St. Paul Glass Artist Plays With Gravity And Fire
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –- Fred Kaemmer likes it hot.
Kaemmer is a glass artist and his state of the art studio in Saint Paul is where he creates modern masterpieces with a deep respect for the art form’s ancient history.
“It’s very old,” Kaemmer said. “The Romans, I think, are the ones credited with discovering blown glass.”
Kaemmer’s process begins with a superheated metal rod that barely touches a piece of raw glass. The glass then instantly fuses to the pipe.
Kaemmer then places the raw glass in a furnace and rotates the rod constantly to keep gravity from pulling the glass into the fire.
“Gravity is always working, always working,” Kaemmer said.
After removing the glass from the furnace, Kaemmer continues to rotate the rod on the surface of a table while fellow artist Nolan Prohaska provides small puffs of air that make the red-hot glass expand ever so slightly.
The tag-team process of puffing and rotating goes on and on until art emerges.
“I just think it’s a magical process, you know. It goes from this goopy stuff that would run on the floor if you weren’t paying attention to, you know, this finished form.”
Kaemmer ‘s pieces will be featured at the American Craft Council Show at the St. Paul RiverCentre this weekend. For show hours, click here.
Tickets cost $12, and are discounted to $5 after 5 p.m.
Kids 12 and under get in free.