About the Artist :: Ken Peterson

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“I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to work with hot glass. It’s been my path for the exploration of my identity as an artist, an American artist who is half Japanese and half Caucasian. Growing up surfing in Hawaii, I spent a lot of time in the ocean. I loved the water, and how it moved. I found that if I flowed with the water, surfing went smoothly, but if I became stiff and lost my fluidity, I would lose control. Hot glass is like the ocean. It takes a fluid touch. Whenever I shape a piece of glass, I feel like I have a little piece of hot molten ocean in my hands. Being able to create forms, vibrant colors, and optical illusions from a liquid has fascinated me from the moment I was first exposed to the glass blowing process. Since then I’ve been in love, and completely hooked.

I had the unique opportunity to go to one of the only high schools in the nation with a hot glass studio. It was at Punahou School on the island of Oahu that Hugh Jenkins first put a blowpipe in my hands. I spent a year there in an excellent program learning the basics and trying to figure out how to work with this strange and tricky material. I wasn’t ready to give up blowing glass after graduating from high school in 1995. So when I found I could study both art and engineering at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, I couldn’t resist and came to California. Here I met the interesting glass-sculpting professor, George Jerich. George made me look at glass from a different direction. I’ve also been blessed since 1998 with the opportunity to apprentice under Carle Radke at Phoenix studios in Harmony, California. Carl, who is a master of Tiffany style Art Nouveau glass, taught me techniques that have been essential to the development of my color application and approach to blowing. All of my present work is made at Phoenix Studios. During the summer of 2001 I studied off hand solid sculpting from the Italian Maestro Dino Rosin, at Pilchuck, near Seattle, Washington. This had opened the door to a whole new world of possibilities. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve always been able to design my own pieces. The process of concocting an image in my mind and making that image reality through a piece of molten glass keeps me continually excited about my work. From the first time I touched hot glass to now, glass has become my main passion in life. I am lucky to have been at the right places at the right times. If all goes well, my exploration will continue.