(Above: Carafe and glasses by Baigelman Glass)
It’s that time of year when we honor the Dads, and in a year like no other, Aaron and Heather Baigelman of Baigelman Glass welcomed their son into the world. For this Father’s Day feature, we spoke with this husband and wife team about their life, craft, family, and running and sustaining their contemporary glass business through a most unusual time.
Interestingly, much of the adjustments in the last year began with the furnace. As the central point of glassblowing, it takes two weeks to turn on and off and costs a lot to run. It’s normally off in the summer to save money and energy but last year they shut it down from April to November. This turned out to be somewhat of a reprieve. They were able to pare down expenses and concentrate on alternative ways to market the business, while also building a nursery, and exploring other creative endeavors. Heather’s online marketing and social media skills plus being a photographer helped immensely while Aaron developed innovative ways to change product lines and make custom tools as blowing glass with a mask on is not possible.
As a soon-to-be-father, Aaron shared that he had been nervous about how he would dedicate so much time to work and shows while his wife was pregnant. That worry actually went away during quarantine because they were both home and there was no other option to consider. Now, being a new dad, Aaron shared this: “One of the biggest changes for me was I was kind of a workaholic. Your business is you, and you’re never really off the clock. Before my son was born, my value was directly related to my business. I used to work as much as I could, especially if I didn’t have anything specific planned. Now I find at 2pm, all I want to do is go hang out with my kid.” Heather added, “Aaron manages his time so much better now. He makes it a point to really spend time with the baby and makes sure he doesn’t miss time with him.”
(Above: Rocks glass by Baigelman Glass)
Now that shows are starting again, the PMA Craft Show was the first one the Baigelmans applied to be in, with Aaron sharing, “One of my favorite things about the show is that they have very educated buyers and clientele. The show attendees get what it takes to create the work. They understand the amount of effort we put in, and they really appreciate the art.”
Looking for a unique and special gift for a special father in your life? Check out Baigelman Glass and the fine work by the following artists, suitable for a Father’s Day present and beyond!
(Above: Scarf by Margo Petitti)
Margo draws inspiration for her scarf designs from the fabrics she uses; wool and cashmere sourced from the finest mills in Italy and England. Crafted by hand, Margo creates patterns and patchwork scarves that are limited edition or one of a kind works of art.
(Above: Ceramic mug by Kreg McCune)
Kreg crafts functional pots that are beautiful as individual pieces or in combinations. He works in stoneware and porcelain and holds a deep belief that in an age of mass production, it is deeply important to use objects envisioned, designed, and created by hand.
(Above: Chair by John Spivey)
John is a studio furniture maker, working primarily in walnut, maple, and cherry. Much of his furniture retains its natural edge, accentuating the lines as if to appear brushed in sumi-e fashion, giving life and vitality to the designs.
(Above: Box by Ray Jones)
Ray Jones is fascinated by the many varieties of wood available in the world and his boxes reflect that. With a history of studying aeronautical engineering, Ray’s trajectory brought him to craft where he is fascinated by wooden mechanisms and likes exploring the intersections of various geometric shapes.
(Above: Ax Handle barstool by Brad Smith)
Known for his style of “farm fresh furniture”, one can’t help but be intrigued by Brad’s work. Growing up on a farm led Brad to developing his unique line of furniture, utilizing various farm equipment in his designs, including his iconic Ax Handle Stool™. His concept of using parts in ways that were never intended as elements in the furniture became a theme in his distinctive work.
(Above: Brooch by Eric Silva)
As highlighted recently in the New York Times, brooches are back and this particular brooch by Eric Silva’s would be a stunning addition to a lapel. Hand carved using shed deer antler, Eric’s work reflects an individual artistic viewpoint combining natural and industrial materials in a small, thoughtfully constructed space.