ARTIST Franklin Griswold Welles, Jr.

My name is Franklin Griswold Welles, Jr. My father was a Naval Officer so I grew up living in many places across the US. I was exposed to a variety of beautiful environments and had an opportunity to meet an array of interesting people. Those experiences helped build a strong foundation from which I draw creative inspiration, a drive for constant innovation and the desire for endless exploration. I graduated from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC with a BFA in Photography, following which I started to work as an apprentice for a large glass figurine production company. I was immediately mesmerized working with hot glass and that feeling has continued to intensify every day.

When people ask how I can create so many unique, original, one-of-a-kind designs in glass, my answer is not short but it is simple:

First, I truly love the medium. I have created art in many mediums including ceramics, wood carving, painting, pen and ink drawings, lithography, photography and several others, but working with molten glass is magical to me. Its fluidity is almost spiritual, allowing me to translate inanimate objects into art that comes to life.

Second, I have taught many people lamp work glass blowing. My production company realized early that I have an unusual understanding of how to work hot glass, and they quickly moved me to the position of apprentice instructor. Shortly after, I became a trainer and began instructing our workers how to produce all new product designs. One thing about teaching glass is that when someone has a question for which I don’t have an answer, I discover a lot about what I do know and I always learn more in the process of trying to answer the question. This wonderful process of learning through
teaching has given me a wealth of experience that simply cannot be acquired any other way. Last, I strive to expand and improve on my skills. I push the boundaries and limits of what can be created from glass. I feel fortunate to have no formal training because I learn from my own experience what can be done well with none of the formal constraints of what cannot.