Lee Miltier is widely known in the Bay Area glass world for his full-moon parties where Lee and friends blow huge glass pieces while enjoying pizza baked in his studio’s glass oven.
Originally from Hawaii, Lee attendee Punahou High School, which had a glass blowing studio. “I got bitten by the glass-blowing bug, and never looked back,” says Lee.
He moved to the Bay Area, worked at a glass studio for 6 years, then started his own studio in Berkeley. He specializes in glass blowing and loves making big pieces with a team of people. He often works with architects and designers.
His energy bottles are stately works of art; they seem to undulate, and even dance. He also loves making hand-blown glasses. Says Lee, “Honestly, I don’t get drinking out of factory stuff. When people find my glasses, they just love holding them. You think, it’s so dumb — how different could it be? But the difference is huge. It’s about being human, in so many ways. And that’s good. And these glasses are stronger, too. Factory glass… crumples and shatters. Dumb boring techniques lead to dumb boring glasses.”
Lee is anything but boring. He’s probably the one in the gallery without shoes, and with a retinue of friends following him.
As Lee and his team are working, they always have music blasting at his studio. “We listen to everything: rock, hip hop, jazz, whatever. You know… I do love blowing glass. I just can’t live without dancing and blowing glass.”