Alumni Magazine

FAL-WIN 2017

The alumni magazine for Franklin Pierce University.

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GLASS ARTISTRY "It was a loose situation," says Leaman, who also did independent studies in cooking and music. "[Mark] didn't push a lot of rules and allowed me to experiment and be artistic." Passion, Freedom, Glass L eaman graduated high school in spring 2003 and landed at Franklin Pierce that autumn. "I had wanted to be a marine biologist when I was younger and later I got into outdoor education — I was a kayak guide growing up," says Leaman. "But then came glass and when I saw the studio at Pierce, I was sold. I knew that's where I wanted to go." Over the next four years, Leaman practically made his home at the school's studio, otherwise known as the "Glass Hut." He worked closely with longtime Pierce instructor Jordanna Korsen, who, says Leaman, fostered both a passion for the art form with a fierce spirit of artistic independence. "Pierce was the kind of place where the more you put in, the more you got out," says Leaman. "If there was an open slot at the studio, anyone could jump right in and get to work. I was there all the time. I learned to refine my process, making cleaner lines, better understanding the material and playing with color." Leaman, who graduated with a degree in arts management, also credits Pierce for the freedom it instilled in his education. He pursued a summer internship at the Eugene Glass School in Eugene, Ore., and did e Walk in Europe [See story, Pierce magazine, Spring/Summer 2017] the semester of his junior year. "It was a real supportive environment," he says. A Working Artist F ollowing his graduation, Leaman kept glassblowing at the center of his life. He worked for a few different artists in New England, then headed back to Eugene, where he taught and made art. It's there that he eventually met his wife, Maria, who was traveling through the States from her home F ranklin Pierce's Glass Studio was launched in the 1970s by two forward-thinking artists, David MacAllister and Chris Salmon. Its beginnings were humble, its availability, limited. For the first decade of its existence the studio was only open during the month of January, which served as the school's winter term. Under the leadership of instructor Peter Ridabock, the studio's classes became a semesterlong program, developed by Ridabock and under the aegis of the fine arts department. Oversight of the studio was then passed onto Keith Bump, Ridabock's former student, and Ridabock went on to establish a professional studio in East Kingston, N.H. "[Keith] was a pioneer and turned it into something that was better than most other glassblowing programs," says Jordanna Korsen, a student of Bump's who took over from her mentor as lead instructor in January 1995. "He gave students time to blow glass and created an environment that was really inspirational." Korsen continued Bump's legacy and for 22 years led Pierce's Glass Studio. Under her tutelage, the University churned out hundreds of amateur glassblowers as well as a number of artists who went on to work professionally, including Aron Leaman. "Pierce is a school known for making glassblowers," says Korsen, who left the school in 2015 to open a private studio in Marlboro, N.H. Today the Glass Studio instructors are Eva Goodman and Nanda Soderberg, and the studio equipment is managed by Jean St. Pierre. Semester- long courses are offered in four levels of glassblowing, and it is part of a new visual arts minor, open to all students. Glass Hut History 42 PIERCE FALL / WINTER 2017

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