Winner of the juried 2005 and 2008 Niche award for blown glass and finalist for 2010 – awarded by Niche magazine for the best of blown glass in the United States – Randy Strong – artist and designer in hot glass for 45 years, has worked continuously throughout his career producing innovative designs in glass that continually influence the ever changing and growing community of studio glass artists.
Randy is one of a handful of the early pioneering American Glass Artists to help define American Studio Art Glass. Before he was to enter the world of glass however, he began his broad education in the arts by working in and collecting photography. In the late 60s he was working as an events photographer for the Oakland Tribune, and for a brief period, was privileged to work with and learn from photographer Ansel Adams.
His first taste of working in glass came in 1969 at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, Calif. where he began by studying ceramics and was fortunate to have as his mentor, the renowned ceramicist, Peter Voulkos.
Upon graduation in 1970 he received one of the first scholarships to the University of Art in Osaka, Japan as one of the first exchange students between the Universities of Calif., Calif. College of Arts and Crafts, and Osaka, Japan. That grounding in ceramics led him into the largely unknown (at that time ) frontier of studio art glass. In 1970, he was with Dale Chihuly when Dale and the Haubergs selected the location for the now renowned Pilchuck Glass School in Seattle, Washington – and the journey into that frontier was well underway.
In 1970, he started his own glass studio in Berkeley, California where he created glass techniques still used by glass artists today. From 1971-2013, visitors to the R. Strong Glass studio saw hand-blown glass being made up close.
His work, ranging from his distinctive crystal and gold goblets and his ground-breaking work with dichroic glass, to his imposing cast sculptures, and now his seemingly gravity defying, color saturated, multi-piece sculptures, have been acquired by collectors internationally and are a part of collections ranging from The Corning Museum in New York, to the Louvre in Paris. During his career, Randy has received numerous national and international awards, proving his place in the American Studio Glass Movement.
After 45 years of making distinctive work in glass, he is continuing to make a limited number of pieces a year while he compiles his book The Glassmakers, spotlighting and detailing the history of the pioneers in glass responsible for creating what now exists as the American Glass Movement.