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Meet John Barber

Today we’d like to introduce you to John Barber.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I was introduced to glass blowing by my sister who lives in Munich Germany. I went to visit her and her German husband in 1970. her husband was raised in Bavaria a small village named Fraunau. Here they have been blowing glass for 1100 years. I was introduced to a family friend who owned one of the three glass factories in this village his name is Erwin Eisch. he gave me a tour of the factory. this was the first time I had seen glass blown. it was one of those moments I realized that I could do this and what a challenge. I asked to stay and learn the process. he gave me a bench to work at and I stayed for 3 years which started a lifelong passion that has now lasted for 44 years. I have been producing 12 tons of art glass a year for 49 years. this amounts to thousands of pieces that have traveled thru out the world. I have spent the last 20 years training apprentices passing this good fortune forward.

Please tell us about your art.
When I returned to the US glass blowing had been a lost art since the 1930s little was known about what it took and its value. I did have patrons and collectors that collected the work made during the art neuvou period Tiffany glass ect. So, I set out learning the techniques of decorating used in the turn of the century. as my work progressed I slowly developed my own unique style. most of my career I have made table top functional pieces, Vases stemware, paperweights, table lamps shades, the last 10 years I have been producing work that takes glass off the table top and placed in public art locations. original chandeliers ect. I have a web site with many photos of my work johnbarberglassdesigns.com. My inspiration is to preserve the American tradition of glass blowing. and by mentoring others insuring its continued survival.

Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
Through my career I have heard much debate is glass blowing an art or a craft. if you draw your inspiration from your personal experience your fears your own experiences there is no longer a debate

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My studio is located in Laguna Beach CA there I have a showroom open to the public or each year I display at the Sawdust art festival that runs every summer.

Contact Info:

  • Address: located at 21062 Laguna canyon RD. Laguna Beach, CA
  • Website: johnbarberglassdesigns.com
  • Phone: 949-494-1464
  • Email: jbarber488@aol.com

Image Credit:
All images taken by John Barber

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