Shane Nowak heats it up as a glass blower


Jessica Streich

Shane Nowak has been blowing glass for over two years. He creates his pieces at a studio in Hillcrest called Marshall Arts Studio.

Call him a gaffer, a glass smith, a glass blower– or even a lampworker. Regardless of his title, senior Shane Nowak creates incredible blown glass pieces.

“I started glassblowing when I was 15 years old, two years ago,” Nowak said. “I like art, creating and building things, and glassblowing is a way to combine all of that.”

Glassblowing is a unique hobby that not many people have the opportunity to try. Nowak, wanting to try out such a unique art form, researched it and came across a studio in Hillcrest that allows high school students to blow glass.

“I go to the Marshall Arts Studio in Hillcrest to blow glass,” Nowak said. “Martin Marshal converted his garage into a glass blowing studio. Many artists rent studio time to create their pieces which they sell all over the country.”

Nowak has been blowing glass for over two years at this studio. With two years of experience, Nowak opened a small business of selling blown glass to family, friends and any one who is interested in purchasing his artwork.

“I make an array of different things,” Nowak said. “Some functional such as vases, bowls, cups and other items that are abstract or sculptural.”

These orders and commissions inspire Nowak to craft new products. Glassblowing is a somewhat complicated procedure compared to other art forms.

“Glassblowing involves temperatures over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit,” Nowak said. “The shape is formed by inflating liquid, molten soft glass into a bubble by a tool called a blowpipe. A variety of different tools are used in the process.”

Nowak has mastered several different forms of blown glass from a variety of colors and textures. An immense portion of Nowak’s life consists of art; he is involved in ceramics, painting, music and poetry. Whether or not he pursues glassblowing, he will continue to keep art a center focus in  his life.

“So far, I have sold my pieces by word of mouth,” Nowak said. “People have commissioned me to make pieces for them. I do not have enough inventory to set up a website, but I plan to in the near future. I hope to blow glass my entire life, whether professionally or as a hobby.”