Glassblowing by the Sea: A Halekulani Exclusive

Glassblowing by the Sea: A Halekulani Exclusive

Halekulani is pleased to present a special glassblowing demonstration on Thursday, October 17th on the Kawehewehe Lawn (between House Without A Key and Orchids) from 5:00 – 6:00 pm and 8:00 – 9:00 pm.  This incredible exhibition will feature guest Hugh Jenkins, Artist-in-Residence, and founder of the both Punahou School Glass Program and  Big Island Glass, Artist Stephanie Ross, along with current University of Hawaii at Manoa Glass Art Students in a unique live glassblowing presentation overlooking the ocean. For more information or to reserve a seat, please visit our concierge desk. Seating is limited. These presentations are in conjunction with the new exhibit, “The University of Hawaii Visiting Artist program in Glass,” that will be on display at the Halekulani Gallery October 7 – November 20, 2019.

To share in bringing this opportunity as an experience to the greater community, Halekulani is proud to work with AWE: Art World Escape, a mobile platform connecting travelers directly with local artists for behind-the-scenes art experiences. We invite you to experience AWE by downloading the app on iOS and or Android phones.



About Hugh Jenkins

Hugh Jenkins has worked in glass since 1969. He got his first introduction to glassblowing and the Foundry in Honolulu. He brought glassblowing into the Punahou School art department in 1972 and continued to teach there until 1998. During summers and sabbatical leaves, he has also taught at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. Most recently, Hugh has focused on energy efficiency and alternate and sustainable fuels for glass and other fire arts. Since 2001 Hugh and his wife Stephanie, (a glassblower as well) have lived in Honoka’a on the Big Island where they have created their own studio and gallery. They work in a close collaboration on glass pieces in direct response to the Big Island, depicting their impressions of the volcano, forest, ocean and widely varying climate and environment. To learn more about Hugh and his artwork, visit

About Stephanie Ross

Stephanie Ross earned her BA at California College of Arts and Crafts and her graduate degrees from the University of Hawai’i, Manoa. She has taught art to high school and elementary students since 1975. In 1997 she opened her own studio where she has created her own works on fabric and taught privately. Stephanie was introduced to glass in 1995 and has worked in collaboration with her husband Hugh Jenkins since 1996.


About University of Hawaii at Manoa Glass participants:

  • Robert Flowers: Now residing in Hawaii, Columbus, Ohio native Robert Flowers was born in 1983. Having struggled with modest means throughout the early part of his life he is no stranger to adversity. Flowers worked a number of odd jobs including manufacturing, construction, foodservice/bartending, and even tried to make it as a musician early on. His mother and father made work in a small stained glass studio within their home and his childhood residence. His late uncle also worked with hot glass and there were a number of examples around the house. “Every Christmas he would bring over a batch of these magical rock like forms. As a kid I didn’t really understand art as I do now. These glass sculptures were just the coolest thing and unlike anything else I had ever seen. I loved receiving them and spent hours and hours looking at and handling them, rearranging and discovering new details all the time.” he says. Following the death of this uncle he decided to move in a new direction and pursue the visual arts. Embarking on an exciting adventure for himself while hoping to carry on the legacy of those who are no longer with us. Robert received his BFA from The Ohio State University in 2014 and his MFA from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa in 2018. He currently works in both glass and sculpture, and teaches at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and the Punahou School. Robert has a strong interest in Venetian glass blowing techniques as well as obtaining a better understanding of the material properties of glass. "I have been studying relentlessly and am at the point where I must digest it all and begin to hone in and establish my practice. I try to think outside of tradition, to be innovative and to push the boundaries of the material and take it somewhere new. I make work for myself under the assumption that once it is created and out in the world, it will take on a life of its own and be available for interpretation by any and all who may come into contact with it. I can only hope that it will invite investigation, engage the eye, leave an impression, spark a conversation or an idea, become a reference in the creation of other work, or at least convey some part of who I am and what I was thinking.“
  • Yoshimi Teh Soo Mei: Born in Japan and raised in Malaysia, Yoshimi Teh Soo Mei spent a lot of her childhood traveling, and was raised in the midst of stark contrasts-between landscapes, race, economic extremes, and the cultural artifacts of Malaysia’s colonial past; a nexus of East and West. These contrasts have all contributed to her interest in paradoxes and perspectives. Yoshimi received her MFA in Printmaking from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2019, where she also learned to work with glass. Prior to her graduate career, she worked as a printer for several renown artists, taught and/or assisted for several other printmaking classes at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, University of Hawaii at Manoa and Pilchuck Glass School in Washington. She recently completed an artist residency at the Guanlan Original Printmaking Base in ShenZhen, China and participated in the Lithography Conference in Munich, Germany. Yoshimi currently works as the printmaking studio manager and glass studio manager at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
  • Rick Mills: Rick Mills is a glass and mixed-media sculptor and full professor of art at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He earned his Bachelors of Fine Art Degree from The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio and a Masters of Fine Art Degree from the University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii. Mills has also received two Creative Glass Center of America Fellowships and a Research Fellowship at the Royal College of Art in London, England where he studied under Keith Cummings. In 1988 he returned to Hawaii and established the Glass Program in the Department of Art and Art History as an assistant professor. In 1989 he initiated the Visiting Artist Program in Glass to bring artists from around the world to the University. His work has been widely exhibited locally, nationally and internationally in places such as the International Glass Kanazawa 1990, Japan, Crossings, 1989 France-Hawaii; solo exhibitions at The Contemporary Museum, Hawaii in 1995, Friesen Gallery in Seattle, Washington in 1997 and 2000 and at the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner, Washington in 1999. In the past twenty years Mills has completed five major public sculptures for the Hawaii State Foundation on Culture and the Arts, Art in Public Places Program. The sculptures are located at the Queen Liliokalani Student Services Center at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the Hawaii Convention Center, in Honolulu, Hawaii, Leilehua High school in Wahiawa and the Maui Memorial Medical Center in Kahului, Maui. “The Spirit of Manoa: In the Light of Day” the most recent addition in this category dedicated in 2015. The sculpture is located at the Manoa Public Library and consists of five cast glass monoliths depicting Manoa valley.
  • Samson Low: Born in Hawaii on the island of Oahu, Samson Low started working in glass two years ago at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. His passion and love for the material pushed him to spend over forty hours a week learning, practicing, and making pieces in the hot shop. Last semester he received the student of the year award from the glass chair Rick Mills. His current work incorporates the use of heavy patterning on vessel shapes. His new body of work is called "More than just a zoo." He is capturing the essence of animals by recreating their patterns and shapes in vessel forms.
  • Forest Leonard: Forest is primarily a ceramic artist, but also works in glass, metal, neon, wood, fiberglass, and whatever else he can get his hands on. Forest grew up in Kailua, exploring the island and cultivating a love for craftsmanship.  In 2015, he Graduated with his Bachelors of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is now pursuing his Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
  • Katherine Kazlauskas: Kat Kazlauskas resists the boundaries of medium specificity. She defines herself as an installation artist and a sculptor utilizing whatever medium appropriate or available to create her work and express her ideas. She has been working, on and off, with glass in various different technical applications for the past thirteen years and is currently pursuing her MFA degree at the University of Hawai’i . She has worked for several well known studios in the Bay Area as a production assistant and taught classes in glass blowing, fusing, slumping, kiln forming, and flame working at Public Glass in San Francisco. Her current work seeks to examine the entanglements of our social, emotional, and psychological relationships to Climate Change. Her focus is on how first world societies deal with excess and over-consumption in the name of convenience. She states, “Since moving to O‘ahu in 2017, I have seen first-hand what our plastic over-consumption means on a much more frequent basis. The eastern and northern beaches of Hawai‘i are particularly susceptible to the inundation of ocean plastics. While most of my current work utilizes the found plastics polluting our oceans and addresses the severity of the problem, I also strive to make visible the connections that bind us over borders, boundaries, and oceans. Be it climate change, geopolitics, production, consumption, distribution, or waste management failures, the world is getting smaller and the knots are getting tighter as these global issues entangle us collectively in emotional and psychological storms. I am interested in the question of whether we can utilize these structural entanglements to create a stronger web of support and demand for policy change around the globe instead of strangling ourselves in systemic failures.”
  • Thackeray Shane Taylor: Thackeray Shane Taylor derives inspiration from the forms and movements abundantly provided by nature. Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, He is currently a senior at the University of Hawai’I at Manoa and is pursuing his BA degree in the Glass area. He is impressed by the ability of glass to create space beyond the physical form. Bronze and ceramics create more geometric forms that create contrast against the organic forms that glass typically assumes. Thackeray uses the spirals and scale invariant shapes of organic and inorganic nature. The works of Viktor Schauberger, Walter Russell, and R.A. Schwaller de Lubicz have fueled Thackeray's work and he hopes that the universal forms help us draw value from nature as such. 
  • Bud Spindt: Bud’s love for glass is as clear as the material he works with. He finds every aspect of it satisfying. “What I love about glasswork is its unlimited possibilities. I can make it into any shape, any color, transparent or opaque. I can capture and hold light with it, refract light and cast wonderful patterns. I can make sculpture out of it or even a painting. The material is so seductive, so beautiful all by itself.” With a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Hawaii and over 30 years experience in making glass art, Bud now passes his passion on to others, teaching classes at the Honolulu Museum of Art School, demonstrating how this unique material behaves, showing them that there are infinite possibilities, teaching them to enjoy the creative process itself. It’s a class with students showing each other how they achieved this effect and that. So it’s very satisfying for even beginning students. Currently, Bud creates functional, decorative and sculptural works in blown, fused and cast glass. His work in public art can be seen at Windward Community College next to the Imaginarium, the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Maui and at Mokapu Elementary School on the Kaneohe Marine Base. He is currently creating a sculpture for Waimea Canyon Intermediate School on Kauai as part of a commission from the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.
  • Jaclyn Ritter: Jaclyn Ritter is an undergraduate student at University of Hawai'i at Manoa Jaclyn says “I’m a military brat and have moved around quite a bit, so in a way I’m not really from anywhere”.  Meanwhile for the last decade Hawaii has been her home. Currently Jaclyn is a senior working towards her BA degree in Art Studio with a focus in glass, and expects to graduate in Spring 2020.  She is currently the Vice President of the Glass Art Family, GAF (a University of Hawaii Registered Organization, helping to organize this event at the Halekulani.) Upon graduation she plans to work in a production glass studio near her home town. Her main interest in glass is the primary cup form and the myriad of possibilities of shape, form  and design. While she enjoys creating play full glass sculptures she is challenged by the limitations of production glass blowing. She is currently working on a series of "tie-died" blown glass cups with multiple layers of color. @jacks_inthe_shop
  • Nygell Halvorsen : Nygell Halvorson is an undergraduate at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa, currently working toward a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Glass. He holds the position of President in the Glass Art Family, GAF (a University of Hawaii Registered Organization)  His inspiration comes from his Japanese heritage and he aspires to gain more knowledge about his culture as he explores the fine details of glass. His passion and curiosity in glass continues to push his own limits in finding new ways to express himself to the world. Nygell has been burned, cut, and bruised to give you a glimpse into his imagination. Take an extra minute and get lost in the texture and color of his artwork.
  • Karen Fuentes: Karen Fuentes is a first-generation Salvadorian ceramic artist from Concord, California. She is interested in multimedia, including glass and metal, but primarily works in ceramics. Having had experience with the processes of other 3-dimensional mediums, Karen draws inspiration from how things are made and crafts pieces in clay that emphasize the materiality and versatility of ceramics. Last year, Karen had the opportunity of attending Peters Valley School of Craft in Layton, NJ on a scholarship. She also gave a lecture and demonstration for Piedmont High School in Piedmont, CA. She is currently an undergraduate student in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in Honolulu, HI and anticipates graduation in Spring of 2020.
  • Jonathan Swanz: Jonathan Swanz has been crafting art for 20 years developing facility in a variety of media with a focused refinement in the glass techniques of blowing, casting, carving, and sculpting. He has worked with exceptional artists across Europe and the US, including Paris, Venice, Copenhagen, New York, Seattle, and Chicago. He has completed extensive commercial and residential architectural commissions in Cincinnati, OH, Indianapolis, IN, Louisville, KY, Honolulu, HI, Los Angeles, CA and New York, NY, and has pieces in the permanent collections of 21C Museum and Hilliard Lyons of Louisville, KY, the Headley Whitney Museum of Lexington, KY, The Hawaii State Art Museum, The Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children and Park Lane of Honolulu, and PNC Bank of New York, NY. He currently is a part-time faculty member at the University of Hawaii, Manoa where he is exploring parallels in the energetic and social nature of materials and humans by investigating state change and energy transfer through the manipulation of molten glass, digital media, performance, and architectural installations. 
  • Matt Rademacher
  • Scott Osborn
  • David Harada
  • Ian Shishido
  • Nick Hunsinger
  • Robbie Coy
  • Jullianna Bolanos


About AWE: Art World Escape

The Art World Escape app lets you experience the world through the lens of an artist, where you can discover curated, artist-led activities and experience the city in a new way. From studio visits, workshops, and artmaking, to one-of-a-kind walking tours...these encounters unpack an artists’ inspirations and creative process, giving deep connection with the people surrounding and the natural world. As a platform dedicated to providing a framework for working artists to sustain themselves as a business, 90% of proceeds go to the artist. For more information, visit