School of Art, Craft & Design

Alumni Profiles: Glass

Thoryn Ziemba / Class of 2010

Thoryn Ziemba was born in West Virginia on a small family farm in 1977 and spent the majority of his life in Pensacola, Florida. In 2000, while working as an artist assistant, he discovered glass as a sculptural material. He began pursuing an academic understanding of glass and sculpture at the Appalachian Center for Craft where he received multiple faculty awarded scholarships.

Upon completion of his BFA, Thoryn received a Windgate Fellowship, which permitted him to travel the United States and study under Paul Marioni, Marsha Blaker, and Paul Desomma. He has spent several years working at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, Washington as the Cold Shop Coordinator. In 2013, he was again involved with The Windgate Foundation, when he was included Taking Shape, a juried show that traveled to SOFA Chicago, The Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design in Asheville, North Carolina, and most recently to The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Thoryn and his family live in Knoxville,Tennessee.

"…At the Craft Center I was able to work on a professional glass blowing team and learn what it meant to really occupy that space in the world. There were always genuine expectations of achievement and understanding of what craft was; beyond what most perceive it to be or attempt to make it mean." - Thoryn Ziemba

Sample of Work

  • Covalent, hot cast and sculpted glass, 14"h x 22"w x 11"d, 2014

Career Highlights

  • 2010 Windgate Undergraduate Fellowship, Administered by the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, $15,000
  • 2009 Niche Student Design Award. Glass: Sculptural
  • 2013 “Taking Shape” SOFA Chicago, represented by The Center for Craft, Creativity and Design

Sean O'Neill / Class of 2005

Sean was born in the suburbs of Philadelphia and now resides in Seattle, WA. From an early age he was inclined to create with his hands, he took his first glassblowing glass at age 15 and has been a maker ever since.

Since receiving his B.F.A. from the Appalachian Center for Craft in 2005, Sean has been a working artist meanwhile sharing his knowledge as an instructor, teaching assistant and staff member at schools and workshops in the Northwest and abroad. In 2012 he was hired to the staff of the 3D4M in the University of Washington’s School of Art.

"…The focus of the community and access to facilities afforded an environment that removed many distractions and allowed me to hone my practice as a maker... I am really grateful for the organization of the program and level of professionalism that is expected of degree candidates. Designing, making and producing a solo exhibition is an experience that is unequaled in preparing one for a career as a professional artist." - Sean O'Neill

Sample of Work

  • Meander II, blown, engraved and enameled glass, 12.5"h x 10"w x 10.5"d, 2013

Career Highlights

  • 2012 New Glass Review 33 – Corning Museum of Glass, Jurors’ Choice
  • 2011 Blue Rain Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico – Solo Exhibition – Beneath the Surface
  • 2010 William Traver Gallery, Seattle, Washington – Solo Exhibition – Passage
  • 2007 Pilchuck Glass School, Emerging Artist in Residence

Kerrick Johnson / Class of 2002

Kerrick Johnson studied painting, jewelry, design, and film at the Fine Arts Center high school in Greenville, SC. Johnson then moved to New Orleans to study the art of glassblowing at the New Orleans School of Glassworks, where he realized his ability and desire to create glass. His desire to focus more intensely on glass led him to the Appalachian Center for Craft, where he earned his BFA in 2002.

After graduation he moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee to work as studio manager for Ignis Glass and for other glass artists. During this time, Johnson simultaneously developed and refined his own look in glass, which led him to be awarded the competitive "Arts Move" grant from Allied Arts of Chattanooga to build a house and studio in a developing downtown neighborhood. In 2005, he officially opened Kerrick Johnson Glass Studio, where each of his sculptures are now created.

Kerrick’s work has been displayed at many shows including Wheaton Village Glass Weekend, Art Palm Beach and is represented at many galleries across the United States.

"My studies at the Appalachian Center for Craft and working with Curtiss Brock prepared me to start my own glass blowing company and to produce work represented in shows and galleries and all over the country." - Kerrick Johnson

Sample of Work

  • Coupling, blown glass, diamond growing and polished, 13"h x 13"w x 8"d, 2015

Career Highlights

  • 2005 - Present: Kerrick Johnson Glass Studio - Chattanooga, Tennessee; Owner
  • 2013 Art Palm Beach, Palm Beach, Florida
  • 2012 Solo Exhibition, Stewart Fine Art Gallery, Boca Raton, Florida
  • Five NICHE national student design awards

Christopher Mosey / Class of 2000

Christopher Mosey has been creating hand blown art glass since studying glassblowing at the Appalachian Center for Craft. He has also completed workshops at Haystack and Pilchuck Glass schools. After graduating, Chris opened iGNiS Glass Studio in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 2002.

After gaining a reputation for original, functional art glass, Chris opened a studio in the Southside of Chattanooga at 1800 Rossville Avenue. He used this space to focus on work that reflects his interests in the natural world with references to the organic patterns found in Art Nouveau imagery to shimmering geodes. Currently, he is taking on a different aspect of glass blowing with a new space at 409 Broad Street. This space is defined by its accessibility to the public.

"…The craft center helped me to realize the strength of the group as the most powerful tool to help the singular artist move forward in the endeavor of their vocation…The instructors showed us what it feels like to work in a resourceful environment and to have the backing of a team, and to have that expectation of resourcefulness in your self." - Chris Mosey

Sample of Work

  • Emigrate Sahara, glass and steel, 27”h x 9”w x 8”d, 2006

Career Highlights

  • Permanent Collection, Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, Tennessee
  • Artist Merit Award, 4 Bridges Arts Festival, Chattanooga, Tennessee, 2005
  • NICHE National Design Student Award