A Minnesota native, Al Honn worked as a professional glassblower in Boulder, CO and on Whidbey Island, WA before returning to settle in his home state. Currently, he is a studio artist and instructor at the Minnesota Center for Glass Arts and Foci Cooperative in Minneapolis.
Exhilarated by the demands of the process, Al enjoys meeting the challenges of timing and intuition required to manage fluid hot glass. In the studio, he states, “it’s important to stay in the moment, open to the ever-present opportunity to defy gravity.” He cites appreciation for the material as his most significant influence and prefers the “glass cowboy” tradition of design and production by a single maker.
Form is the artist’s primary consideration; he often works with clear glass, focusing on surface reflections and interior views to create sculptural, functional goblets, pilsners, tumblers, plates, bell jars, vases and bowls.
My first experience with glass, Al states, was working with glaze formulas for ceramic work. Trying to achieve maximum metallics, I experimented with using canes and shards in handle reservoirs and on platters.
In 1981, in the hot glass studio at St. Cloud State University, that second gather of glass found its way to the floor, puddling into a foot as I blew out the cup of my first goblet. Glass fever took over during the next couple of years during midnight to 4am blow-times, looking out over the Mississippi River at the University of Minnesota, where I received a BFA in 1986. Gary Loch helped me to move on to an apprenticeship with Jim Clarke in Boulder. In 1989, I moved to Whidbey Island, WA where over the next decade I met some of the world’s most incredible glassblowers, taught preschool, chaired the Artist’s Co-op of Whidbey Island and built my own studio. After returning to Minnesota, I opened Al’s Center Saloon in Center City in 2000. My son was born in 2002. I started working at Foci in 2007 and just keep smilin’ …
FIND AL’S WORK at
FOCI – Minnesota Center for Glass Arts, Minneapolis MN
The Grand Hand Gallery W2, St. Paul MN
Gustaf’s Galleries, Lindstrom MN
Austin ArtWorks, Austin MN
Al is a member of ArtReach St. Croix
CARE INFO: hand washing recommended, vinegar will remove water spots