Hot Shop Valpo
Dave is a retired United States Marine with over 22 years of global active duty service. He and his wife Susie have been married for 30+ years and have two son’s Jim (a Marine himself) and Bryan whom you will meet here. After retiring from The Corps Dave went to work in the Real Estate industry handling major clients for a large real estate auction company and now is SVP of Client Management for Matt Martin Real Estate Management headquartered out of Texas.
Dave’s interest in blown glass began some 25 years ago with his fascination with Dale Chihuly’s works around the world. Dave had a dream to one day own a piece of Dale’s work. While also appreciating the works of many other glass artists over the years, it never occurred to Dave that he would one day become a glass blower himself. While on a business trip to Michigan, Dave picked up a tourism brochure which was filled with many interesting things to do around the state. Dave found an advertisement for glass blowing classes at Waterstreet Glassworks (WSG) in Benton Harbor. Dave asked his son Bryan (an art and graphic design major at IUN) if he would be interested in taking the classes. After taking the matriculation courses from Master Glass Blower Jerry Catania a passion was born for both and the guys were renting shop time as often as they could.
Bryan grew up in a Military (Marine) family which throughout his life gave him the opportunity to move several times to new communities which instilled an open mind and a broad outlook on life and people. The family ultimately settled in Valparaiso Indiana where Bryan graduated from Wheeler High School in 2010. Bryan and his brother Jim are both Eagle Scouts which also contributed to his well-rounded outlook.
Bryan has always been artistic with a flair for color and an eye for form. He is now pursuing his Graphic Art degree at Indiana University Northwest entering his senior year. In 2009 Bryan and his dad Dave took a 6 week glass blowing matriculation course at Waterstreet Glassworks in Benton Harbor Michigan under Master Glass Blower Jerry Catania.
Over the last 4 years Bryan and Dave have been working together as a team mastering their craft. Bryan picked up the craft quickly and enjoys working with an art form that is organic and flexible. “The thing about glass is that it is constantly changing as you go along. Unlike other art forms, blowing glass has many forces working against you; forces such as gravity, temperature, and centrifugal force. A sculptor or painter can stop what they are doing and come back to it days later and pick right back up. With molten glass you can’t do that. Once you start a piece there is no turning back and you have to manage the external forces to your advantage. Once a piece is nearing completion the tension goes up. It is the last 30 seconds that are the most critical. To me that is challenging and challenge is fun”.