Glassblower Ciccotti among artists participating in Artists’ Studio Tour

Robert G. Mull

Glassblower Art Ciccotti is one of the featured artists for Saturday’s Ames Artists’ Studio Tour, a free event that will feature 11 Story County artists in their studios. 

Glassblower Art Ciccotti removes a vase from the furnace at his workshop southwest of Ames Monday. Ciccotti is one of the 11 artists featured in Saturday's Ames Artists’ Studio Tour.

Ciccotti owns Ciccotti Art Glass, 2306 258th St., southwest of Ames in the unincorporated community of Napier. He and his wife Paula have been busy filling orders and attending weekend art festivals in the Midwest, including the recent 50th annual Octagon Art Festival. 

Ciccotti is a mostly self-taught glassblower and has been practicing his craft since learning it in a student-run organization at Iowa State, where he graduated in 1987. 

He uses variety of interesting tools, like a hand-held compressed air machine called a sophietta, shears for cutting the hot glass, a carbon-fiber pad to help shape, giant tweezer-shaped tools called jacks that help shape the hot glass, hollow pipes that attach to the glass for blowing and solid punti sticks that attach to glass for other processes.

Art Ciccotti uses one of his jacks to help form the shape of a vase he created Monday at his studio southwest of Ames.

Ciccotti’s workshop has an electric furnace that runs 24/7 and houses glass rods to be used in his artwork.

Another furnace has a hole where he puts the glass items he’s creating. A 6-inch vase is put into this furnace about 60 times as more glass is added and as Ciccotti molds it along the way, running it along a smooth metal surface and also using the pipe and the jacks.

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