summer issue featuring kevin costner
Spring featuring Mary osborne
spring featuring rosalee measures
winter featuring doug friedlander
fall07 featuring Shu Ming
Spring 07 featuring Sara Kalvin
Vc Life and Style

When Breath Takes Shape
Story by Amy Jones
Photos by Dina Pielaet

Though it’s described as a rigid uncrystallized liquid, it does not conform to any category of solid, liquid or gas. History reports its discovery as an accident, stumbled upon when Phoenician sailors were attempting to cook dinner on a beach in 77 A.D. and happened to intermingle coarse sand, soda ash and heat. The light beaming through glass in churches was deemed to be a physical manifestation of God. Glass has been used as currency and treasured as precious. When it was first blown out to create vessels in Babylonia around 250 B.C., it created an ever growing industry. Glass was the first industrial endeavor undertaken in the new American colonies. For centuries it has enchanted individuals with its mysterious properties and shored up the belief in alchemy. For these reasons and more, it consumes the imaginations of the artisans that overcome the challenges of manipulating it today as it did in ancient times.

At the gala opening of the first Ventura Studio Artists Tour organized by the Focus on the Masters program, artist Teal Rowe arrived in a striking gown made of hand-blown glass joined with brilliant purple fabric. Her appearance literally stunned people where they stood with the complete incongruousness of seemingly breakable glass displayed on a seemingly vulnerable human form. Teal’s nonchalance suggested that the unorthodox apparel could be an everyday occurrence, a way of life. In her Rowe v. Regular world built moment by moment, glass dresses, glass violins and glass canvases are a way of life, along with road races across Mexico in vintage cars. Her adventures in the La Carrera Pan Americana race with husband Bill Erickson will have to be another story.

Teal traveled a long road to discover glass art, which started with her family’s occupations balanced between ranching and the arts – life and its mirror. Ranching literally grounded Teal in the simple truths of life’s cycle and organic beauty. It’s not surprising that her first exposure to art was at her grandmother’s potter’s wheel. Teal said that her grandmother was a “strong backbone of my art. She taught me center.” Teal has always pursued art as a way of life, studying classical fine art as well as a variety of crafts. She traveled to wherever the masters were to learn, and on this journey came across a “guy with a hot shop in the back of his bus,” who introduced her to glass. She was hooked immediately and now tends her own furnace as one would an infant.

If you would like to continue reading our Featured Artist Story for Winter 2004 please call: 805.641.9303 or click here for details on how to order back issues.


Ventura County Marketing Teal Rowe's Work
Artist Teal Rowe Blown Glass Green glass
Blown Glass Tools Glass Artist Teal Rowe
Blown Glass Teal Rowe Working Glass Chain
  Teal Rowe Inspecting her work Blown Glass

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