Ben's Lens: An Interview with Stephan Peirce

Ben's Lens: An Interview with Stephan Peirce

October 20, 2019

The Wizard

Where do I begin with the wizard we call Stephan Peirce? He might be the most talented glass worker I’ve ever met.

“His Tazzas might be the best in the biz,” Eric Goldschmidt from Corning Museum of Glass said to me at The Michigan Glass Project this year. 

SALT x Stephan PeirceSALT x Stephan Peirce

Stephan is not afraid of anything and loves a challenge. He is also the most knowledgeable individual I’ve ever met in regards to lathes and equipment. His mechanical understanding mixes perfectly with his artistic ideas culminating in some of the finest drinkware to have ever been made. His color selection is on point, and his proportions precise. Stephan’s work is all about the attention to fine details, sometimes mistaken for machine precision.

His hollow handle mugs are some of the most expensive work I’ve been privileged to broker, and the new line is designed to be more affordable featuring more clear sections between his color work. The water bottles he made sold before I could even get them listed but we will be releasing more eventually. I’m hoping to have his new mugs available in more color options over time as well.

Hollow Handle Mug (Amber Purple)

Hollow Handle Mug

BB: Tell us a little bit about how you got into blowing glass.
SP: While in high school, after seeing flameworking at a local shop, I decided I was going to do it myself. Didn’t know how but I knew. So I bought a map gas torch and some color rods from Hobby Lobby and tried fixing all my broken pipes. Haven’t put it down since. 

Please talk about balancing your glass art and your “day job”.
Glass is a serious addiction for me. It’s apart of my life and who I am. Art?

I’ve seen you grill lunch on an entirely borosilicate grill that you made. What are some other fun things you’ve made out of glass?
12’ bong made on 180mm tubing, 72 liter fish tank, the grill and other miscellaneous glass contraptions.

Stephan Peirce

I know you love disc golf, but did you ever finish the boro glass basket? Got pics?
Not finished yet.

Who is your favorite cup maker and who else inspires your work?
Jason Howard, Michael Schunke, Jeff Heath and Eric Goldschmidt

What kind of music do you enjoy while you work? What about while you drive?
Podcast over music!

Pirates or Ninjas?
Ninja pirates

I own a few of your collaborations in my personal collection, and I have a few more for sale or sold that I wish I could have kept. Any favorites for you, or some that stand out for any reason?
Rye mug and water bottle, and Ramon mug.

I’ll never sell the one I have from you and SALT from 2015. Let’s talk about Tazzas.
Tazzas are fun. Impractical and I love them. 

About the Tazza

(from Italian, “cup”) An ornamental dish or cup on a stemmed foot. Tazzas were generally made for drinking, for displaying fruit or sweetmeats, and as purely decorative objects. - Corning Museum of Glass

Stephan Peirce x Blake Wingard Tazza Collab
What do you like to drink? Do you have a favorite cup in your personal collection?
Lone Star and bourbon. 

We took that class together at Goosefire from Mike Gnann and Jay Gordon on lathe life years ago. I’m so grateful to you for being a resource to me and helping me to obtain and service some lathes. What kind of machine do you run and what’s your setup like?
I currently work on a Litton EE and run hand torches. 

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I’m grateful to Stephan for believing in my project from early on. His support has helped me to grow this brand a lot. He’s given me a place to work, allowed me to represent him and came to Colorado to service my lathe which he also helped me to obtain. I’m looking forward to years of working with one of my favorite people in this industry.

If you aren't already, make sure you're following him on Instagram: @stephan_peirce
As always, thank you for tuning in.
- BB


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