The Hot Shop Team
benjamin cobb | Director and Lead Gaffer
Through 25 years of working in glassblowing, Benjamin Cobb has honed his mastery of glass, traveled across the globe, and worked with hundreds of artists. An East Coast transplant, Cobb holds a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology and has been a demonstrating artist at glass studios as far afield as Sweden, the Czech Republic, Italy, and France. He’s taught at Penland School of Crafts, Pilchuck Glass School, and many other glass programs in the US. He’s a recognizable leader and voice in the glass community and has contributed to the success of countless works of art. In his own work, Cobb draws inspiration from the natural world as well as scientific process. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Northwest Art in LaConner, WA, Museum of Glass, and dozens of galleries across the country.
Learn more about Cobb and his work at benjamincobbglass.com
gabe feenan | Gaffer
Gabe Feenan began his glass career in 1996 working in production studios in the San Francisco Bay area. He has been a visiting and demonstrating artist at glass studios across the world including Verrerie Pierini in Biot, France, The Glass Factory in Emmaboda, Sweden, and Pilchuck Glass School, to name a few. Elegant and refined, Feenan’s personal work evokes strength and balance with their stacked geometric shapes. Relying on pure ability and technique, Feenan seeks to emphasize the importance of a skilled artist’s hand in a machine-made world.
Learn more about Feenan and his work at gabefeenanglass.com
Sarah Gilbert | Starter
Sarah Gilbert received her BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2005. Utilizing glass to communicate a narrative, Gilbert catalogs and documents the stories of daily life. Her work has been shown around the world and she was recently a Hauberg Fellow at Pilchuck Glass School. Gilbert was also chosen as part of Young Glass, the competitively juried international exhibition featuring the work of emerging artists working in glass, held once a decade at Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark.
Learn more about Gilbert and her work at sarahgilbertglass.com
Nick davis | Lead Technician
Nick Davis earned a BFA in Art with an emphasis in Glass from Emporia State University. He has worked as a freelance metalworker and technician, production glassblower, and instructor at institutions such as Pratt Fine Arts and Museum of Glass. In his own work, he uses the fluidity and optically distorting qualities of glass to draw the eye and attention in and around sculptures, often supported or attenuated with fabricated steel elements. In addition to his role at the Museum, Davis creates bespoke tools for artists around the world.
Learn more about Davis and his work at nrdglass.com
Kristin Elliot | Coldworker
Kristin Elliot earned a BFA in Glass with a minor in Art History from Emporia State University. In 2011, she moved to Seattle and became an integral part of the glass community through coldworking. Elliot, who is the sole coldworker at Museum of Glass, started her professional career at Huchthausen Studios where she has been the lead studio technician and manager for seven years. Her passion for cold glass and commitment to its precision has allowed her to open a cold shop in Tacoma, where she freelances for artists around the country. Elliot's personal work brings together all her knowledge of cold techniques but focuses mainly on the process of lamination and polishing.
Learn more about Elliot and her work at gritcitycoldworks.com
Walter Lieberman | Emcee
Walter Lieberman has been working in glass for 40 years and his knowledge of glass serves him well in his role as emcee. He has worked extensively on his craft since getting his start at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and today he is an internationally known glass painter. Lieberman has taught glassmaking at Pilchuck Glass School, Pratt Fine Arts, and many other schools and colleges around the world. Lieberman's work has been exhibited at Traver Gallery in Seattle, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Additionally, his work is part of several prestigious museum collections such as Corning Museum of Glass, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and Museum of Glass. Lieberman also leads lectures on the History of Glass and frequently works with the University of Washington.
David Rios | Emcee
David Rios discovered his passion for glassblowing through the Hilltop Artists program in 2010. He entered the program as a way to keep busy after middle school, but soon realized he loved working with glass. Through his affiliation with Hilltop Artists he was recognized with two awards. In 2015, he earned a trip to France to blow glass with glass master, Antoine Pierini, as part of the student exchange program with Tacoma's sister city, Biot. He also received a scholarship to attend Pilchuck Glass School as part of the Equity Initiative from the national Craft School Experience program. Today, Rios is pursuing a degree in Fine Arts while attending Green River College, keeping his glassblowing skills up-to-date by volunteering at Hilltop Artists, and working as an emcee at Museum of Glass.