Macomb 91.3fm - Galesburg 90.7fm Keokuk 89.5fm - Burlington 106.3fm
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

The Art of Glass Blowing

Mike Newsad at work in his studio

Holiday decorations are on display just about anywhere you go this time of year. Most of the ornaments are mass produced. But if you look around enough, you just might find some made by true artisans.

Mike Newsad is one such artist. He has converted the garage at his home into a glass blowing studio. He's been busy in recent weeks making glass ornaments for the season

Newsad also makes sculptures out of glass. His fascination with glass dates back to childhood. His mother collected all sorts of glass pieces. Newsad said many were unusual and something about them sparked his interest.

"I was always fascinated with how and why in the world would somebody make something like this. She sort of planted the seed in me not knowing that at the time," Newsad said. "I always thought, 'Wow, I wish I could learn to make something like that.'"

You can listen to a demonstration of how Newsad creates something like that by clicking on the audio button.

He's been doing this for 20 years and his experience is evident. He needs the right tools, the proper type of glass, and the skill to manipulate the heated glass.

Newsad considers it cathartic to melt glass and create a new shape.

"It's so mesmerizing to have this metal rod that you gather the glass with," Newsad said. "You have to force it to do what you want. You can't just let it go -- it ends up dripping on the floor.

"There is something fascinating about creating with glass because you can't physically touch it when it's hot. You have to manipulate it with tools or just in the air."


Rich is TSPR's News Director.