Joel’s lifelong passion for glassblowing began in his college days at the Rochester Institute of Technology. It was the early 1970’s and the school had just opened its School of American Craftsmen’s glassblowing program. Following these initial introductions, Joel went on to teach himself the craft and by the late 1970's had built his own hot shop. It was at this time that he and his wife, Candace Luke-Bless established what would become Glasslight. Since then, Joel has refined and honed his work constantly innovating techniques and designing new pieces. His products have ranged from small table lamps to Judaica to his newest endeavor, large-scale chandeliers. Over the years, Joel has also discovered his love of teaching and now engages the community by offering glassblowing classes. Always excited to meet new people and answer questions about his work, Joel is a true artisan and spokesman for the craft.


Candace began her career as an artist after graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology with a Fine Arts degree. While she had majored in printmaking, she became engaged in the art of Glassblowing through her husband, Joel Bless. Candace finds the colors achievable in the medium of glass truly inspirational. She went on to design the form and color composition of many of the pieces Glasslight produces. Candace also developed and pioneered Glasslight’s line of fused glass work which range from custom tiles and bowls to large table tops. In addition to her artistic contributions, she has also been chiefly responsible for running the company’s back office and operations. With her positivity and kind disposition, Candace keeps Glasslight running smoothly.


Paul moulding a piece at his work bench in the hot shop.


Paul Madsen began working on professional finishing and assembly at Glasslight in 1989. Intrigued by the glassblowing process, he was excited to transition full-time to working in the hot shop with Joel. He also works with Joel heating and bending the metal rods that become the bases for Glasslight’s spiral table lamps, floor lamps, and chandeliers. Paul is masterful at problem solving, and his skills contribute in many ways to the success of Glasslight's projects.


Karl adjusting a chandelier.


Karl came to Glasslight from a very diverse background ranging from antiques and hand-hewn building restoration to dairy farming and a burgeoning zeal for glassblowing. He began by taking lessons with Joel and his passion led him to join the Glasslight team in 2009. Karl contributes, particularly on the business side, with his special brand of creativity, problem solving wisdom, and hearty optimism.


Jillian assembling a piece.


Jillian has been a long-time staple of Glasslight working behind the scenes to assemble, wire, and package the myriad of pieces produced in the shop. Always ready with a cheerful smile, Jillian ensures that all work makes it to its final destination in one piece.


Kevin gathering in the hot shop.


Kevin had his introduction to glassblowing when he took a class with Joel over ten years ago. He was immediately hooked and pursued a glassblowing apprenticeship program in Texas. Returning to Pennsylvania, Kevin has become the newest member of the team. However, he is certainly not new to the work, and with over 10 years of experience, he has developed into a highly skilled and versatile glassblower. He is a talented and valuable asset to the Glasslight team.


Jillian and Arlo in the showroom.


As many visitors of Glasslight have found, there is almost always a big, black dog hanging around the shop. The latest shop-canine is Arlo, a black russian terrier. But don’t let his size or bark fool you, he has a sweet disposition under all that fur!