Alumni Magazine

FAL-WIN 2017

The alumni magazine for Franklin Pierce University.

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GLASS ARTISTRY FALL / WINTER 2017 PIERCE 43 country of Argentina. e couple moved to Massachusetts in early 2009 and the following year were married. Today the Leamans live in Dracut, Mass., and have two young boys. Back on the East Coast, Leaman continued to work and teach, moving steadily toward his dream of having his own studio. In October 2014, he opened Mill City Glassworks in an old mill in Lowell, Mass. His work is now displayed in galleries and stores around New England. Leaman packs a busy schedule. Summer weekends are spent at cra fairs and shows, selling his creations. Evenings and certain days he opens his studio to the public and teaches. His classes run anywhere from one-day sessions to six-week stretches. At the center of his schedule are blocks of time dedicated to creating his own work. Leaman is both a crasman and an artist. e bulk of what he sells — wine glasses, goblets, vases and bowls — is utilitarian. e pieces people buy, they buy to use. At the other end is his artwork, ambitious and oen abstract. ese pieces, which represent a side of his business he's aiming to make more of, draw heavily from Leaman's own love of nature. His work packs a certain fluidity, an obvious nod to his Gloucester roots, where the sea and light have inspired so many other artists. "I've always been in love with the tides, what's le behind aer a tide goes out," he says. "e patterns, those marks from nature. What a bug leaves behind on a piece of wood it's eaten, or a leaf, it fascinates me. I like subtleties. I want my pieces to be things where the more people look, the more they will see. I want their mind to wander." One Single Thing L eaman is an enthusiastic ambassador for not just his own work, but glassblowing in general. As such, he's an evangelist not just for the act of making something, but its impact on how it can change a person's life. Or, the way they approach their life. "Glass has this mystery to it," he says. "It's hot, you can't touch it. But it cools quickly so it requires this clear thinking and just being in the moment. ere's no time to be anywhere else. You have to be totally there. It's why I think so many people are now drawn to glassblowing. Many of my students have stressful jobs. is is a way for them to set that aside and just concentrate on one single thing." You can hear it in his voice. at wonder, that burst of excitement that first sparked all those years ago while watching the blowers at Simon Pearce, surfaces. "Every little boy loves fire," he says. "You get to play with torches. You're in the heat. It's amazing. Glassblowing is not for the perfectionist at first. You have to struggle with it to get there. But things happen immediately, and aer it cools down you have something the next day. ere's an immediacy to it. I'm always excited to walk into my studio to see what I've made." The patterns, those marks from nature. What a bug leaves behind on a piece of wood it's eaten, or a leaf, it fascinates me. I like subtleties. I want my pieces to be things where the more people look, the more they will see. I want their mind to wander.

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