Unique art blows its way to SDSU

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Blowing glass has many different meanings. For John Offutt, it is art. Offutt has been blowing glass ever since his first summer after high school.

“I went to Trollwood Park in Fargo, an arts park, and started blowing glass,” Offutt said.

Offutt’s graduated from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale with a degree in glass, he said. They not only taught about the basics of glassblowing, but also equipment building and design. Then he made his demonstrations of blowing glass available to everyone, and started to sell his work.

His traveling demonstrations made a stop off at the Art Museum here on campus.

“I periodically do 5 – 6 shows a year,” Offutt said, “In the winter I work in my studio at home making everything, then in the spring and fall is the demonstrations that I show and summer is when I sell everything that I made at arts festivals, I go as far away as Massachusetts for the art festivals.”

His work is one of a kind. According to Offutt, he doesn’t like copying the work of others.

“I’m primarily a glass blower, so hollow vessels, mostly decorative,” Offutt said, “I avoid tableware, everyone wants them to match and there’s so many of them out there, I like making my own things.”

His retail mostly consists of gourds and custom light ware. He has some work in the art museum gift shop.

“I’m well represented in Fargo. People can call House of Mulciber to get more of my work,” Offutt said.

Even though Offutt has been blowing glass since the summer following high school, glass blowing has been popular for a time. The history behind glassblowing is this, according to www.entertainment.howstuffworks.com.

Since the Roman Empire, glassblowing has been popular for artists all around. The idea that glass could be blown from a hollow tube into different shapes came from the first century B.C. Syrians.

Since then they have obviously evolved, with the introduction to more modern equipment, but the idea of glass blowing has remained the same.