Blowing Sands is the marriage of technology and art
David Smith didn’t start out to be an artist.
He’s a technologist and scientist after all, a graduate of MIT who fell into his now lifelong love of glass while studying for a degree in Materials Science and Engineering. But he took a class in ceramics (he’s been throwing pots since he was five years old), and then MIT changed the class, re-naming it. He could get credit for it, so he took it again. But down at the end of the hall they were doing something else. Blowing glass. “I’ve got to get into that,” he tolkd himself and soon found himself consumed with the magical material.
After graduating in 1982 he returned to Seattle and worked as a glass blower for four years. Then, in 1987 he embarked on a five year journey of self discovery and artistic exploration. He lived and worked with artists in Finland, Germany, France and Ireland. Returning in 1992 he opened his own hot shop and studio Blowing Sands & Laura Frost Fine Arts Gallery at 5805 14th NW. HIs work is an extension of his technical background in glass science and his love of the tradition and history of glass blowing throughout the world.
If you ask him, (and he’s not busy making art glass), he will share with you his deep background in glass art and debunk some of the misconceptions about the art, craft and history. He can explain that colors fixed in glass, unlike those in other mediums, such a paint or dye, do not shift or fade because the metal molecules such iron, manganese or chromium are held in stasis, and cannot “change valence states” which is a measure of its combining power with other atoms when it forms chemical compounds or molecules. Since they can’t move or combine in glass, the color stays the same for as long as the object exists.
The studio contains his prodigious output including vases, lamp covers, bowls, ornaments, floats, and much more including an entire gallery (the Laura Frost area) of pottery and paintings from many other artists.
The public is able to visit the hotshop and see the glass being blown and David is available for custom work and also offers instruction glass blowing with two types of instruction offered.
Blowing Sands Glass & The Laura Frost Fine Arts Gallery
5805 14th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
Gallery hours: Tues-Fri 11am-5pm, Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-5pm