Out of the fire
Anything but ordinary glassware
More Fire Glass Studio
36 Field St., Rochester
Over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit should not sustain life nor metamorphosis, and yet, this is precisely what happens when the artisans of More Fire Glass Studio go to work. Sand and silica, engulfed with fire and hours of the glassblowers’ immersion, transform even the most obliterated materials into something beautiful. It is a delicate balance, a tightrope walk of gravity, force, and heat that founder Elizabeth Lyons must maneuver ever so gracefully.
Lyons was drawn to the flame at a young age. “My grandparents had a chandelier and mirror shop in New York City,” Lyons recounts. “One of my most vivid and early memories is of going there.” A bureau filled with illumining crystals meant for chandeliers was kept inside the shop—a treasure trove for the young Lyons. “I remember opening all the drawers, thinking it was kind of magical.”
More Fire’s gallery itself is an explosion of shape, light, and color. Opalescent orb-like vessels cover the studio’s bright white display tables, strikingly counterbalanced by textured, translucent blooms that hang from an organic sculpture overhead.
A daughter of artists herself, Lyons moved to New York City and worked side jobs to support her career in sculpture and glassblowing before ultimately opening More Fire Glass Studio—composed of fellow artists Jennifer Schinzing and Michael Krupiarz—in Rochester, in 1998.
“I’m very interested in how glass works with other materials—not just on its own,” Lyons muses.
Observing the gallery, it’s clear that Lyons is inspired by the region’s natural elements. Perched on the walls of the studio are carefully crafted concrete birds, stones gathered from beaches across the state peeking through the exterior of their charcoal colored wings. Above the front desk hangs abstract glass shovels uniquely bonded by steel fasteners to wooden branches Lyons herself found in the woods. Shades of gray-and-brown-speckled, oblong containers mimic stones Lyons collected on a trip from the shores of Long Island—the design appropriately named Montauk Rock Vase.
“I just think of it as one more possibility,” Lyons explains. “Whether it’s cement or metal, it’s sort of finding the right material to meet the needs of the idea.”
Perhaps the key to the studio’s longstanding success is its versatility. In fact, More Fire Glass Studio is as much an international business as it is a local one. Represented by luxury design company Holly Hunt, the products Lyons and the team at More Fire Glass Studio design have been featured on the cover of Architectural Digest and in publications such as Vogue, Town & Country, and The New York Times.
In addition, the studio works privately on commissions for clients all over the world. Recently, they completed a hanging, bronze-powder-coated sculpture, featuring 168 glass-blown magnolias, which measures more than eight feet in diameter for a hotel in Hong Kong. While Lyons refuses to name names, she did have a client who sent out a private jet to pick up one of their glassworks … only for the design to be too large to fit through the door of the plane.
For clients looking for a more accessible price point, More Fire Glass Studio’s gallery is located in the Upper Monroe neighborhood of Rochester and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Handmade glassworks such as vases, candleholders, and cups fill the shelves, each one crafted with the team’s eye for design.
“I just really love making things,” Lyon chimes. “I love making things you use, but I also really love making things with layers of meaning.”