Meet Our Artists
Kathryn Adams earned her BFA from Alfred University in 2011, with a focus in glass art. Upon graduation she enrolled in a class at Penland School of Crafts to further her education. Penland was her initial lure to NC, & since then she has immersed herself in the region’s thriving glass community. Interning at Jackson County Green Energy Park, a glass blowing studio that uses methane gas from a landfill to create fuel, connected her to the growing city of Asheville, where she moved to in 2012. She served as the Gallery Manager for the Asheville Glass Center for five years. She currently works for the North Carolina Glass Center, a non-profit, public access, educational glass facility, where she is the Operations Manager. Kathryn is able to create her own artwork out of the studio as well. Currently her work focuses on function and aesthetics primarily through custom lighting & other decorative elements.
When John Almaguer was a young teenager he first decided he wanted to try glassblowing. It wasn't until years later that he got a chance to try it out. When he finally took his first gather of glass he felt like a little kid in a candy store and has been creating with glass ever since. This fire dancer creates sculpture and blown forms through this substance that is much like lava. John has received a Bachelor of Fine Art in Glass and won awards for his work, as well as, displayed in galleries all over the nation. Almaguer has also taught, demoed and lectured on glass around the nation and in some cases the world. Almaguer apprenticed in Murano, Venice where John lived and worked directly before he arrived in Asheville, NC where he currently makes his work and lives with his growing family.
Jenna Ashcraft began fostering her love for glass in 2011 while working in sales at the Asheville Glass Center. Being immersed in the creative environment, she picked up flameworking as a hobby, gaining basic techniques from other artists working, and through experimenting with the glass on her own. In 2017 she received a scholarship to Penland School of Crafts for Glass. This opportunity was a catalyst for new designs. Currently she continues to nurture her passion for the material and the community behind it, working as a gallery associate for the non-profit North Carolina Glass Center, teaching flameworking workshops and creating her work out of NCGC. Her work draws inspiration from nature, geometric shapes, and animals (mostly cats).
Signe Ballew studied glass blowing at Alfred University and received her BFA in 2012, with a focus in glass and printmaking. After graduation she has worked for several non-profits along the east coast. She started flameworking while working as the Special Topics Artist Fellow at Peters Valley School of Craft in New Jersey in 2014, she worked there for two summer seasons with a studio assistant job in DC in the middle. Her work has been shown in NYC at the Museum of Art and Design in "Profile 2012" and at Peters Valley School of Craft, "Peters Valley Faculty and Studio Assistant Exhibition" and "Making Matters". Signe currently lives in Asheville and works as one of the instructors and studio monitors in the flameshop at the NC Glass Center.
Originally from Fayetteville, North Carolina,Ben Greene-Colonnese is proud to call western NC home. As an avid rock climber and lover of the outdoors, he is able to combine his love of blown and cast glass art with his love for the backcountry. Ben say of his work, “In my glasswork, I create a visual bridge between two aesthetics: the primal aesthetic of the natural world and the aesthetic of the created form. This bridge both honor the natural world as untamed and opaque, and transcends it with transparency.” Whether in his nature-inspired functional blown glass or in his rough, gem-like cast glass and stone inspired sculptures, Ben Greene-Colonnese’s work forges a visual aesthetic connection between nature and fine art glass.
Ben received a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland, OH.
Alison Chism: After earning my B.A in Glass and Metal Arts at San Francisco State University, I moved to Seattle where I worked as a staff member at Pilchuck Glass School in the summers, and spent the rest of the year developing my art business, assisting glassblowers, and teaching classes. But I wanted more, so I got into the M.F.A program at The Ohio State University where I spent 3 years working with Richard Harned. I took the opportunity to codify my teaching skills, stretch my artistic parameters, met incredible artists and learned to deal with humidity. After receiving my M.F.A, I stayed on as a lecturer for some time until I was offered an Assistant Professorship at Salisbury University. At Salisbury, I worked as I had never worked before: I now ran the program, built equipment, taught all the classes, and did all the things behind the scenes that make a university run. I had amazing students and they made some amazing art. Hard work aside, I and Salisbury were not meant to be long term and am currently excited to be working independently as an artist here in North Carolina.
Courtney Dodd was a Core Fellow at Penland from 2006-2008. She then worked for Devin Burgess, a former artist in residence at Penland. Dodd holds a MFA from VCU in glass and a BFA in graphic design and illustration. Dodd has participated in several residencies such as the glass residency at STARworks, photography at OCAC, and was an EAiR at Pilchuck. She has studied and worked at Penland, Corning, Urban, Denmark Design School, and Pilchuck. Courtney was also nominated in 2015 and 2016 for the Irvin Borowsky Prize in Glass Arts. She has demonstrated at STARworks, Chrysler Museum of Glass, and the University of Louisville. She also had the pleasure of assisting Pablo Soto for several years. Dodd taught at Corning in 2017 and will teach at Urban, Appalachian Center for Craft, Sawtooth and Corning in 2018. Currently, Courtney works as a full-time artist and lives in Bakersville, North Carolina.
A North Carolina native, KC Davenport has been creating hand crafted glassware since 2009. Inspired by the wonders of the natural world, Davenport strives to replicate an organic sense of fluidity in his works. While apprenticing under a glass master in Wilmington NC, he was able to learn and build his knowledge base before setting up his own studio in charlotte from 2011-2016. Now residing in Asheville NC, Davenport teaches classes at the NC Glass Center, where he is also able to create his own work. Recent notable works include: Animals series, Ocean series, and The Unity Spiral body of work.
Sharon Driscoll has worked with metals and glass since 1993. An award-winning artist, she has exhibited and sold her work in art shows and galleries. Sharon has taught jewelry classes at national conventions for Lapidary Journal, and has her work published in "Glass Bead Workshop" as part of the primary focus group for the book. An important element in Sharon's art is the inclusion of advanced glass techniques in her torch work, which is then integrated with forged, shaped and cast metals to create one of a kind handmade jewelry.
Joseph Falzone first discovered his love of glass at the young age of eighteen. Having been an artist his entire life he was no stranger to the creative process. However, it wasn’t until he was exposed to glass that he truly felt like he could express himself through art. After his first glassblowing experience at the University of Wisconsin River Falls he knew this was the medium he had been looking for. Joseph continued his glass education at Penland school of crafts. Where he had the opportunity to study under established glass artist and get a first hand look into the professional world of glass art. He went on to earn his BFA degree at Southern Illinois University where he perfected his technical skills and learned about the many different styles and traditions in blown glass. He has also had the opportunity to study overseas at Abate Zanetti in Murano, Italy. Currently he has been traveling and working in a variety of studios, finding inspiration for his work all over the United States.
Nickolaus Fruin is originally from Grand Island, Nebraska. He began working with glass at Hastings College in Hastings, Nebraska. During his undergraduate studies Nick had the opportunity to travel to various glass schools nationally and abroad working with some of the most recognized glass artists. After finishing school, he left the Midwest and moved to Star, North Carolina to work for Wet Dog Glass LLC. During this time, Wet Dog Glass built the glass studio at STARworks Center for Creative Enterprises, STARworks Glass Lab. Shortly after the completion of the studio, Nick took over as the Glass Studio Coordinator. In 2014 he was invited to New Zealand to work for Lukeke Design and Gaffer Glass. He has been a demonstrating artist at the Glass Art Society Conference 2011 in Seattle, The Australian National University, Hastings College, Tulsa Glassblowing School, and Pilchuck Glass School.
Alex Greenwood began working with molten glass in 2001 at the age of 22. As an apprentice he worked in a studio near Raleigh, NC for 2 years learning Flame working techniques. He then moved to Smithville, TN to attend the Appalachian Center for Crafts to learn off hand glass blowing. Alex has lived and worked in Asheville since 2008. He co-founded the Asheville Glass Center in 2009 which then sold to the North Carolina Glass Center in the summer of 2016. He makes primarily functional work and likes to play with design and visual textures
Haley Jelinek received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2014 from Alfred University concentrating in glass and psychology. After graduation she received an emerging artist residency in upstate NY at Salem Art Works where she worked on a multigenerational community arts project called Alzheimer’s Glass and Iron. She has since helped to continue the project at Salem Art Works for a short residency every year. Haley has showcased her work throughout parts of New York and Pennsylvania. In 2015, she made a big move to western North Carolina where she can continue to work in glass and sculpture. Haley Jelinek’s work is inspired by the important relationship between humans and nature, offering functional glass with an organic feel.
Jennifer Kelting- I grew up with my grandparents, and both sets were collectors. Growing up in the depression era, they kept everything. I found small treasures in every drawer and box. There were also lots of tools used by the craftsman and clockmaker in my world. My dad was a great story teller and entertained us kids with crazy tales from his childhood. I made jewelry from small objects I would find in the street and the flea markets we would frequent. I love glass for its color, and I sculpt it to retell the stories. What does not become jewelry goes into my mixed media sculptures.
Michael C. Krupiarz began studying glass at Alfred University NYSCC where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2005. In the spring of 2006 he assisted a glass course at Penland. After the assistantship he made the move to Penland and continued working with many of the glass artists in the area. Michael has participated in various workshops at the Penland School of Crafts, Haystack, Pittsburgh Glass Center, Corning, and Pilchuck Glass School. In 2012, he was awarded the Core Fellowship at Penland. During the next two years he explored his ideas not only in glass but wood and metal. His work has been exhibited at the Penland Gallery; the Greenhill Center for NC Art; The Center for Craft, Creativity and Design show “Harvey Littleton, the Next Generation of Studio Glass in Western North Carolina”; and the Asheville Area Arts Council. Michael currently lives in Asheville, NC where he continues to make his work and teach at the North Carolina Glass Center.
Over 20 years ago Kristen Malone discovered her calling and has been hooked ever since. Now based in Asheville, she has studied her craft all over the country including some time at Pilchuck Glass School founded by Dale Chihuly.
“Glass excites me, the challenge to control the molten glass and achieve the right color pattern and shape is what I crave at the end of a hot day of work in the studio! It’s rewarding to accomplish the vision I had in my head from start to finish.”
Her unusual way of working has caught some attention, working without assistants; Kristen juggles multiple batons, which are the actual blowpipes, with the skill of a majorette. Her work has been featured in many galleries and private collections. In 2007, she was asked to do a special Delta sponsored installation at Hartsfield Jackson Airport in Atlanta. Keeping in mind that the possibilities creating original and beautiful art is limitless, Kristen strives to maintain a boundless imagination. This comforts her, generating great excitement, as she focuses on novel ideas that unfold as she creates her own vision.
“A vision without action is but a dream. A vision with action can change the world we live in. I am dedicated to making my dreams a reality through the creation of beautifully handcrafted glass works.”
Born and raised in Beaufort, North Carolina, Stephanie McCune is a lifelong lover of the arts and holds a BA in Art History from North Carolina State University. She began working with glass shortly after taking a glassblowing course at Penland School of Crafts, and in 2015 made the move to Western North Carolina to continue learning in a studio environment. Through apprenticing with her fellow artists at the North Carolina Glass Center and the surrounding area, Stephanie now spends her time thinking about how to make beautiful things for people to use in their homes, teaching glassblowing workshops to public, and working as an assistant to other glass makers in the Asheville area.
Joe Nicholson - My introduction to glassblowing was at Franklin Pierce University in Rindge,NH. At the time I was double majoring in Environmental Science and Education. After a semester I dropped the Education major for a Teacher Assistant position in the glass studio. I graduated from Franklin Pierce University in 2012 with a degree in Environmental Science and a passion for hot glass. Since, I have worked in various studios committed to learning techniques from different styles of glassblowers. I am now committed to living and working as an artist to bring those various techniques together to form new creative designs.
Corey Pemberton was born in Reston, Virginia in 1990. He has been interested in the arts from a very early age. Once he reached the university Corey began to pursue an education in Illustration. But it didn’t take long for him to discover the glass blowing studio. Corey focused mainly on glass in his time at Virginia Commonwealth University. He would go on to earn a BFA in Craft and Material Studies. Corey worked as a production glass blower for nearly six years before entering the Core Fellowship at the Penland School of Crafts, where he currently resides. He is taking a break from glassblowing to explore other media and processes.
Emily Powell is a North Carolina native who moved from Carrboro to Asheville in 2012. She went to UNC Asheville with the intention of studying speech therapy but stumbled into a 30 minute walk-in class at the Asheville Glass Center, now the NC Glass Center. She fell in love with the medium of glass and now is an artist and instructor and the North Carolina Glass Center. Her work can be found at the NCGC as well as other galleries across North Carolina. She is inspired by fun color combinations and the unexpected style of American glasswork.
SaraBeth Post began learning glass in 2009 at the Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania. In 2011 she moved to Kentucky to study at the University of Louisville where she received her BFA in 3D Studios with a concentration in glass and minor in Creative Writing in 2015. She loves traveling and has worked for the Corning Museum of Glass, Pilchuck Glass School, and has been a studio assistant at the Penland School of Crafts. Currently, SaraBeth lives near Penland working for glass artists in the surrounding area and making her own artwork. With a range of glass techniques in her pocket, she enjoys making collectable objects out of cast glass, flameworked and coldworked jewelry, and blown vessels.
Tony Prince is a multi-media artist and educator, who specializes in torchworked glass and sculptural ceramics. After studying drawing and figurative sculpture at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, he had a significant shift in perspective when attending the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. This is where he was introduced to the crafts of flameworking (working glass on a torch), woodfired pottery, and mountain livin. After several years of working with professional artists in the area, Tony went on to finish his BFA at the Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, TN.
Today Tony spends his time creating beautiful objects and teaching craft. He has been delighted to call Asheville home since 2011.
Terri Sigler studied glass at the Corning Museum of Glass. Terri attends workshops at Corning, Penland School of Crafts and the Pittsburg Glass Center almost yearly and has worked for several years as a teaching assistant at the Corning Museum of Glass.
Currently, she makes her glass work in her home studio, Chaotic Joy Glassworks, and at the North Carolina Glass Center. She built her own electric furnace from scratch, gas glory hole and annealer, and continues to build many tools and equipment used to make her art.
Her objective as an artist is to explore Venetian-style techniques, specializing in cane and murine, through vessel forms on a path to new interpretations. Her art is driven through repetition of form and from that form an attention to detail has propelled her creative eye to new horizons.
Born in Mobile, Alabama, Terri resides in Asheville, NC with her husband and two kids.
Brad Smith began blowing glass at age 13 at Bucks Rock visual and performing arts camp in New Milford, CT. Brad was exposed to a variety of mediums including ceramics, photography, metal working and wood working, but the exposure to glassblowing there had the most impact. From then he was determined to be a glassblower. After high school, Brad moved to Rindge, NH to attend Franklin Pierce College where he studied glassblowing and ceramics. After two years of study at Franklin Pierce College, Brad was offered the opportunity to work with master glassblower Peter Greenwood. Brad assisted Mr. Greenwood in the creation of several production designs as well as many special commissioned projects large and small. After his two-year apprenticeship, Brad moved to Smithville, TN. He studied for the next 5 years at the Appalachian Center for Craft under Curtiss Brock. In April 2012, Brad completed his study with the culmination of his senior exhibition at the craft center gallery. In 2012, Brad moved to Santa Fe, NM to pursue glass full time. He chose Santa Fe for its vibrant gallery scene, and small but close knit community of glass artists. In Brad built a home studio for grinding and polishing glass objects, and continued blowing glass in a local public access studio. In 2016, Brad relocated to Asheville, NC to continue to work professionally in an area renowned for its long tradition of craft. Brad works a staff glass blower at the North Carolina Glass Center in Asheville, in addition to operating his own business, Brad Smith Studios.
Arlie Trowbridge earned her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in Photography and Film. During her senior year she discovered glass while fulfilling an elective credit in flameworking. Upon graduation in 2010, she began making borosilicate glass jewelry out of her home studio and has since been sold and shown in multiple galleries across the United States including MoMA Design Store, Urban Glass and The Honolulu Museum of Art. While living in Asheville, she worked as a studio artist at the North Carolina Glass Center and also studied at Penland School of Crafts under multiple scholarships. She recently relocated to Oahu, Hawaii and looks to nature for inspiring her signature line of glass cluster jewelry and home decor.
Matt Tyner has dedicated his passion for art glass to furthering glass techniques and color application by connecting practical application to artistic expression. He uses glass as a medium to provide thoughtful evocation combined with functional simplicity. Often whimsical yet always practical in nature. Matt is inspired by glass history and its impact on modern techniques which he translates into new applications of design and culture. He has taught in prestigious glass programs including Corning Museum of Glass and Pittsburgh Glass Center as well as a yearly coordinator and demonstrator at Art Glass Invitational.
Nicole Urban started blowing glass in 2014 when she was gifted beginners glass blowing lessons at Veirs Studio Glass in Warrenton, Virginia. Nicole quickly fell in love with the immediate gratification of creating with a challenging material, and the path of learning along the way. Nicole lives in Asheville, NC where she works in the field of Applied Behavioral Analysis utilizing her BA in Psychology. She uses glass as a lens to analyze her experiences which translates itself into a form of self-expression and self-care.
Hayden Wilson grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with concentration in sculpture from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. As a second-generation glass maker, he has been around glass his entire life, but working professionally as a glass blower and caster the past six years. He has been an assistant instructor in the glass studio at Penland School of Craft and Pilchuck Glass School. Hayden has also worked at Jackson County Green Energy Park, and for 5 years served as Asheville Glass Center shop manager building equipment, teaching glass classes. He currently creates his work as well as serving as Studio Manager at the North Carolina Glass Center a non-profit, public access educational glass facility.