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Breaking the Mold

Lafayette glassblower Dave Strock earns a spot at one of the West’s best craft shows.


Courtesy of Dave Strock

Dave Strock probably wouldn’t be spending his days playing with molten glass if he had stuck with studying music. But his older brother introduced him to glassblowing in college, and now his passion for the art form will be showcased in the largest juried fine craft show west of the Rockies.

Featured alongside the work of more than 220 other artists at the American Craft Council San Francisco Show, Strock’s pieces reflect the almost 14 years he’s spent honing his craft.

“When I am deciding on a form, I like for it to complement the pattern or texture that I am using,” says Lafayette-based Strock. “I like letting the natural effects of the heat and gravity kind of form the glass. It’s better to coax it into shape rather than trying to control it.”

Making one piece—which involves heating, stretching, cooling, and cutting it several times over—can take anywhere from 10 minutes to hours or even days in front of the furnace. Tools include cherrywood molds and pads of wet newspaper used to shape the molten glass.

Strock’s functional, decorative, and custom glasswork won’t be the only local entry in the show. This three-day–long event also includes a number of Oakland-based talents. Look for J. Brooke Patterson’s quirky eggshell dioramas, Vanessa Mellet’s colorful jewelry made with semiprecious and precious stones, and Lynne Meade’s plant-inspired porcelains.

July 31–Aug. 2, Fort Mason Center, 2 Marina Blvd., San Francisco, $12–$29, (612) 206-3100, craftcouncil.org/sf.

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