Photo Essay: A Studio Visit with Practical Art artisan John Ryszka II of Phoenix, AZ

It almost looks like some other-worldly, post-apocalyptic hideaway, right? I’m picturing this: the world outside is a barren wasteland, and one man, John Ryszka II, has sealed himself off from the radiation/aliens/solar flares/zombies out there; he spends his long, lonesome days recreating from memory the majesty of the earth in sculptural glass forms– flowers, birds, jellyfish.

Alright, so, maybe that’s a little dramatic– but it’s hard to keep your imagination in check when scrolling down through all this MAGIC. Practical Art artisan John Ryszka II’s medium is glass, and he stretches, fuses, twists, inflates, and contorts the glass through a process called ‘lampworking’, so named for the ‘lamp’ or torch that provides all that hot, hot heat. Check out this stunning photo series to get a feel for his process. (Can you guess what he’s making before the end?)

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Told you it was magic, didn’t I? If you’re interested in picking up a jellyfish, click on the photo above and it’ll take you through to our web store– where there’s Free Shipping with the promo code: LOCALLOVE through Valentine’s Friday! Or come on by the shop: we have quite the selection of jellyfish as well as many other of John’s vitrified designs in wearable pendant form!

(As a parting note: Don’t worry about John having long, lonesome days as I mentioned in the apocalyptic-preamble– he works from his home studio and spends much of his day with his two young daughters who he often refers to as “his managers”, and with his lovely wife Nora. Happy Valentine’s, you all!)

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