Steve Claypatch

Steve Claypatch

Steve started glassblowing in the fall of 2005 at the Minnesota Center for Glass Arts, in Minneapolis. In 2008, he quit his ‘paying’ job because it no longer fit his evolving change in life. Steve found glass blowing satisfying in many ways. Artistic and emotional gratification was discovered in an art he never understood or thought was possible. As he explains: “Prior to 2005, I couldn’t draw a triangle. There is peacefulness when you are working with 2000 degree glass, and the alchemy of the process is simply amazing”. My attention is focused on the liquidity of the material and subsequently the outside world has very little room to invade “my space”.

Mostly self-taught, Steve does travels to the Corning Museum of glass in the summer to take week long workshops. Over the last seven years, his attention is focusing on ‘cold working’ glass. ‘Cold working’ glass is labor intensive and uses methods used to adjust the surface of the glass after it is blown. Techniques such as engraving floral patterns, cutting and polishing facets and ‘Battuto’ are added skills he uses to compliment the glass after it is cooled.

‘Battuto’ is an Italian technique, meaning to ‘strike’, or ‘hammer’. Using a glass engraving lathe, Steve creates multiple ‘strikes’ against a diamond wheel to create new light refraction, and texture to the glass. A finished ‘Battuto’ bowl or vase may contain thousands of ‘cuts’ and weeks of work.

Steve describes his work as ‘artistic utilitarian’. Vases and bowls are designed for his customers to use. He shows his work at art fairs around Minnesota.   Additionally, the Corning Museum of Glass has honored him by representing his work in the museum store.

To compliment his ‘art glass’ work, Steve creates after life memorials and urns for humans and animals.