Matt Salley was attracted to glass art at a young age and now it is his passion. The ability to manipulate a molten mass of glass into objects of art engages Salley to the medium. His mission is to create a community environment that is designed to allow accomplished and beginning artists to learn and create together. Matt was born in Michigan but on his way to Tennessee he lived in Toledo, Ohio, the “Glass City”, for a few years.
In 1992 Salley began glassblowing with Connie Christopher with the idea of a temporary job. However, the medium never left him as he continued along the path of life. Salley has attended Penland School for Craft under Flo Perkins and later Rob Levin. Soon after that he apprenticed with glass artist Richard Jolley. Then, in 1998, he began Red Door Studios, an independent studio in the 4th and Gill Neighborhood of Knoxville. The studio morphed into something larger and in 2008 Matt Salley co-founded Marble City Glassworks in South Knoxville.
The thrill of the extreme heat and the delight of color to the eye attracts Chris Szaton to the infinite possibilities of glass art. His mission is to create complete environments formed from glass; challenging perceptions of everyday reality.
Szaton was born in February 1974, in Harvey, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. He attended the University of Illinois from 1992-1997, were he received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree with a specialization in glass. He moved to Tennessee in 1997 to apprentice with glass artist Richard Jolly which lasted for 9 years.
Szaton has also worked with renowned visual artists such as Bill Carlson, Jose’ Chardiet, Sam Stark, and others. He began working with metal in 2006 and enjoys incorporating the media into his glasswork. Szaton has taught at the Penland School for Crafts in North Carolina, University of Miami, Florida, Center College, Kentucky, Atlanta, Georgia as well as Knoxville, TN. His exhibits span the United States from Knoxville, Asheville and Atlanta to Deer Creek, Wisconsin. His work is also enjoyed in many private collections.
Today he practices the art of glassblowing as a founding member of Marble City Glassworks, in Knoxville TN.