Our First Gig

A few weeks prior to hiring Jacque, Lee had already secured his first commission.  It was an outdoor sculpture for The Gant condominiums in Aspen, Colorado. 

Knowing it would be a huge undertaking, Lee pulled together some additional craftsmen to make the piece happen.  He contracted Carey Bringle, an artist in residence at Anderson Ranch Arts Center/ mechanical engineer/ construction manager along with Phil Carter, a retired Houston real estate developer living in Aspen. Looking back, it is fair to say that none of us had a clue about hot glass or what we were doing, but we were doing it! 

We worked in the studio day after day experimenting with color, ladling glass, cooling glass, and all things glass (that we knew of).  We all had an incredible time teaching ourselves everything there was to know about the art and science of hot glass.  We managed to complete and install the commission that stood proudly in Aspen, CO until 2011 when the Gant underwent a huge renovation.

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  The origianl Sprio Lyon Glass team in front of the Gant Installation

The origianl Sprio Lyon Glass team in front of the Gant Installation

Great project

Commissions Swirl Glasses

Visiting Spiro Lyon Glass studio can often be inspiring.  Guests are stimulated by the hot glass process and will often want to create something for their home.  These glasses were the product of such a visit.   Friends from Potomac, Maryland came to visit SLG studios while they were vacationing in Aspen.  They absolutely loved the unique style of Dylan Balderson's hand made glasses.  They selected a color scheme and asked Dylan and I to design a set of varying sizes using ambers and blue/green.  Here is what we came up with.  The client is enjoying these in Potomac currently.

 

The Beginning

The Master, Lee Lyon

The Master, Lee Lyon

     A few months back, my dear friend and mentor, Lee Lyon passed away at the age of 91.  I have been reflecting a great deal as of late of my time as Lee’s student, business partner, adopted daughter, drinking buddy, and much more.  It seems appropriate now to share the legacy of Spiro Lyon Glass, and fantastic story of an inspiring man and his ever-grateful protégé.

     In 1990, after retiring from his family’s hide processing business and post photography dabbling, Lee was working as a freelance Ceramicist.  He had a commission for a ceramic fountain wall.  What he wanted was a red glaze to use on the wall, but could not find a true red.  That was when he decided to enroll in a glass casting class taught by John Lewis at Pilchuck Glass School. 

     Lee imagined he would find a red glaze (glass) that he could use for his project, and that be that.  Instead, something incredible happened. Lee fell in love with molten glass.  “Bitten by the Glass Bug,” you might say.  He returned home, finished his last ceramic project and immediately turned his ceramic studio into a hot glass shop.  Trouble was, hot glass casting is not a one-man job. 

     Lee set out to find a strong young man to assist him in the studio.  He reached out to several brawny prospects that he knew, but all were busy with other things.  One prospect Lee had petitioned, Mark Haas, told Lee that he knew someone that might be available.  Enter Jacqueline Spiro, 23 years old, and as Lee would say “100 pounds soaking wet”.  Not exactly the big strong assistant Lee had in mind, but nonetheless, it was the beginning of a 25-year partnership and the birth of Spiro Lyon Glass.