Slideshow

Blown Away

Two local glassblowers bring handmade glass to Hennepin Avenue and a home near you.

of
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan
  • Photo by Stephanie Colgan

Joe Limpert and Jackson Schwartz are full of hot air—and we mean that in the best way possible. The two are glassblowers by trade, and the brains and breath behind Hennepin Made, a hand-blown glass company that creates pendant light fixtures, bowls, and vases out of a Minneapolis studio, located—where else?—on Hennepin Avenue.

Schwartz, 27, a River Falls, Wisconsin, native, started blowing glass roughly 10 years ago—that’s hundreds of singed fingers in glassblowing time. He enrolled in a grant program in Australia to learn the art before returning to River Falls as a guest lecturer. It was during that time he met Limpert, his protégé and future business partner. The two began selling their creations at art fairs and worked their way to Minneapolis, where they dreamed of one day opening a studio.

Their dream became a reality when they discovered a kiln for sale a mere two miles away in Northeast on Craigslist. “Glass blowing equipment on Craigslist? That never happens, so we just went ahead and did it,” says Limpert.

That was two years ago, and just the beginning of their good fortune. In mid-2012, opportunity came knocking in the form of a Room & Board design team interested in collaborating on a line of pendant lights. Now the majority of their business is Room & Board sales, with the occasional custom order.

Their products can be seen in 15 major markets, and plans are in place for their next line, which debuts this month and involves a mix of glass and metal. “Glass is extremely hard to innovate with,” says Schwartz. But that won’t stop them from taking some risks—after all, they have been known to play with fire.

hennepinmade.com

Comments