Robert Burch

I began working with glass in Atlanta, GA at the age of 16 while, still in high school. After graduating I went to work for Tadashi Torii, a Japanese artist, for two years. While working with Tadashi I began developing my skills with cane, retichellos, reverse axis, etc. This is also where my knowledge of gluing multiple components together started.  After a few years studying underneath Tadashi I decided to make the jump up to Seattle when I was 19. I took a dish-washing job for income security, but luckily I was only there for three weeks before entering my first Seattle glass gig. This was with, at the time, emerging artist Granit Calimpong. While working with him he started introducing me to numerous other artists in the area. Including JP Canlis, John Keily, Nancy Blair, Martin Blank, Rick Allen, Raven Skyriver , Davide Salvidore and many more. I have enjoyed being able to work with many artists with a wide variety of skill sets.

One of the most influential Seattle based artists I have worked with for a long period of time is Martin Blank. His scale of working is unparalleled and can push soft glass into an architectural realm. We worked together for five years. In that time span I was a gaffer, one of his main cold workers, the person who crated and shipped his work, and his metal worker. I also entered into Team Chihuly thru Martin. I worked on production for Chihuly but my focus there was on the design team. Martin Blank Studios is where my complex knowledge of glass working comes from. After acquiring the skill set of successfully chemically bonding glass together and shipping complicated and fragile work others started seeking me out for help. I have done this work for Austin Art Projects, Imago Gallery, Habatat Gallery, and Traver Gallery. I must also mention Bertil Valien and Ulirica Hydman Vailen whom have been my mentors and art parents since 2011 when I met them at my first class at Pilchuck. Since knowing them they have greatly supported and influenced in the most positive way. The past two years they have flown me to ‘The Glass Museum’ in Boda, Sweden to teach, demonstrate, and gaff work for them. I am currently living and working as an independent artist in the small town of Carbondale, CO.

 

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