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After a fire in my old location,  I'm creating and building a new glassblowing studio that will use renewable energy to melt my glass.
After a fire in my old location, I'm creating and building a new glassblowing studio that will use renewable energy to melt my glass.
142 backers pledged $29,194 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$29,194

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My wife and I built Tsuga Studios in 2000 where she grew up in Chester Vermont. We worked on our timber frame for nearly two years building glass and pottery studios, a gallery space and an upstairs apartment in which to live. I worked in this space for about seventeen years developing my skills and my markets through wholesale, retail, internet and gallery representations. This studio served me well for nearly two decades, inspiring me to make one-of-a-kind and production art glass, to hone my abilities and develop my market while also raising a family. 

In September of 2017 I had a studio fire rendering my glass shop unusable and damaging my equipment. Thankfully, no one was hurt, the building was not a total loss but I needed to make a choice of how and where to rebuild. In 2005 a friend and colleague built a glass shop with an electric furnace and ovens in nearby Bellows Falls, VT where hydroelectric energy is provided by a nearby dam on the Connecticut River. With a vacancy in the same building, I could see the potential of what that renewable energy could produce and the creative community that could be fostered and grown by moving there.  I was inspired by the idea of a hot glass studio for the future,  one that melts using modern technology in a responsible and sustainable manner.

Tsuga Studio fire and aftermath
Tsuga Studio fire and aftermath

Motivated to make opportunity out of misfortune, I have begun the process of transforming the blank canvas of the new space into a functional glass shop and gallery location. It needed walls, sheet rock, paint, fresh water plumbing and drains, gas line, hooded ventilation and another 200 AMP service to run an electric furnace. Some of my old equipment can be repaired and re-purposed for the new space but a big expense in this move is the cost of an electric glass furnace and other electric equipment that will allow me to fully leverage the renewable, hydroelectric power available in the rented space. I love what I do as I’ve done it in the past. But if I could produce my glasswork more responsibly and sustainably using green, renewable energy, while also participating in the growing creative community of Bellows Falls, I see more clearly an exciting and long-term path for my glasswork and my future career.

New space taking shape
New space taking shape
New Electric Glass Furnace
New Electric Glass Furnace

 This is where you come in. In order to cover the cost of the remaining equipment and with the hopes that you will help me to reach my goal, I have created this project and designed these exciting and popular rewards from which to choose. After much contemplation, I know I can rebuild and face this new chapter in my career. I am also equally excited that with this Kickstarter campaign, I have an opportunity to bring my community and friends into the process of helping me to rebuild. I look forward to making these rewards as they help to fulfill my dream of building a shop that runs on renewable energy.

Here are the rewards:

Because the actual awards don’t yet exist, these photographs are prototypes of the glass pieces available, giving you an idea of what you will receive. Some of these rewards are available in a variety of colors, which you will select from a survey at the conclusion of my campaign. Please be sure to provide me with your best contact information when you select your reward so I can be sure to make the pieces to your preference. 

 If you would like more than one of the reward items (either multiple of one level or multiple reward items) simply select one of the items as your pledge, pledge the combined total amount of the items you'd like to receive—send us a message letting us know and we can certainly make that happen.  Thank you for helping to support our goal!

Risks and challenges

Of course there are risks that may be associated with this project. I expect there could be some difficulty in getting the glass equipment to function properly, or an unforeseen difficulty with getting the glass rewards made on time. To my advantage though, I previously worked for HUB Consolidated building glass equipment and my project and goals have been informed by the fact that I have built several glass studios in the past. For additional support, I've also hired HUB to build and install the new electric furnace. I also understand that a balance between making rewards and filling current orders will need to be found. I expect to be in active communication with any supporters throughout the process and if I get behind, adjustments will be made in my production schedule. While I cannot control all outcomes, I'm confident that with my more than twenty years of experience in the glass making industry and with the technical help from my collaborators (HUB Consolidated, employees, friends, family and community), we can minimize the risks and overcome any challenges if they arise.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Postcard

    Signed postcard with images of finished studio and team

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Studio T-Shirt

    I am collaborating on a new logo and exclusive backer T-shirt design with life-long friend, printing artist Chris Abraham.

    Also, your name will be inscribed on the donor thank you plaque displayed in the new gallery space.

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    23 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Limited edition Squarble

    We will be designing a limited edition Squarble themed with the colors of the new shop. This Squarble will only be available to our backers!

    Also, your name will be inscribed on the donor thank you plaque displayed in the new gallery space.

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    20 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Logo Tumbler

    Limited edition Crystallo Style Tumbler etched with studio logo, colored lip in your choice of 4 colors.

    Measures approximately 2.75"x4"

    Also, your name will be inscribed on the donor thank you plaque displayed in the new gallery space.

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    5 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Logo Tumbler

    Limited edition logo etched curve cup tumbler in your choice of color.

    Measures approximately 3.25"x5.75"
    holds 12 oz

    Also, your name will be inscribed on the donor thank you plaque displayed in the new gallery space.

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    16 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    Squarble Stemware

    Your choice of martini glass or goblet made with limited edition squarble stem.

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    3 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $195 or more About $195

    Limited Edition Spinner

    Limited edition Spinner in the same design as the squarble, with the colors of the new shop.

    Measures approximately 1.75-2" diameter

    Also, your name will be inscribed on the donor thank you plaque displayed in the new gallery space.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Rolling Red Wine Decanter

    One of my most popular items,The Rolling Decanter, is designed to enhance the quality of red wine for any wine enthusiast. It also happens to be a lot of fun to use!

    As seen in Food and Wine, Boston Globe Sunday, and Yankee magazines, this decanter comes with a clear acrylic stand and card describing its use and care.

    Holds a 750ml bottle of wine

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    13 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Small Bowl

    Opaque small bowl in your choice of color

    Measures approximately 10" diameter, 4" tall

    Also, your name will be inscribed on the donor thank you plaque displayed in the new gallery space.

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    13 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    Transparent Pitcher

    Transparent pitcher in your choice of color

    Measures approximately 5.5" diameter, 14" tall
    Holds 48oz

    Also, your name will be inscribed on the donor thank you plaque displayed in the new gallery space.

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    5 backers
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Half Round Bowl

    Half round bowl in your choice of color

    Measures approximately 14" diameter, 4" tall

    Also, your name will be inscribed on the donor thank you plaque displayed in the new gallery space.

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    4 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Incalmo Bowl

    Three color incalmo bowl in your choice of several color themes.

    Measures approximately 16.5" diameter, 5" tall

    Also, your name will be inscribed on the donor thank you plaque displayed in the new gallery space.

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    4 backers
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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,200 or more About US$ 1,200

    Day with the Master and 2 night getaway

    Come to beautiful Chester, VT for a weekend getaway in a serene, clean treetop apartment surrounded by hiking trails, cool stream, and mountaintop views and spend up to 8 hours over one or two days in the new hot shop with a master glassblower. You will get hands on experience making your own glass paperweights, ornaments or cups with the expert guidance and assistance of Nick Kekic and his assistant. Finished pieces will be available for pick up or shipping when cool. The apartment has three queen beds, so feel free to bring a few lucky friends!

    Also, your name will be inscribed on the donor thank you plaque displayed in the new gallery space.

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    3 backers
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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $4,500 or more About $4,500

    Custom Floor Lamp

    I will work with you to design a custom sanding floor lamp that fits perfectly into your space and color themes.
    Pictured is just one example of what is possible. The base is weighted copper, and both the body and shade are frosted glass.

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Funding period

- (30 days)