Tell us about you! Where are you from, what was life like growing up?
I grew up in San Diego but Mark grew up in Puyallup. Mark grew up around this area which is infused with blown glass which always interested him.
What inspired you to open Tacoma Glassblowing Studio?
Mark began blowing glass in 1997 at a studio in Seattle. After blowing glass for many years in various shops, Mark moved to California where he continued to blow glass in a backyard hotshop. At this time Jeannine began running our little glassblowing business. Collectively we decide that we wanted to open a public glassblowing studio where others could learn about the art medium that we both had come to love.
What can a student expect at one of your classes and workshops?
During the glassblowing experience (our most popular), a student will be guided by a skilled glassblower in the creation of a blown glass item. For one person this is a one hour class. Thirty minutes to pick out your shape, pattern and color, then thirty minutes to create your item. Your item will need to be cooled down before picking up. For those who want to learn to blow glass we offer 4 week classes.
Where has some of your work been featured?
Mark has sold his art work all over the country in various galleries however currently we are exclusively selling his work from our gallery only.
What makes Tacoma Glassblowing different from other similar studios?
We were the first studio in this area to offer the glassblowing experience. What makes us different is our customer service and care for all our guests.
What charities do you work with?
Hilltop Artists, Sunny Skys Animal Rescue, Step by Step in Puyallup as well as 100’s of donations to various charities via gift certificates for the glassblowing experience every year.
Walk us through conception of starting your business until today. How did that work?
We worked our way up to the business we have today. Our team effort and creation of Sigafoos Art glass started in 1999. Mark began making glass art and we would sell at over 52 art shows a year. Then after 5 years we took out an SBA loan to open TGS. The past 10 years has been a series of valuable learning lessons, some more expensive then others. We have had to re-write our business plan over and over with the changes in the economy.
Where do you see Tacoma Glassblowing Studio in the future?
To be honest, we are grateful for each and every day we are open. I hope the we are blessed enough to stay open and thriving for another 10 years and beyond. We love to have the opportunity to share our passion with people everyday.