Gather Ye Glass

Gather Glass brings glassblowing, farming, and community to Providence, Rhode Island, in this community-based venture.

Ben Giguere discovered—and fell in love with—the art of glassblowing all in one day in 1997. He had taken a temporary position at Simon Pearce, the eponymous glass-blowing factory started by the legendary Pearce near the falls of the Ottauquechee River in Quechee, Vermont. “The first day I was there, I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life,” Giguere says. “Immediately it clicked, and there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to learn everything I could. The factory is this gorgeous 300-year-old space with artists from all over the world making beautiful art. I got to work with master makers from the Czech Republic, from Ireland, Sweden, England. I didn’t know anything about glassblowing, but eventually I was given an amazing opportunity to train with them and it changed my life.”

After 11 years of intensive training, Giguere moved to Providence, Rhode Island, to continue to learn glassblowing techniques. He sought his education through masters in the field. In 2008, this led him to Steven Weinberg, a famed student of Dale Chihuly, one of the most well-known glassblowers in the world. Through Weinberg, Giguere learned casting and molding techniques that became the framework for his own stylization as a glassblower. In 2011, Giguere helped found Gather Glass, a project that brings together the fruits of his 15 years of understudy with a foundation for teaching others.

“Gather is the actual process of putting the blow pipe in the furnace and you are spinning glass onto the pipes. That is gathering,” says Giguere. “But it is also the act of bringing people together. So it is just a perfect fit. When we decided on that name, we knew that it was exactly what we were trying to accomplish—to bring together our community through art and food and farming.”

Gather Glass, Birds, Providence RI

Gather Glass is a multifaceted project that is still evolving. Currently, it is a community space for learning the art of glassblowing, as well as an art studio. In the works is a cafe next door, as well as a farm in the near future. Giguere wants to create a sustainable community of farm-to-table food served on beautiful glassware made in the studio. He hopes to bring in a group of makers—potters, farmers, and artists—to complete the Gather Glass community.

Along with teaching people the fundamentals of glassblowing, Gather is also invested in community work. “It is our goal to be in the community, to see how we can invest ourselves back,” Giguere says. “If we don’t have that, we have nothing.”

Gather Glass is gearing up for summertime festivals that include Water Fire (to be announced) and PVD Fest (June 1-4). At the festivals, the company brings its mobile furnace to offer glassblowing demonstrations in downtown Providence. In the meantime, Gather Glass has live demos and art displays open to the public every third Thursday.

Along with teaching people the fundamentals of glassblowing, Gather is also invested in community work. “It is our goal to be in the community, to see how we can invest ourselves back,” Giguere says. “If we don’t have that, we have nothing.”

Gather Glass is gearing up for summertime festivals that include Water Fire (to be announced) and PVD Fest (June 1-4). At the festivals, the company brings its mobile furnace to offer glassblowing demonstrations in downtown Providence. In the meantime, Gather Glass has live demos and art displays open to the public every third Thursday.

Gather Glass – community space for learning glassblowing and an art studio
Providence, Rhode Island
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Janet ReynoldsGather Ye Glass

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