THE HISTORY OF SATAVA ART GLASS
Richard Satava designs and creates each one of a kind piece, all from glass that he has formulated and made himself. Through his own exclusive color formulas he is able to create rich arrays of colors by blending various metallic oxides such as silver, cobalt, selenium, cadmium and others into the molten glass. Widely known for his brilliant red, rich blues, metallic blacks, aquatic looking blues and greens and others, his creations are sought after all over the world.
In all his works, Richard achieves remarkable detail and dimension. While a piece is on his blowpipe, his torch melts colored rods of glass to create precise images on the surface or suspended within layers of clear glass. Each piece is blown and shaped without the use of molds, then signed, dated and numbered.
STEP ONE - STUDIO
We have two melting furnaces, one clear crystal furnace and one-color furnace with five crucibles each melting a different colored glass. The glass we use comes in numerous forms such as powder, frit, cullet, pellet, etc., but most colors we use are made in-house. We are always experimenting with new formulas, with the goal of always trying to improve what we make and how we make it.
STEP TWO - INSPIRATION AND DEVELOPMENT
Once Rick has an inspiration, like seeing the jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium or the bamboo that is just outside the studio, he does light sketches, thinking about the colors or the techniques necessary to make the idea work in glass. After that a lot of prototypes, everyday looking at how the day before made the piece come together, then continuing to build on that until the design best encapsulates his original inspiration.
STEP THREE - PRODUCTION
The process can vary but using the example of making a jellyfish sculpture we start with a gather of clear glass on a blowpipe. With a different rod, colored glass is gathered and trailed over the clear start to form the tentacles, followed by rolling and picking up the underskirt of the dome and lastly topping it off with the dome color itself. Continuously shaping and forming, adding clear layers, and reheating the glass until it is done. Then it is removed from the pipe and put in an annealing oven that will slowly cool it over 24 hours.
STEP 4 - SHIPPING
After the annealing process the piece is ground, polished, signed and numbered, then it is logged into a ledger book that we keep permanently. At this point it is brought over to our shipping area where it is examined for quality, thoroughly cleaned and boxed with registration card.
MEET THE TEAM
OWNER AND CREATOR, RICK SATAVA
Richard Satava was introduced to glassblowing in 1969 while at Oceana High School in Pacifica, California. He subsequently studied art and glassblowing at the College of San Mateo and California State University, Chico. As important as the skills that he learned while taking courses was the experience he received at California State University, Chico by being a technician for their glass shop. In 1977 he established his own Northern California glass studio called Satava Art Glass.