John England, Glass Blower
John England is a sixth generation Kentuckian, the son of James R.
England of Kentucky and Lillian Walker of Innasfel Australia. He was introduced to lamp working in 1985 while in the U.S. Army where he saw a man forming names out of glass for the soldiers in the PX. After his time in the army, John and his first wife, Susan, owned and operated a windshield and
plate glass repair business. It was during this time that John took a workshop in the art of lamp working while working as a stone mason on the side. This continued for about three years when he met Ed Francis whom he assisted in building a glass furnace. In return for his assistance, Mr. Francis showed John some of the basics of glass blowing. However, the studio was too far for John to travel and the furnace was seldomfree for him to practice. John decided to build a glass studio in his tabacco barn at home in October 1989. From there, he continued to practice and read books on the subject of glass blowing. Mr. England feels that this method of self-teaching has been beneficial
in that he never had to fight with the problem of mimicking a teacher's art. His designs are the combination of techniques he has read about and his own imagination. John feels honored to have had his glass ornaments on the Kentucky tree at the White House in Washington D.C. for two consecutive years, paperweights for Governor Paul Patton to be given as gifts to Japanese dignitaries, as well as awards for the Louisville Symphony Orchestra. An achievement that John is very proud of is his 1993 consignment exhibit in the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery for his marbles and paperweights. The consignment exhibit was in conjunction with "The Year of the American Craft" which was part of a larger showing of Southeastern United States crafts.
Presently, John and his current wife, Jill, have opened a seasonal glass studio and gallery in Ludington, Michigan and own a house in Berea, Kentucky where they have kept a studio and gift shop.