Jake Pfeifer Artist Statement
I fell in love with glass during a family vacation to Bermuda where I spent hours observing and asking questions at an open air, ocean front, hot shop, at the Royal Navy Dock Yard. I was fascinated with the thick, free flowing gather of hot glass, the blowing, molding and the adding of color. I could see the technical challenges, but also the range of possibilities in using glass as an art medium. I was 14. During my four years of high school, I began learning to blow glass and create glass art pieces; I have never looked back. It is my passion.
I am a young, aspiring, American artist; among the next generation of craftsmen working with their hands; carrying forward glass making traditions that are thousands of years old. I use contemporary styles, and traditional Italian, Swedish techniques that reflect a personal glass art style of my own expression and design. I am a 2010 graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, Bachelor’s of Fine Arts, School of American Crafts – Glass Program, and have completed a 2 year Artist in Residence at Flame Run in Louisville. My training includes having worked in studios at Penland (NC), Urban Glass (NY), Glassworks (KY), Flame Run (KY), Corning (NY), Goggle Works (PA), and in New Jersey, at Belle Meade Hot Glass and Vandermark Merritt Studio. I have had the honor to study with three of the Venetian Glass Masters, Lino Tagliapietra, Davide Salvadore, and Vittorio Constantini when they visited the US. I have also been fortunate to study and work with many other outstanding glass artists, Kenny Pieper, Luke Jacomb, Ben Edols, Doug Merritt, James Vella and, of course, my RIT professors, Michael Rogers and Robin Cass.
People ask me what inspires me. I am a curious person which often leads to my artistic inspiration. I love rainy days, Christmas, art museums, roller blading, golf, walking in the woods, waterfalls, the ocean, music, fishing and movies that take me to places I’ve never been. The formula for my work is personal; I am focused; each piece receives my enthusiasm, perseverance for excellence, and dedication to uncompromising quality. My vision for each piece encompasses an understanding of the properties and movement of glass and application of color.
I have learned that people want to understand what they see in a piece of art. The themes and patterns of my work are varied. Some pieces have no message; they are simple, colorful, playful, or functional. Others are serious, and complex. I want to engage people to look at the work over and over, and find something new and beautiful each time. In the end, I trust each piece promotes an understanding and appreciation of glass art. Whenever I part with a piece of my glass, I feel a piece of my life goes with it. Each piece is part of my journey.