Detroit’s newest glass studio, The Juicebox, run by founding artists Adam Thomas and Marc VandenBerg, participated in it’s first large glass event this month. The duo exhibited their hot shop demos for the second installation of the non-profit Michigan Glass Project’s collaborative glassblowing event benefiting the Belle Isle Aquarium. The fundraising, from which, brought in a sum of twelve thousand dollars last year. Vandenberg explains the importance of their participation:
“Events like the Michigan Glass Project are about bringing the glass community together to benefit the local community. This year’s event was special; having neon, furnace working and flame working in one space. The awesome caveat to these projects is that only a few years ago pipes were considered illegal and actively persecuted by law enforcement. This group of self-proclaimed ‘degenerate artists’ found a way to positively impact local communities with their talents. We are excited to be a part of that movement.”
The event took place in Detroit’s Russell Industrial Center, which is also where one can now find The Juicebox. Both Vandenberg and Thomas have been working in glass for well over ten years, often in collaboration with each other. Desiring a space to further explore the possibilities they saw unfurling as they worked together, the two opened “a studio to explore the possibilities of furnace worked glass combined with flame worked glass.” Thomas continues: “We want the studio to become synonymous with innovation and craftsmanship; […] to open the door to collaborations with other like-minds of any medium.”
Recognizing the financial benefits of building a business in Detroit with the city’s comparatively inexpensive overhead was not the only reason they were drawn to the decision to open shop downtown. “The people are supportive,” Vandenberg assures. As Detroit is one of his favorite places, Thomas was especially encouraging to anyone considering making the move there: “It has every characteristic you might need—acceptance, grit, innovation, and hustle. The advice I would give is: Don’t judge a book by its cover. Appreciate the soul of the city.”
The grand opening of The Juicebox, which will include glass blowing and lampworking demos, takes place this Saturday, June 29 at 1600 Clay Ave, Building 1, Floor 2.
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