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Annual Glass Guild auction tops record sales

  • Raven Skyriver, professional glassblower, works with Emporia State art students to make a glass animal on April 12 at the annual Glass Blowout. Raven specializes in crafting aquatic and amphibious animals. (Kathryn Martin)

At the Emporia State Glass Guild’s annual Glass Blowout on Saturday, over $9,700 was raised for the guild – almost $200 more than last year.

The Glass Blowout featured demonstrations by glassblower Raven Skyriver and live music performed by local musician Eric Martin. Nic Dikin, sophomore glassblowing major and vice president of the ESU Glass Guild, donated five pieces to the auction. One of the pieces that Dikin donated, called “Ray Gun,” was a bottle shaped like a sci-fi laser.

“I’ve always wanted to do something like a ray gun or a laser,” Dikin said. “Something kind of futuristic.”

Kaila Mock, interim director of the Eppink Art Gallery, said a lot of ESU glassblowing alumni came back to Emporia last week to donate pieces to sell at the auction. Many of ESU’s glassblowing alumni have gone on to work with reputable glass studios and companies or start their own studio.

Joe Sircoloumb, glassblowing alumni, donated a silver and glass vase with a mirrored interior to be sold at the auction. Sircoloumb said he created the piece using glass with silver nitrate, a material used in making mirrors, while working at Chihuly Studios in Tacoma, Wash.

Sircoloumb is currently working for Glassybaby. The Seattle-based company is known for their colorful glass candleholders and drinking vessels. They donate 10 percent of proceeds to charities, such as the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, The Humane Society and Conservation International.

Danny Shipley, glassblowing alumni, established his own glassblowing studio in Topeka. Shipley donated a piece to the auction that he made in his studio.

Skyriver’s demonstrations featured his trademark glass renderings of aquatic and amphibious animals. He said some of his biggest inspirations come from his experiences fishing with his family.

In addition to the demonstrations, visiting artists usually work with glassblowing students during the week before. Mock said visiting artists inspire students to to make new things and try techniques they have not learned yet.

“There were a lot more glass students trying to make whales and turtles this week,” Mock said.

After the closing of the auction, Altissimo Music Productions hosted an after party show featuring The Boondogglers, a Manhattan-based bluegrass quartet, at The Brickyard.

Radius Brewing Company also helped sponsor the Blowout’s after-party show. Half of the proceeds of the show were donated to the ESU Glass Guild.

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