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A full-blown profession

Meet the man behind Rockland Glassworks

  • MONTAGUE, MA (February 3, 2013) - Noah Rockland demonstrates the process of flameworked glass at the grand opening of Rockland Glassworks in Montague. Photo by Beth Reynolds

    MONTAGUE, MA (February 3, 2013) - Noah Rockland demonstrates the process of flameworked glass at the grand opening of Rockland Glassworks in Montague. Photo by Beth Reynolds

  • MONTAGUE, MA (February 3, 2013) - Noah Rockland demonstrates the process of flameworked glass at the grand opening of Rockland Glassworks in Montague. Photo by Beth Reynolds

    MONTAGUE, MA (February 3, 2013) - Noah Rockland demonstrates the process of flameworked glass at the grand opening of Rockland Glassworks in Montague. Photo by Beth Reynolds

  • MONTAGUE, MA (February 3, 2013) - Noah Rockland demonstrated the process of flameworked glass at the grand opening of Rockland Glassworks in Montague. These pieces are about 3 inches tall. Photo by Beth Reynolds

    MONTAGUE, MA (February 3, 2013) - Noah Rockland demonstrated the process of flameworked glass at the grand opening of Rockland Glassworks in Montague. These pieces are about 3 inches tall. Photo by Beth Reynolds

  • Recorder/Geoff Bluh<br/>Sofia Rotkiewicz, 4, of Greenfield, draws a picture inside a foam frame at a a table of art and craft projects for indoor Winter Carnival activities for children at the Youth Center on Saturday. <br/>

    Recorder/Geoff Bluh
    Sofia Rotkiewicz, 4, of Greenfield, draws a picture inside a foam frame at a a table of art and craft projects for indoor Winter Carnival activities for children at the Youth Center on Saturday.

  • Recorder/David Rainville<br/>The Sleigh Bell Run 4-mile road race was a strong start to Saturday's events of the 91st annual Greenfield Winter Carnival. This year, 74 runners from Franklin County, Vermont, Connecticut, and New Hampshire competed.

    Recorder/David Rainville
    The Sleigh Bell Run 4-mile road race was a strong start to Saturday's events of the 91st annual Greenfield Winter Carnival. This year, 74 runners from Franklin County, Vermont, Connecticut, and New Hampshire competed.

  • MONTAGUE, MA (February 3, 2013) - Noah Rockland demonstrates the process of flameworked glass at the grand opening of Rockland Glassworks in Montague. Photo by Beth Reynolds
  • MONTAGUE, MA (February 3, 2013) - Noah Rockland demonstrates the process of flameworked glass at the grand opening of Rockland Glassworks in Montague. Photo by Beth Reynolds
  • MONTAGUE, MA (February 3, 2013) - Noah Rockland demonstrated the process of flameworked glass at the grand opening of Rockland Glassworks in Montague. These pieces are about 3 inches tall. Photo by Beth Reynolds
  • Recorder/Geoff Bluh<br/>Sofia Rotkiewicz, 4, of Greenfield, draws a picture inside a foam frame at a a table of art and craft projects for indoor Winter Carnival activities for children at the Youth Center on Saturday. <br/>
  • Recorder/David Rainville<br/>The Sleigh Bell Run 4-mile road race was a strong start to Saturday's events of the 91st annual Greenfield Winter Carnival. This year, 74 runners from Franklin County, Vermont, Connecticut, and New Hampshire competed.

MONTAGUE CENTER — At 16, few people have the luxury of knowing what they will do with their lives, and of those who do, even less are likely to be right.

At 22, Noah Rockland has been self-employed as a glass artist for 21∕2 years, having found glass-blowing at the age of 16 and quickly discovered a vocation.

“It started off as just a hobby, but very shortly after that I knew I would be doing this forever; that was definitely a pretty quick decision,” Rockland said.

Having caught the bug with classes from a local glassblower, Rockland continued to perfect his art alone and with travels around the country to study with other artists.

Rockland, formerly of Leverett and a recent transplant to Montague Center, celebrated the grand opening of his second studio Sunday.

Geode-inspired pendants, earrings, orbs filled with whirlpools of color, perfume bottles, miniature vases and a profusion of turtles, lizards and hummingbirds fill the tables, cases and trays in the small studio space on North Leverett Road, now Rockland Glassworks.

Rockland practices flameworking or lampworking, distinct from the classic image of glassblowing in that he works over a propane and oxygen torch rather than a stone furnace.

The flame allows for much greater detail, Rockland says, on display in the miniatures filling the studio’s display tables.

His favorite work is the full-size wine glasses and large marbles, filled with color and often incorporating silver and gold fumed onto inner layers of the glass by the heat of the flame.

Rockland moved his studio from the Leverett Crafts and Arts Center this winter in part for the larger space, where he intends to begin focusing a larger portion of his time on teaching small classes.

Rockland sells his work to studios, online and at art shows, 15 to 20 a year he estimates, mostly local with some trips to Boston and Vermont.

Self-employed, Rockland has nevertheless opted for a conventional schedule, working 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and his studio at 17 North Leverett Road is also open for walk-ins during that time.

Displaying his work for public critique can be stressful at times, Rockland said, but he is hard enough on himself.

“I’m often not happy with things, I just want it to be better and better,” he said. “[It’s] also a good thing because it makes me really inspired to be the best artist I can be.”

Rockland’s work and class information can be viewed online at his website, www.rocklandglassworks.com.

You can reach Chris Curtis at:
ccurtis@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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