Glass Blower

Josh Simpson, who has practiced glass artistry for 50 years, will be signing his new book at Vermont Artisan Designs during the Oct. 7 Gallery Walk.

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BRATTLEBORO — Josh Simpson has been making glass creations since he set up his first furnace at Goddard College in Plainfield 50 years ago.

And for more than three decades, Simpson’s work has been a staple at Vermont Artisan Designs on Main Street.

“We’ve been working with Josh for more than 35 years and always have a nice selection of his glass,” said Greg Worden, who owns Vermont Artisans with his wife, Suzy.

On Friday, Simpson will be in the shop, signing “Josh Simpson: 50 Years of Visionary Glass,” between 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

“Molten glass consists of sand and metallic oxides combined with extraordinary, blinding heat,” said Simpson. “The result is a material that flows like honey. When it’s hot, glass is alive. It moves gracefully and inexorably in response to gravity and centripetal force. It possesses an inner light and transcendent radiant heat that make it simultaneously one of the most rewarding and one of the most frustrating materials for an artist to work with.”

Simpson said his work reflects a compromise between the molten material and himself.

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“Each finished piece is a solidified moment when we both agree.”

The book contains more than 500 photos and narration, sometimes humorous, revealing the evolution of his glass art over the years.

The book also provides an in-depth look at several of his signature series and experimental works that represent Simpson’s fascination with outer space, the natural world and the workings of the universe.

The book also includes comments from experts in the glass world, including William Warmus, Tina Oldknow and Nezka Pfeifer, as well as from museum curators, astrophysicists and space flight professionals.

Simpson wrote the book with co-author Sue Reed.

Bob Audette can be contacted