The Gallery at Barrio Glassworks features beautifully designed, handmade objects by glass artists from San Diego, Southern California and beyond. We are dedicated to representing artists at all stages of their career — emerging, mid-career and well established. With roots in the American studio glass movement, we focus on innovative contemporary work by artists who work with glass in unique and innovative ways.
In the Gallery
February - Spring 2024
Buzz Blodgett has been blowing glass since 1969, coming from a family of artists it's only natural that he became one himself. Buzz was first introduced to glass through his father, Wally Blodgett. Throughout his teenage years, Buzz was surrounded by art since his father did ceramics. His father was the one that had the desire to work in glass. Val Sanders of Palomar College introduced Wally and Buzz to glass in 1969. Withing a dew months Wally had his first furnace in operation. Buzz was hooked, as was his brother and father as they learned to blow glass together.
The Blodgett Family Studio (it's first name) began selling glass work while Buzz was still in college. On weekends, they would blow glass; during the week Buzz would study chemistry. Upon his graduation, the studio became a full time operation. The Blogett Family developed a line of blown glass wind chimes ("Music in Glass") which began to sell throughout the entire country. Later a line of candle holders was added ("Bubbles Lite") which they still make today.
In 1978 a Swedish glassblower, Jerry Heintze visited the family for 6 months. Jerry taught the family a new style of glassblowing and new techniques to shape glass. Using this knowledge, new designs began to emerge from the studio along with improvements in the quality of the work. Buzz says, “I was always impressed with the frozen liquidity of glass, which seemed to mesh with my love for the ocean and surfing.”
In 1987 he took over the operation of Blodgett Glass preceded by his father. The family glassblowing studio is alive and well flourishing in the small coastal beach community of Leucadia along the southern California coast of Encinitas.
Buzz has taught glassblowing at the UCSD Crafts Center until it closed in 2013. He has worked with custom lighting companies, such as Gibson & Gibson to produce custom light shades. This relationship has produced light fixtures for the White House, The Bush Library and TV shows such as Madame secretary.
He has had exhibitions at the Corning Museum and has exhibited his glass in galleries in Seattle, California and New York since 1975. All his glass is handmade using the same methods utilized since ancient times and it is signed and dated.