The world of glass

Utah artist loves the versatility of shaping glass

Published: Sunday, Oct. 2 2011 3:00 p.m. MDT

It will also include small platter pieces with a quote carved on them that will be scattered throughout the campus. A science quote in the science building, for example; a literary quote in the English department. People will be able to sponsor one of the platters.

"It's our biggest undertaking yet," he said.

The first big piece he did was for the children's library in Orem. It is 8 feet high and 36 feet long and is filled with fairytale figures.

"When I first approached them, they told me they liked the idea, but did not have any money in the budget," Holdman said. "I asked them if I could do it if I could raise the money for it. They said yes, and so I did."

That's another thing he has learned about being an artist. "If you want it bad enough, if you want it more than air to breathe, you can be a success. But you need to want it more than air. I need to do art, or I don't think I could exist."

That's one reason he started the Art Institute, to share that passion with others. "I want this to be a place where people can come and see artists making monumental pieces of art, and maybe it will inspire them to live their dream."

The institute offers classes in painting, pottery and other media, to both children and adults. In addition, anyone can come in and make a glass flower.

"They are really stretched, not blown," said Amilia Smith, office manager at the institute, but it lets you see what working with glass is like. One flower is $25, or you can do three for $65. "We do take walk-ins, if the furnaces are going, but it's probably best for call in advance."

The number is 801-766-4111; more information can also be found online.

They also offer art glass pieces for sale. Platters of various sizes that can be hung on a wall or placed on a table are one of the signature works of Holdman Studios, says Smith.

Visitors are welcome anytime, says Holdman. Perhaps they will see something that will inspire them, if not to do art, perhaps to appreciate art, perhaps to look at the world a little differently, perhaps to have a better day.

"Our goal is to provide a place to inspire hearts," he said.

That's what glasswork can do.

"The beauty of glass is that you are working in a trio partnership. There's me, the glass and light," Holdman said. "If I let the glass go where it wants to go as it speaks to me, after I'm done, after hours and hours of work, I hold it up and let the light take hold. It's such a marvelous experiences to see how, as you move around, the light changes. And you find you have not one piece of art, but hundreds of pieces of art, always altering, always changing. That's what I love about glass."

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