Tell us a bit about yourself (name, location, affiliations, personal stuff).
My name is Matthew David Stewart and I blow glass. I have lived in Portland, Oregon for a little over ten years. I work in a studio called Firehouse Glass which is a public access glass studio offering classes and studio rental in Vancouver, Washington. Since I began blowing glass nine years ago, I have wanted to be able to make a wide variety of objects and have sought out instruction from as many glass masters as I could. I have learned a little from each of them and I am in debt to them each for sharing what they know with me. I love being a part of the living history of the rich tradition of glass making. I enjoy sharing what knowledge I have with others.
What is the first thing you can remember making by hand? How and why did you make it?
The first thing I remember making by hand was a little house that I carved out of a bar of soap with my pocket knife, and then painted with water colors. My recollection of water color on soap is that of struggle. I was probably five or six years old. I made it to break away from the two dimensional water color work I had been doing. I think that from that point on, I have pretty much been a 3D person.
What inspires you? Where do your ideas come from?
The world inspires me. The natural world, the glass world, the human form, the seasons, and family.
What are your favorite materials?
My favorite material is hot glass- no doubt about it.
What is your favorite color?
Right now my favorite single color is called “florence” and it is made by a german glass color manufacturer. I am usually more drawn to color combinations. I enjoy how colors interact more than how they look standing alone.
What are your most and least two favorite films?
I walked out of “jurasic park” and I didn’t like watching “born into brothels”. The former because it was a mindless plot and the characters were too flat and predictable. The latter because it showed a side of humanity that is hard to look at. I usually like watching films, most anything.
What are you reading right now?
I am currently reading a book called “1491” and it is a book about pre-colombian america and what the contemporary anthropologists believe life was like here. It is very interesting. I usually prefer to read nonfiction.
Any tips on selling handmade stuff?
The only tips I have on selling hand made stuff is to make what you like, and what you like to make. If you want to persue something that makes you unhappy you can go get a “real job”. Finding happiness through one’s work seems important to me.
Apart from creating things, what do you do?
Apart from making glass, I love to spend time with my family. I have a beautiful partner named Caroline and we share an utterly perfect 14 month old daughter named Eva. Every chance I get I spend with them and I enjoy watch Eva grow and develop. M family is the best thing I have ever had anything to do with.
How can Etsy be improved? Any feature requests?
The only changes I would make deal with the tags. When I fill in the tag portion of a new item listing, “glass” doesn’t seem connected to the “sculpture” or “art” or “vase” tags. I think that there are others, but I cannot remember them. I can work around this issue. Otherwise I am very happy with my experience with Etsy. Thank you for the chance to be a featured seller.