February 22, 2024
How one glass artist is using his success to pave the way for future generations


The first time Cedric Michel tried making glass, he didn’t fall in love with it. He was in a studio watching several artists work for hours to create a six-foot tall vase, when at the end of the day the vase broke. All his hard work was scattered at his feet.

Then, after seeing how delicate glass work could be, he was hooked.

“It was exciting and scary and stressful and dangerous,” Mitchell says of that experience. “That’s what attracted me in the first place. That initial moment of danger and teamwork, and overcoming attachment and being able to bounce back. Everything about it was exciting. I was in.”

It was in Tulsa, Oklahoma, when Mitchell was studying business at a small community college and taking glass blowing as an elective. Now, Michelle runs a thriving glass making business in Los Angeles, drawing inspiration from hip hop, modern design and 80s art to create vibrant, colorful glass bowls, vases and sculptures for retailers and galleries around the world Is. In addition to running a successful business, Mitchell has also taught the art of glassmaking around the world. Today, he has been honored with a variety of honors ranging from Artist in Residence at the Corning Museum of Glass to appearing in campaigns for national brands. It’s a diverse portfolio with Mitchell in the studio seven days a week playing a variety of roles for his business, from glass blower to accountant.

gear patrol studio

gear patrol studio

gear patrol studio

“Mastery is part of my journey. I want to be good at what I do. I want to know how to do everything, that way I can pass that knowledge on to other people.”

gear patrol studio

gear patrol studio

Mitchell says, “There are a lot of little things involved in running a business – ordering ingredients, customer service, keeping track of natural gas prices…” He also says he’s constantly learning and working with entrepreneurs and artists. Trying to balance the roles of both. “I’ve been passionate about glass blowing for 11 years, and I still watch YouTube videos of other people blowing glass, just to see how they’re doing it. Mastery is part of my journey. I want to be good at what I do. I want to know how to do everything, that way I can pass that knowledge on to other people.

gear patrol studio

gear patrol studio

Mitchell credits the glass blowing community in Los Angeles for much of his success, calling it a “little family” that is invested in each other’s goals, and he is determined to pay it forward with the next generation of makers. Is. Their long-term vision includes owning a studio that can serve as a teaching space, with internship programs for kids to learn skills like welding and glass blowing, as well as classes built around different aspects of the business. are involved who can help pave the way for them. Their own success.

“It’s always been bigger than me,” says Mitchell. “I think my main job when I’m here is to help other people. This is the dream. Be successful, take care of my family, but also help other people grow – and share these resources with them.

gear patrol studio

gear patrol studio

gear patrol studio

And the most important thing he wants to explain to young artists and entrepreneurs is actually the first lesson he learned about his art when he saw those artists handling themselves when their huge vase was falling at their feet.

“Everyone involved had a brief moment of disappointment, and then they came back,” says Mitchell, adding that overcoming adversity is an important talent for both artists and entrepreneurs. “You cannot spend too much time sitting in the mess. You need to clean your room and do something.”

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Metal Work, created in partnership with GMC, is a series about professionals and their commitment to the craft. Check out part two, featuring Ryan Anderson, founder of RAD Furniture.

Source: www.gearpatrol.com

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