved to Brooklyn?
Graduated school, moved straight away to NYC, moved to Brooklyn. And I’ve been there ever since—for 11-12 years now.
And what do you do there?
I am a professional glassmaker. I make glass every day. I make work for artists, architectural firms, architects, and other glassmakers.
Tell me about what you worked on tonight.
Tonight we made some of my own objects, some ideas that I’ve been working on for the last few years. After my recent trip to Japan I was really, really influenced by pattern and I was especially influenced by kimonos. This body of work is lidded jars that are sandblasted in the pattern of, not necessarily kimonos themselves, but my own interpretation of floral repetitive patterns.
Why the Kimono? Was it just the trip that inspired you?
It was mostly being in a different country and speaking with craftsman and makers outside of the country. The idea of the kimono, the male kimono, is that it is very plain on the outside and once it’s open—all the decoration is on the inside. So I’m actually doing the opposite of that, putting all the decoration on the outside. It’s the influence of detailing and patterning in a soft but graphic way.
What other influences are there on your work?
Lately I’ve been looking more to 50s and 60s glass design, Scandinavian.
You’ve worked with the Museum before, in some beautiful locations.
I’ve worked for Corning Museum a couple times now. Once was at Governor’s Island in NYC, the GlassLab summer program working with artists and designers. It was amazing, really, really good. And then most recently was traveling to Paris, France, to work with designers for GlassLab there in front of the Louvre, it was stunning.
Last question: What’s your favorite video game?
My favorite video game. You put me on the spot on that one! That’s a tough question.