Glass Art Profile: Unparalleled Glass, The Sharpest Glass in the West

Glass Art Profile: Unparalleled Glass, The Sharpest Glass in the West

Gaining skills from many of greats in the glass blowing community, Chaiah Sullivan of Unparalleled Glass’ cactus creations look so real you’re almost tempted not to use this functional art in order to avoid the prick of their spines. The hyper-realistic pointy pieces are each meticulously handcrafted from Sullivan’s home studio in the small town of Paonia, Colorado and have become his signature style. “[The cactus art is] definitely something I do that I feel is very unique and not really something on somebody else’s style that I’ve learned,” Sullivan says. “Everything else I do I really enjoy, but I always feel like it has a little derivative from somebody else whereas the cactus is kind of my own creation.” Some of the pieces, particularly the large collaborative works, are priced at more than $1,000 and contain several ornate details including special percolation systems and glow-in-the-dark functionality. Sullivan first found the torch in 2005, but became serious about his craft in 2010 when he attended Penland School of Crafts located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Here, Sullivan got the opportunity to take a class from Janis Miltenberger, a Washington-based artist who works with borosilicate glass to create large-scale narrative sculpture. Like Sullivan, much of Miltenberger’s glass art pulls from botanical elements found in nature such as leaves and flowers. “Janis Miltenberger was my first-ever class and she is just a great artist,” Sullivan says. Later Sullivan took a series of collaborative classes at Glasscraft in Golden, Colorado…

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