Art Glass by Henry Levine
Thorn Ridge Studios
Born and raised in Bethesda Maryland, Henry Levine has designed and created vessels since he started classes at Glen Echo pottery in 1973. During school at Walt Whitman High, Henry would skip out of his algebra II classes to work in the ceramics lab. After receiving a B.A. in economics and English at The University of Rochester, he worked at a bank for a couple of years, found it very dry and longed for a creative outlet. So, in 1984, Henry returned to school to fulfill his dream of becoming a production potter.
At Alfred University, he got bit by the glass bug and did not make any clay pots. Instead, he attended classes in ceramic sculpture, glass blowing and neon art. After graduating Alfred, Henry worked as a neon technician at Vacuform Industries for one year before buying Quality Neon Products. As a neon manufacturer, Henry employed fifteen people and wholesaled neon lights to large sign companies who shipped his products nationwide. Henry owned and operated the neon shop for ten years before moving to southeast Ohio and opening Thorn Ridge Studios in 1999.
Henry is married, has three children and lives on a beautiful farm in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. His continued mission is to provide well-designed vessels that are functional, beautiful and affordable.
"Inspired by ancient roman glass, I strive to create work that is both beautiful and useful in which the color, pattern and shape are balanced. I use a rich medley of colors that glow with translucency and create a sense of depth. Recurring themes in my work are repeated patterns and applied motion. My favorite shape to work with at the moment is the candy dish; the thick bottom and flared lip allows me to create a space in the cone that is intimate and jewel like."
"When I owned the neon shop, I told people that it required bumblebee wings to run that business-bumblebee wings are an apt metaphor because of the incessant flapping of the wings to keep the thing flying, and bumblebee wings defy conventional wisdom as to how they actually work. The glass art business requires butterfly wings. Butterflies need perfect conditions to fly; if it is too cold, a butterfly will sun itself and pump warm liquid into its wings. When its wings are warmed it will take off flying.
While at the beach last summer, I was walking down a shaded sand road grazing on blackberries and chokecherries. It was a glorious day with bright sunshine and a surreal blue sky-a perfect 82 degrees. I looked down the path from where I had come and saw a large butterfly bobbing and weaving fast towards me. With all of its hot flower nectar energy, it swooped around me and zipped on down the road in front of me.. Yeah, blowing glass is a lot like that."
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June 19, 2017.
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