Most children discover art through crayons and watercolors, but for Anthony Barbano, it was the loom in the second grade. From then on his artistic inclinations only increased –– in junior high he was introduced to ceramics, which he continued focusing on through his high school years. A BFA with an emphasis on ceramics followed before he earned a masters degree in welding.

Over the years, Anthony honed and perfected his craft but one medium, in particular, was elusive to him –– glass. Excited by the challenge, he apprenticed with a glass mentor, soaking up as much information and experience as he could.

“I was in a production studio for two years,” Anthony says. “I learned from any sort of tutorials, magazines or videos I could get my hands on.”

What he found was that working with glass allowed him to explore new and interesting ways in which to express his interests. Today he specializes in an ultra-contemporary glass blowing technique.

“A lot of my inspiration comes from nature,” Anthony says. “A lot of my patterns are organic. Some newer pieces of work are inspired by deep space shots of Hubble.”

Glass artists, just like other artists and other mediums, differentiate themselves by using distinctive techniques, subject matters and styles. What sets Anthony apart is his process of melting 24 karat gold and pure silver to create luminescent color combinations and highly detailed effects.

According to Anthony, sharing his passion for glass art and explaining to patrons how he works is among the joys of participating in the Celebration of Fine Art. He also finds inspiration being surrounded by 99 fellow artists and is intrigued by the prospect of collaborations.

“The Celebration of Fine Art is an inspiring place,” he says. “It’s absolutely mind-blowing the imagination and creativity that goes on here.”

See more of his story here: