I grew up visiting the Northern California coast every summer, looking for starfish and anemones in tide pools. These purple and red ochre sea creatures were the inspirations behind some of my first and most successful glass creations. 

hand blown glass sea star or starfish with blue and copper red colors being held up with thumb and finger

Sea stars live in all the world’s oceans, from tropical habitats to the cold seafloor. I have developed a collection of glass starfish that are inspired by these real life creatures and also by my imagination stemming from over 12 years of glassblowing experience.

John Gibbons gathering glass from furnace

When I make a glass starfish, I start with a blob of molten clear glass that I gather from the furnace. I then add multiple layers of color to the bottom, fusing it into the glass with the help of a steel marver table. After a few hot flashes in the glory hole, I sculpt the 5 points of the starfish, pulling each molten glass leg out with long metal tweezers.

At the bench, I rotate the glass blob evenly to keep the sculpture on center. Once I am satisfied with the shape, I bonk it off the punty and put it away into a 900 degree Fahrenheit oven, called an annealer, to cool the glass slowly over the next 24 hours. 

John Gibbons standing in his studio looking up surrounded by hundreds of colorful glass starfish on tables

Here is a picture of me a few years ago in my studio standing in front of hundreds of glass starfish.

Check out all my starfish creations here.