Tell us about yourself!
My name is Grant Garmezy. I grew up on a farm outside of Nashville, Tennessee. I began working with glass in 2005 at Virginia Commonwealth University. I discovered glass by total accident. I actually went to school to study metalsmithing and jewelry, which led me to into the craft/material studies department. I remember walking down the hall one day and out of curiosity peering into the glass studio. I really had no idea what was going on in there. I had never seen an art form that was so loud and hot. Music was blasting and people were wearing shorts and sunglasses and working in teams, and I immediately fell in love with the atmosphere of it before ever touching it.
What draws you to the material you work with, and why have you chosen the processes that you use in your work?
I’m drawn to glass for many reasons, but the main reason I love it is being able to work with a team. As an artist it’s very rare to work with a lot of people. Most artists work by themselves in the studio, but as a glass artist I get to work with a group of friends everyday. I feel there is a special connection between artists who work with glass. Even when I travel to teach or as a visiting artist abroad, I never have a problem working with others because we all speak the universal language of glass.
What themes do you pursue in your work?
My particular process is hot sculpting - meaning I sculpt the glass freehand while hot. My work focuses around realism, and I strive to capture those little details that can really bring a piece to life. My work tends to focus around southern animal imagery. Having grown up on a farm I’ve always felt very connected to this subject matter, and through it I tell stories and creative narratives. Recently my wife Erin and I have been doing collaborations where she makes beautiful realistic glass flowers on the torch and we adorn my sculptures with them.
What is your dream project?
A dream project for me would be to create a documentary about glass and being a working glass artist in today’s world. I would love for a film to capture the ups and downs, the day-to-day, the small victories and the camaraderie and love that runs through this community.
If you weren't working in this field, what career would you choose?
If I weren’t working as a glass artist I would most likely have become a chef I think. I love cooking and being in the heat of the moment. I feel a lot about what I love in glass can also be found with the world’s best chefs. The teamwork it takes, the out of the box thinking, and the passion to make it great.
What's something about you that most people don't know?
Something most people don’t know about me is that I secretly would love to get a miniature pig as a pet. I’d probably name him “Herb” and he would just follow me around, helping me wherever I needed. Of course I would probably mess this up and get a baby pig that would grow up into a 300lb pot-bellied pig. So I just keep putting that on the back burner.
Why are you a member of GAS?
The reason I’m a member of GAS is because I love this community. I want to be involved as much as I can, and contribute to the constant growth and success of the glass movement.
IMAGE: Equinox, Grant and Erin Garmezy, 30″ x 24″ x 13″ hot sculpted furnace glass, lampworked borosilicate glass, electroplated copper, 2015, Photo credit: Brian Cannizzaro