“The tech apprentice program at the Pittsburgh Glass Center offers a unique opportunity to work, learn, and create in a state of the art public glass facility. I take pride in being one of the backbones of the facility as my day to day involves maintaining the cleanliness and the equipment, as well as facilitating classes, workshops, and rentals. It definitely isn’t the cleanest job, and sometimes isn’t the most fun, but it is very rewarding. In my time at the studio we built a large glory hole, rebuilt both a furnace and a kiln, and met some very awesome people. In addition to the tech side of things, you get access to using the shop to make and develop your own work. For me, this was a balancing act because I would work all day, and then work on my own work at night. If you don’t have a strong work ethic, as well as self-motivation then this job is not for you. You get out of it what you put into it, and if you put yourself out there, I guarantee you will be very happy with the results.”
- Samuel Spees, 2018 Tech Apprentice
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Jonathan is from Tulsa, Oklahoma and has been blowing glass for six years. Starting at Tulsa Glassblowing School, he expanded his knowledge working under Cedric Mitchell, applying classic techniques with modern design. Before arriving in Pittsburgh, Jonathan worked in Kansas City, Missouri at Monarch Glass Studio, focusing on production while improving the process of design. He hopes to expand his knowledge working with the vibrant, ever growing community here at PGC.
Mitchell Kile was born in 1995 and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota his whole life. He was first introduced to glass art at the age of 16 in 2012 at a local glass art center in Minneapolis called FOCI-Minnesota Center for Glass Art. He casually experimented with the medium until 2014 when he attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and started working towards his bachelor of fine arts degree emphasizing in glass. During his education Kile became interested in numerous forms and techniques of glass art such as kilnformed castings, glassblowing, neon, glass lamination, and flameworking. Since he started his college career Mitchell Kile has worked with and assisted numerous other artists he met both through his professors and peers. His love for both cold and hot glass techniques has influenced the work he makes, creating his unique style which he strives to continuously change and evolve.
Blaine Steiner is a recent BS and BFA graduate of hot glass at Salisbury University and is currently a tech apprentice at the Pittsburgh Glass Center. Having lived a transient life style all over the country and abroad, she is drawn to the idea of making public art that leaves a permanent stamp on many of the places she has been. Blaine creates large scale, multimedia sculptures that showcase the benefits of combining materials to create dynamic relationships within a sculpture.
Originally a dual degree in marine biology and environmental science, Blaine took her first glass class in her senior year of her undergrad and fell in love with the hot shop. In a short amount of time Blaine had added hot glass as a major and devoted the next few years of her life to learning to manipulate the material in ways that were suitable for outdoor display. She found that her background in biology influenced her work, as did her love of the environment that came from spending her childhood summers in Newfoundland, Canada. Blaine continues to create outdoor public sculptures and recently completed her first public commission for the town of her alma mater, Salisbury, MD.