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Conversations with Jay Thomas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jay Thomas.

Hi Jay, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I have always been raised around the glass. My grandparents started making beads when I was young, and my mom followed in their footsteps after playing with fire for a little and making beads with soft glass. I wanted to make more. So after a while of saving and research, I started building my studio. It’s been almost 6 years, and I support my family, doing what I love!

Can you talk to us about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Smooth? I wouldn’t say that exactly. I’m in the beginning. It was apples and leftover slices of pizza after work for weeks to save for some of the equipment. Also, the learning curve of working with glass is so massive! After about a year or so, I had only begun to make sellable pieces of glasswork. It has been smoother since then, but as with any business or venture, it always seems to have challenges and surprises.

Thanks – so, what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am a borosilicate glass artist, commonly known as a torch worker! I will also accept a glass blower, lol. I take clear and colored rods and tubing and change them into what I want. I’m mostly known for the suction cups, various colors, and quality work I put into my art. My proudest part of all that I do is supporting my family from home, doing what I love, and having a good time doing it! I always have a fulfilled feeling at the end of the day, knowing I’m doing the most I can for my family and myself. I can’t say exactly what sets me apart. I know I have a strong work ethic and don’t mind doing repetitive work to get that one new thing down, so it shows up in this world the way I see it in my head. Hours equal powers!

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
Finding a mentor is only a matter of paying attention to your surroundings and learning from whatever you can. The internet has been my biggest vault of information. Otherwise, it’s finding the most seasoned artist you can that happens to be teaching classes in something you enjoy. Research! I cannot express how much time I spend just reading and learning before I even started my torch for the first time.

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