APOPKA, Fla. – A Central Florida native is getting ready to teach the art of glassblowing at a new studio in Apopka.
"I can make some really awesome stuff and the cool thing about (it) is when you make awesome stuff, you are really only as good as the last thing you made," Gannon Stokes said.
He says he was "bitten" by fire seven years ago after an invitation from a friend.
"One day my buddy called me and said, 'Hey, I'm going to be blowing glass in my garage, a guy is coming over, you should come by and check it out,'" Stokes said.
Since then, he's been creating designs that include sea life animals, wine glasses and other glass sculptures.
Stokes is currently in the process of opening a new glassblowing studio to teach others.
The Old Kinderhook Gallery in Apopka will offer lessons on how to make pendants, wine glasses, ornaments and tobacco pipes inside an air-conditioned studio. Stokes said it's a unique studio because most glassblowing studios use a furnace while Old Kinderhook will use propane and oxygen torches.
For Strokes, the gratification of teaching goes beyond any piece he's ever made.
"The reward feeling I get of making an intrinsic two-week-long piece where I'm dedicating almost 100 hours into a piece, it's not as rewarding as teaching someone (in) 30 minutes the basic lessons."
To contact Stokes for information about classes, email firstname.lastname@example.org.