Above: Richard Bunting forms a vase at Foci Minnesota
Center for Glass Arts, one of the facilities where he rents
studio time. Opposite: Aloha, 8.5 x 6 x 6 inches, blown
vase. HAT is not an exaggeration. Furnaces at
most studios are never turned off, and if one
is it usually stays off for an entire season. It
takes two weeks for a furnace to get back
up to temperature, and that’s only if nothing
The result? Owning a studio is expensive. Very expen-sive.
So Bunting rents studio time depending on where
he finds himself, from Foci Studios in Minneapolis to
Star Glassworks in Star, North Carolina. This seems to fit
the gypsy soul of the frequent traveler. It also keeps him
connected to the large community of glass artists, one he
says is very supportive.
Bunting remembers the first time he rented studio time,
from an artist at Foci named Pam Greer.
“Sometimes I would just come and watch her work so I
could learn,” he says.
This is something he is incredibly grateful for, especially
because glassblowing has its roots in secrecy.
“Glassblowing goes back into the B.C. era and was dis-covered
accidentally through volcanic eruptions. During
the Renaissance, glassblowing was centered in Murano,
Italy, and the Italians were very secretive. They didn’t want
anybody to know how they did it,” he says.
Bunting has accumulated a wealth of knowledge on
the subject, and the passion he holds for the art form is
reflected in the vibrancy of his pieces.
“The best part about the art form for me,” he says “is
that you can’t put it down. I have projects that are 20
or 30 years in the making. But when it comes to glass,
when you start it you have to finish it, or it ends up on
COURTESY RICHARD BUNTING
WA L K
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“Water Lily” by Angie Sinclair, 18 x 24 inches, oil on canvas.
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