Imagine That… Gallery Opens Show by Glass Artist Phil Austin

Imagine That… Gallery Opens Show by Glass Artist Phil Austin Aug. 6

An exhibition by Phil Austin of Snake Oil Glassworks will run throughout August at Imagine That…, the fine arts and fine craft gallery at 38 E. Genesee St., Skaneateles. The show opens Aug. 6 from 6 to 9 p.m., during the village’s First Friday art night. Refreshments and musical entertainment will be provided.

Austin is known throughout the region for his handcrafted glass bowls, vases and pumpkins. Most of his works are done in the traditional way—freehand, without a mold. All are created at his hot glass studio on Jordan Road in Skaneateles.

The studio, built in 2004, houses a hot shop (where the furnace is located), a coldworking shop, and a retail store and gallery.

Austin, who designed and built all of the studio’s furnaces and ovens, characterizes his role there as head glassblower, equipment builder, maintenance supervisor and janitor, while his wife, Peg, oversees public relations, managing the store, and Austin’s show schedule.

“People are fascinated by the process of glassblowing, so we have open houses and do demos at the studio twice a year,” he says.

The process is a painstaking one.

Bowls, for example, take him two hours to create—one hour in preparation and one hour on the blowpipe. “It’s like working with 2,000-degree Play-Doh,” he says of the work, which he describes as performance art.

“It’s one-time through from start to finish. You don’t get to backtrack and fix things.”

Austin, who earned a master of fine arts degree in the glass program at the School for American Crafts at Rochester Institute of Technology, also teaches design and drawing at Onondaga Community College.

Imagine That… is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

For more information, call the gallery at 315-685-6264.