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Preston Hanna and His Spirit Animals: A Profile of Our March Webinar Artist

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Our March webinar host, Preston Hanna, has the mind of an engineer, the know-how of a machinist and the soul of a... woodland creature? Specifically a beaver.

Makes sense. A beaver as a spirit animal is seen as building up lives around dreams. Plus, they look pretty sweet as robots being ridden by aliens.

Preston has been blowing glass for about eight years, first learning from Bryan Decker. “I saw his home studio set up in his garage and suddenly glass was something I knew I could do everyday,” Preston said.

To get to a point at which art is both life and livelihood, Preston draws on a lifetime of influences. Here, we’ll let him give you the run-down:

“…in chronological order? I’d say my mother, graffiti, Bill Palmer, traveling to Europe, Japanese anime, late night snacking, my brother, working a construction job, traveling to Japan, Bryan Decker, my son, Steve Hops, Andy Warhol, Picasso, Banjo and Coyle.” (whew!)

The webinar in March has two parts. In the first, Preston demonstrates how to build an On/Off switch for the Bunsen burner. The second part provides tips and techniques for using the Bunsen burner at the work bench instead of a kiln.

Preston is hard-pressed to pick a favorite piece, so he shared three with us. The robot beaver, pictured above, was created with Purdy Glass. The second, Christopher Moon Walken, is a beaver walking on moons and was created with Sagan Glass. The last one, a collaboration with Shackman Glass, is a beaver becoming a tree.

Although the live webinar already happened, you can still watch the webinar recording and spend some quality time with Preston, Bunsen and maybe a few forest friends.

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