Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Things Heat Up in JU Class Student Artists Make Glass Take Shape

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Things Heat Up in JU Class Student Artists Make Glass Take Shape

Article excerpt

The heat inside the furnace is 2,200 degrees.

Matt Urban, a Jacksonville University senior, carefully pumps a

metal pole into the furnace at the university's glass studio off

University Boulevard North.

When he pulls it out, about two inches of the tip is flaming

red glass.

He connects his end of the pole onto a pole that Nadine Saylor,

a JU grad student, blows through, then twists from side to side,

shaping the glass.

While they work, 69-year-old Ted Hergesell moves around and

between the glass artist duo, pointing and inspecting.

Hergesell doesn't get too close, though. The heat, pumping from

a hole in the furnace's center, is dangerous to his health. He's

had two massive lung operations that make breathing difficult.

Just when the piece that Saylor and Urban have been working on

intensely for about 30 minutes begins to take the shape of a

wine glass, it breaks.

As the glass falls to the floor, Saylor, Urban and Hergesell

break into laughter.

"You have to know how to laugh it off," Hergesell said. "When

you're doing work like this, you're lucky if you can get two out

of five pieces."

Hergesell should know. For the last six years, he has been a

volunteer with the glass art and glass-blowing program at JU,

and he's seen a lot of glass broken.

"I'm retired, and I love glass," he said. "I'm no youngster,

but I'll do this until I can't do it anymore."

Hergesell, a glass artist himself, helps out with the JU

program by providing materials, fixing machines, showing classes

different glass-making techniques and working one-on-one with

glass artists who share his love of glass. He's at the

university at least three to four times every week.

"You can't put a price on what he gives us," said Caroline

Madden, JU assistant professor of art. "People just love Ted

because he loves glass. You have to be passionate about it to

give up your days and weekends."

The Arlington resident has a private studio at his home and has

done glass work, including stained glass windows, for churches

in Gainesville and around the city, such as Grace Lutheran

Church in Arlington, St. …

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