Freddie Blache was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. He began working with glass in the fall of 2013 at the University of South Alabama. After his first semester of glass as an elective, Freddie switched to a full-time pursuit of a Bachelors of Fine Art with a concentration in glass and secondary in sculpture, which he received in the fall of 2017. After school, Freddie underwent an apprenticeship with Kaeko Maehata and Sam Stang at Augusta Glass Studio, outside of St. Louis, Missouri.
While learning the historic methods of glassblowing in school, Freddie teamed up with his partner, Caroline, and their friends, Gage Nobles and Tres Johns, to form Muffinjaw Designs. Muffinjaw Designs makes functional and decorative glass art for home and garden as well as seasonal products. The collaborative team also preforms live glassblowing demonstrations with their portable glass studio.
Freddie’s personal style of glassblowing is derived from the Venetian techniques with a funky, southern twist. Most of his work is influenced by the natural surroundings on the gulf coast.
Hot Glass Academy founder Devan Cole graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2009, and like many glass artists, wondered what was next. In 2011, Devan worked as an intern at Simon Pearce in Vermont, and then became an artist-in-residence at Salem Art Works in Salem, NY. These positions reaffirmed his desire to pursue a profession in art education. Devan occupied a position at Georgia Southwestern State University as a post-Baccalaureate student from 2012-2015. Hot Glass Academy grew from teaching at Salem Art Works, Firefly Hotglass Studio in Durham, NC, Robert College in Istanbul, Turkey, and Georgia Southwestern State University in Americus, GA. Devan has also provided hot glass demonstrations at special events across the U.S. From these experiences, Devan Cole has built a repertoire of specialized classes and demonstrations that he now takes on the road.
Kelly Robertson is the founder and primary glass blower at Cavalry Glassblowing Studio in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He graduated from Georgia Southwestern University with a Bachelor of Science in Art degree with an emphasis on glass blowing. Kelly spent the last 25 years working with glass and continuing his education. He studied at Penland and Corning Institutes and with various glassblowing artists such as Fritz Driesbach, Ralph Harvey, and Jack Was. He specializes in vessel making, color design and solid sculpting.
Kelly has taught and presented glass blowing demonstrations throughout the southeastern United States in museums, galleries, universities, and schools with his mobile glass studio. In 2020, he opened his own studio and gallery, Cavalry Glassblowing Studio, in Lawrenceville, where he continues to demonstrate and teach glass blowing techniques to a wide variety of audiences and students.
John Shoemaker, originally from Pennsylvania, began blowing glass in 2008 while attending Tyler School of Art at Temple University. In addition to earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Glass, John extended his education attending workshops at prestigious craft institutions such as Penland School of Crafts, Pilchuck Glass School, and Corning Museum of Glass. John’s work is exhibited nationally in gallery shows and art festivals. John currently resides in Asheboro, North Carolina, operating his glassblowing studio.