Hand-Blown Glassware in a Rainbow of Colors

Artist Joseph Webster sees the world through rose-colored (and green, blue, and purple) glasses.

Joseph Webster in his Biddeford studio

Above: Joseph Webster aims a propane torch at a glass bubble to keep it pliable as he makes a platter.

By Tina Fischer
Photographed by Mark Fleming

The jewel tones of Joseph Webster’s glassware are so vivid they catch the eye from across a room. The hues fade from top to bottom, with a thin, dark scribble whorled throughout. The individually blown tumblers and wineglasses also are a pleasure to hold because Webster makes them to be used, not just admired.

Born and raised in Portland, he was 15 when he discovered glassblowing at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, on Deer Isle. Now 28, he works in a large, open studio in Biddeford’s refurbished Pepperell Mill, where he creates a range of pieces. Functional tableware comes in both clear and colored glass. Ornamental sculptures include bicolored “floats” that resemble arty lobster buoys and deep-black three-dimensional ellipses trimmed in bright chartreuse, orange, red, or yellow. He’s especially excited about intricate Venetian-style stemware, which he creates largely for collectors, but also for his own satisfaction. “Craft and technique are primary in my work. I’m very literal; there’s very little concept,” he says. “For me, it’s all about wanting to know how to do it.”

Joseph Webster Glass is open by appointment or chance, and Webster offers a schedule of glassmaking workshops. Pepperell Mill Campus, Bldg. 10, 10 WestPoint Lane, Ste. 10-201, Biddeford.