For Patrick and Carrie Frost, the glass is always, well, half full. The husband-and-wife team, who founded Frost Glass in 2012, love being able to create together. “Collaborating and having a combined vision for Frost Glass makes it possible for us to achieve great things,” Patrick told us in a Q&A. “And being an artist teaches you to see potential in everything. Once you embrace that principle, it’s very empowering.”
The Ohio-based pair aim to share that sense of joy with those who buy their handmade wares: “Our goal is to enhance your everyday experience. We try to fill your day with magic,” he says, adding that the best compliment is “hearing that people entertain with our glassware or decorate their homes with our work.” He fills us in on the art of glass-making, the couple’s long studio days, and their inspiration.
When did you and Carrie start creating work together?
We met in the spring of 2009 at the Penland School of Crafts, assisting a master glass maker from the Czech Republic in a two month course. Both of us had experimented in different media through elementary and high school, but glass was always mysterious. Once you have your first encounter, it is hard to break free! No other material offers the same levels of challenge and reward, it is a very addictive experience to have.
What does a typical day in your studio look like?
We usually work in the studio first thing in the morning for about 6-8 hours. Afterwards, we spend a few hours doing administrative tasks, equipment maintenance, packaging and shipping, ordering materials, answering e-mails, and applying to shows and events. A typical week is six days, 10-12 hours a day. We devote one day a week minimum to “office tasks” — this gives us a break from the studio and allows us to catch up on everything else!
This is a loaded question we get asked at shows — nobody is ever impressed when you tell them 20 minutes! I say we’ve both dedicated a great deal of time and energy over the past 13 years to get to where we can create at our current level. It’s like being a pilot — 10,000 hours makes you comfortable flying. We’ve done that many times over by now!
One of the great things about glass blowing is that the best tools and techniques have remained unchanged for more than a thousand years. Heat, gravity, how you turn, and the way you move and manipulate the glass without touching it will make the most efficient and elegant form.
Even the hand tools we use are very primitive. Glass work is essentially a throwback technique, which makes it really cool and protects it from being obsolete. There are things that can only be done by hand that a machine cannot replicate and that is what makes it special.
Do you keep anything inspirational around you when you work?
Our rescue dog Jeffrey is a great inspiration! He keeps us grounded and gives us an example of great K-9 courage, overcoming what he had to as a young puppy. Now he keeps us company in the studio or wherever we go.
Do you drink from glasses you make in your home?
We keep some of our glassware handy, but our favorite works are ones from friends or other artists that we’ve worked for. These are the best to drink out of because they remind you of a time, place, and experience you had with someone special.