It’s A.J. Robert’s job to play with fire.
Roberts (right), a resident of Albany, N.Y., is a professional glassblower for Prism Glassworks, a company that makes pipes, pendants, necklaces and other homemade glass products.
At the Gathering of the Vibes Sunday, Roberts was busy fashioning a glass pipe with a hand-held torch as a dozen members of the Vibe Tribe looked on in awe.
“It’s really cool,” Kristen Sturgis, of Rochester, N.Y., said. “The pieces he makes are really sweet.”
Roberts said that while glassblowing is usually a solitary activity, he and his friends occasionally like to work in public so that they can “reconnect with people who are into what we’re doing.”
“People can make requests” for particular pieces “within reason,” Roberts, who has been blowing glass for 15 years, said. “If we can come to an agreement, I will totally to do it.”
Roberts, who studied music in college, said he took up glassblowing to pay the bills and to express his artistic ideas. Since then, “it’s been a career,” he said.
The company also sells pendants created by Sarah Chabot, Roberts’ fiance, and her friend, Fiona Van Wie (above).
“The boys don’t make pretty pendants, so Sarah and I handle that,” Van Wie, of Chatham, N.Y., said.