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  • Writer's pictureShea Stanfield

Delicately Spun Glass

"When you look at a piece of delicately spun glass, you think of two things: how beautiful it is and how easily it can be broken." American author Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie. Yet, despite the fragile nature of glass, it possesses a solid and enduring beauty in our lives; glass artist Greg Tomb perceived this at a very young age.

Born and raised in upstate New York, Greg first became enthralled with the magic of glass-making as a child while visiting the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. He was fascinated with the magic of the glassblowing process and marveled at the beautiful results. Greg attended high school in Claymont, Delaware, at Archmere Academy, where he began to focus on art, drawing, painting, and design. He reflects, "The spirit of adventure and anything is possible family attitude was the foundation of my upbringing." His father was an engineer who helped design the gas turbine for General Electric; however, in his spare time, he was a woodworker, creating frames and wooden toys. His sister excelled in still life drawing and painting, and his brother is an adventure guide and educator. Mom's part was taking care of family operations and planning the most incredible trips ever because the family traveled, traveled, traveled.

Greg's first jobs in middle and high school were guiding zip lines and ropes courses. He became skilled in team building and designing personal challenge courses, which served him well in his later work life. By 1997, while studying art at Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, he caught a glimpse of the incredible possibilities of glass once again. Greg graduated in 2000 with a Major in Studio Art, Sculpture, and Glass Blowing, as well as a Minor in Religious Studies. With an understanding of religions, music, and art, Greg considered himself ready to travel the world. However, some local adventure was the order of the day.

"I credit the experience to upping my game to a higher level of proficiency working in glass."

After graduation, Greg signed on a summer job guiding class 5 whitewater rafting trips and teaching skiing in the winter. As most young men realize, this lifestyle does not entirely pay the bills; therefore, bartending and catering closed the financial gap. It was only a short time before Greg took a job offer at Simon Pearce glass factory, known for their consistent, high-quality production of clear glass. Greg says, "I credit the experience to upping my game to a higher level of proficiency working in glass." In 2006, Greg relocated to Lake Tahoe, California, where he focused on music, founding the band “Deep Fried Mojo.” The venture endured until 2013, when Greg relocated to Santa Cruz, California, where he started guiding zip lines in the Redwoods, sea-kayaking tours in Monterey Bay, and picking up glass blowing again. During this time, he helped another glassblower complete a chandelier project for Marriott and decided to stick with it.

Upon completing the Marriott project, Greg took an offer to lead "Make Your Own" glassblowing classes at the Bay Area Glass Institute (BAGI). While working at BAGI, he led Corporate Team-building events for Facebook, Google, and many other Silicon Valley companies, pulling from his earlier experience in team-building activities. In 2017, Greg created and built the Glass Blowing Mobile Studio, which enabled him to satisfy his love for traveling with his glass blowing. As a juried artist in many shows across the country, Greg found his glass creations, as well as his glassblowing classes, increasing in popularity. Greg was invited by a hotel in Saratoga, New York, to set up a 3,000 square-foot studio/gallery space where he taught classes, as an Artist in Resident; this resulted in him signing a 20-year contract with the resort.

Glass artist Greg Tomb is now a resident of Arizona. His goal is to build out a studio/gallery in the North Scottsdale area. In the meantime, his "mobile studio" is serving him well. Greg is a member of the Sonoran Arts League and participates in the League’s annual Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour the last two weekends each November.

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