West Virginian Artisan Makes Glass Masterpieces
Growing up in Appalachia Ron Hinkle learned at an early age the importance of being able to create essential items. Those early lessons sparked a desire in him to create unique pieces. Then he began working with glass as a summer job and soon realized that working with glass was his calling.
Working with glass he can bring his visions to life. He has worked with glass for 46 years and has been blowing glass for 42 of those years now. The exciting part for him is going to work every day and seeing what colorful glass art will come from his imagination that day.
In The Beginning
Ron began working with glass while with Louie Glass, but in the early 80s, realized he wanted to break out on his own and run his own studio. Opening a studio and buying supplies took time and money. When he first opened the doors to Ron Hinkle Glass in Buckhannon his studio had a dirt and gravel floor. Three years after opening he was excited to be able to upgrade the studio and pour concrete floors. There was also a period of time that Hinkle ran his studio while also working for Blenko Glass.
The biggest challenge Hinkle faced after striking out on his own was going from blowing into molds with Louie Glass to blowing freehand at his own studio. When freehanding glass one must learn to read the movement of the glass and predict the shape. He caught on quickly and was soon creating colorful, one-of-a-kind pieces.
What Sets Ron Hinkle Glass Apart from The Rest?
He says his glass pieces reflect who he is and his emotions at the time. “You will see my moods and my sorrow…… my friendships and sorrows. My struggles and my elation. My worst day of my life and my day of triumph. My exhaustion and my determination. Life throws us so many curves in life. Lost friends, lost love, new friends and reunions with old ones…… my glass reflects my ups and downs in life more than my words do,” Hinkle explained.
Today, Hinkle is West Virginia’s premier glass blower. His one- of- a- kind pieces are sought after by collectors across the globe. in the United States, he sells his work to retail customers in 37 states and several international locations.
Hinkle Has Created Art For Special Reasons
Ron Hinkle has had the honor of making ornaments for the West Virginia Governor’s Tree and the Christmas Pageant of Peace trees at the White House and hundreds of glass peaches for distribution to dignitaries and guests of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. Ron’s Work has been showcased at West Virginia’s vast cultural center, Tamarack.
What Gives Him The Most Joy?
Watching his studio grow to become a phenomenal success has been an exciting journey, but Ron Hinkle says to this day his greatest pleasure comes from introducing studio and gallery visitors to the art of glass production by watching him work in the studio.
For more information about Ron Hinkle Glass visit his website here: https://www.ronhinkleglass.com/