1924 West Fulton Street, Chicago, Illinois 60612
Telephone: 312.226.4552 Fax: 312.226.1526
Chicago Glassworks is a state of the art glass blowing facility, custom built into a completely rehabbed
1870ís Victorian Style red brick building. Chicago Glassworks is centrally located in the city, just a few
minutes from downtown and Chicagoís thriving art community. Visitors are welcome to stop by, but be
sure to call several days ahead to arrange a tour, as Chicago Glassworks is not open to the public.
Eric Bladholm got his start in glass early. At age 11, his older sister, Sharon, taught him how to do stained
and leaded glass, which he pursued until his first year of college, where Eric discovered the art of glass
blowing. After five years of intensive glass and fine art studies, Eric returned to Chicago to meet the
challenge of building a studio of his own. Several years of working in the construction trades and a
partnership with his sisterís studio (Opal Glass Studios) evolved into the formation of Chicago Glassworks.
Every piece made at Chicago Glassworks is hand blown by the artist. Eric Bladholm works with one full
time assistant, Ken Heinze. Ken has been part of Chicago Glassworks since itís beginning. Starting as an
apprentice to learn the fundamentals of glass blowing, Mr. Heinze is now applying many of his unique
design and painting skills to the Studioís work. Ken has a BFA in painting from Columbia College in
Most of the glass pieces designed by Eric Bladholm involve multiple sections, usually a base piece and a
custom fitted sculptural lid. At their smallest, these pieces resemble their functional relatives, the perfume
bottle. At their wildest, mold-blown glass is utilized to create abstract/industrial shapes that are presented in
a organic, almost plant-like cast metal base. Most recently, Eric has been developing a series of auto-
biographical "paintings" on lidded glass vessels. Involving a complicated Swedish technique called
"Graal", this series incorporates figurative, almost dream-like imagery into the thick layers of a glass
canvass. This series has continued to evolve, currently expressing itself in the "Florals" group of work,
which is a continuation of the cameo/graal style of utilizing imagery within the surface of the glass.
Many of Ericís ideas come from the different stylistic periods of the past century. The names of many of his
designs reflect the period they were inspired by. Retro-Metro/Art Deco, Mod-Pods/1950ís Streamlined
Modern, Space-Racers/1960ís & the Space Race, Verticals/Frank Lloyd Wright and the Praire Style of
Architecture. Nature is also a source of many ideas, reflected in the Whirlwind, Cyclones and Florals .
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