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Flame Off!

February 2, 2018

TUCSON, Ariz. (January 10, 2018) – On Friday February 2, Sonoran Glass School will host its 17th annual Flame Off torchworking competition. Originally started by Tom Philabaum in 2001, the Flame Off has grown into a highly anticipated event where the public watches live as 20 glass artists use molten glass to complete the best masterpiece in a short time frame. Tickets are $20 and proceeds support Sonoran Glass School’s nonprofit educational programs. The event will be located in a large tent at 633 W 18th Street. Complete information at
Torchworking glass artists from around the country have applied to be in the competition and will compete in one of two rounds during the evening. Each round is 90 minutes. Artists are tasked with making a piece inspired by the theme: “Assemblage: more than the sum of its parts.” Spectators will get to watch the action in person, with closeups of the detailed work streamed live on large HD screens.
Glass artist hosts will commentate on the action in an “Iron Chef” like format, providing educational and entertaining information about the techniques being used. The pieces will be judged, and winners announced, the following day by a panel of local artists, personalities and educators selected by Sonoran Glass School (SGS).
Thunder Canyon Brewery has donated its Deep Canyon Amber Ale and an IPA brew for this event. Beer will be served to those 21 and up who have a wristband acquired at the door. This event is also an official Tucson Food Truck Roundup location, with several food trucks serving American, Caribbean, German and Peruvian foods.
Returning this year in bigger and better fashion is the Sonoran Glass Art Show, which will be open for business for guests to browse and shop during the Flame Off. This large, separate show tent is connected to the main event tent and houses glass art vendors from around the country. This is the only all glass show in Tucson, located on the I-10 frontage road and 18th street. The show is also open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from February 1 to 4. More information is at
The pieces created during the Flame Off are donated to Sonoran Glass School to raise money for educational glass programming. The general public can place bids on these pieces during the event, at the Sonoran Glass Art Show on Saturday February 4, and online from Sonoran Glass School’s Facebook page starting at 4 p.m.
New to this year’s events at SGS during the Gem Show is the Tucson Bead Symposium. This event consists of a collection of experts and artists making presentations about the historical and modern topics in beads, including ancient mosaic face beads, alchemy of color in beads, African powder glass beads, and much more. More info at

The Glass Art Society reserves the right to deny applications for Technical Display, advertising participation, GAS membership or the conference from anyone for any reason.