2024 International Flameworking Conference

MARCH 15th - 17th, 2024

About the International Flameworking Conference

Each spring, Salem Community College hosts the International Flameworking Conference (IFC), a three-day event that promotes excellence in flameworking through artist demonstrations and scholarly presentations. The weekend attracts glass artists and enthusiasts from around the nation and world. Salem Community College and the SCC Foundation are indebted to distinguished members of the glass art community who have graciously shared their talents at the IFC.

The 2024 International Flameworking Conference at Salem Community College (SCC) will be the 22nd installment of this nationally and internationally attended event that celebrates excellence in the glass-working process known as flameworking. In 2024, the conference will continue its core mission of education, and in the promotion of the techniques and its practitioners. The weekend includes a film screening, presentations, demonstrations, exhibits, and vendor displays.

International Flameworking Conference
Mathieu Grodet
2024 Featured Artist

Mathieu Grodet

Mathieu Grodet is a glassblower, flameworker, and illustrator born in Orleans, France. He currently lives and works out of his studio in Killaloe, Canada creating pieces that bring the past of glass together with themes of the present using traditional techniques with a modern twist. He marries and reconstructs form, function, and design with an aim to create discussion. Mathieu also lectures and teaches glassblowing, flameworking, and enameling techniques. His recent workshops and demonstrations have included cities in China, Japan, Turkey, Ireland, Canada, and the United States. His work is in private collections across Europe and North America and can be seen at the Corning Museum of Glass and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Artist Statement:

Through my work, I am attempting to be a witness of our times, to testify and to reflect the absurdity of the world around us. With my glass practice, I create small tales, sceneries and anecdotes to speak to our common thread and history with a view to social, political and cultural issues.

Many aspects of society celebrate the grand, the biggest and the fastest, but with murrine, it is a slow and intricate process that creates diminutive pieces. Small does not mean of lesser importance or relevance - petite objects can bring a sense of intimacy - not just by the virtue of size, but our relation and response to them. The small objects are remarkable because not only can we touch them or secret them away but also carry them with us - physically and emotionally. And for these times, keep these memories always close.

I use a variety of techniques and materials that combine the ancient glass practice of murrine with that of current methods. Combining modern graphic design imagery with historic glass techniques. I endeavor to explore the conversation between the old and the new hoping to fix the present and make it last forever.


Demonstrating Artists

Each year, Salem Community College invites artist from all around the world to demonstrate their techniques. Guests will have a chance to get an in-depth look at how each artist creates their glass art. Check out this years line up.

    Shayla Windstar Behrman

    In the depths of our souls lie our passions, our deepest insecurities, and the foundations of what truly makes us who we are. For artists we lay our souls out for all to see, for others to cast judgment upon and to hopefully bring just a glimpse of the feeling, and moment that we lived in creating the piece.

    Growing up I was surrounded with strong men and women who worked with their hands, creating art, creating music, and creating a life through the crafts that fed our family and the families of those around us. You might have guessed it; we were hippies. As a young child, I was tossed into the winds of the rainbow. My family traveled the country chasing springtime, freedom and a connection with nature and the unseen that is now forgotten in modern society.

    Through the influences around me, I developed a passion for the arts and working with my hands. I dove head first into any craft around me, and there were many! First it was drawing or sketching, from there macramé, carving, beadwork, needlework, pottery... and the list goes on. I never received a more formal training other than learning from the elders and artisans around me and when I found glass, it was in the same fashion. Glass was introduced to my life through family! My mother, now a retired hippy and successful business woman, who owned several smoke shops and continued to approach life in an unconventional but free manner, approached me about making production glass for her customers after the birth of my daughter. For me it was love at first sight. The way the glass moved and changed when introduced to fire was a light that lit my soul with a passion I had never experienced. After some basic instruction, I was set free to learn and develop this new craft. Within the first few months, I got to work with several artisans who would stop through our local studio. One of these artists, Brock Sibley, spent a little extra time and had a lasting impact on the direction my path would take. Brock first introduced stringer drawing to me and it absolutely blew my mind. I had been drawing, since I could hold a crayon, and when I found out I could do so on glass, the doors opened to limitless possibilities. 10 years later, this is my passion, my profession and my career that feeds my life and those I protect and nurture.

    Shayla Windstar Behrman

    Ivan Bestari Minar Pradipta

    Ivan’s work has been included in numerous group shows in Indonesia, and included in exhibitions in Turkey, Russia, Singapore, and in international virtual exhibitions. In 2021, he presented a solo exhibition, “Belantara Kaca”, at the Sangkring Art Space in Yogyakarta City; and in 2022 he presented another solo exhibition at the Widya Mataran University.

    Ivan has been working with scrap glass at the torch since 2011 using a torch he was given by the scientific glassblower who built it. Ivan states of his glass practice, “Inspired by nature and the imaginative realm I created an alternative reality where my thoughts and soul can freely wander, through the metamorphic process from insignificant scrap glass into art.”


    Ivan Bestari Minar Pradipta

    Lilla Tabasso

    Lilla Tabasso (Milano, 1973), biologist, was born in Milan where she still lives and works. Following her studies at the Faculty of Biology at the University in Milan, she began working with Murano glass using the ancient techniques of blowing and modelling at the flame.

    Artist Statement:

    I come from a family of three generations of antique dealers, and grew up surrounded by art, unconsciously absorbing its influence straight from infancy. My eyes quickly became accustomed to “beauty”, which is for me is really a feeling, a sentiment. When encountering something beautiful I feel great melancholy, a trembling of the soul.

    Nature, as it presents itself to our eyes is, in my opinion, the highest representation of perfection and imperfection, combining in perfect harmony, just as in the way life and death coexist, or in the inexorable progress of the seasons, one slowly transforming into the next.

    Often present in my work is the theme of “Vanitas” which comes from the desire to exalt the concept of Life. How realistic is the depiction of perfect life?

    Life for me is an eternal contradiction and a ceaseless search for an acceptance of the imperfect. This is not without an emotion of the soul, which regrets what "was", and what must bend to the unstoppable passage of time, finding a form of poignant beauty in this inevitability.

    I think that each of us is driven to test our own limits and, once found, we must struggle to try to overcome them. I think that the love I immediately felt for glass also comes from this - from a profound desire to go beyond myself and beyond the constraints imposed by both the fragility of the material, and by its transparency, softness, color and refinement.


    Lilla Tabasso

    Paul Stankard

    Internationally acclaimed artist and pioneer in the studio glass movement, Paul J. Stankard is considered a living master who translates nature in glass. His work is represented in over 75 museums around the world. Stankard is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary doctorate degrees including The James Renwick Alliance Masters of the Medium award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Glass Art Society. He is an artist-in-residence and honorary professor at Salem Community College.

    Stankard authored four books; an autobiography in 2007, No Green Berries or Leaves, an educational resource in 2014, Spark the Creative Flame, a second educational resource in 2016, Studio Craft as Career: A Guide to Achieving Excellence in Art-making, and most recently, Inspiration from the Art of Paul J. Stankard: A Window into My Studio and Soul.


    Paul Stankard

    Rocko Belloso

    Rocko Belloso is an American glass artist best known for his modern approach to centuries-old techniques. He specializes in murine, cut and flip, sculpture, and stringer drawing, and is an innovator in his combination of these elements, as well as his custom color mixing methods. Rocko has also updated the craft by way of subject matter, infusing his influences from comic books, cult movies, metal music, and lowbrow art into his imagery—which ranges from stylized depictions to hyper-realistic portraits. His strong foundation in drawing was cultivated since childhood when he aspired to be a cartoonist and was sent to extracurricular art classes. As a young teen, Rocko anticipated attending art school to pursue his passion, but his plans changed in 2003 when he saw the 2D rendering possibilities with murine, and consequentially accepted a glassblowing apprenticeship and employment at Third Eye Design in California. He spent the following 7 years there as a production artist, assigned to make mostly dry pipes. In his free time, however, he took classes from artists including Scott Deppe, Jason Taj, Marcel Braun, and Jason Lee, whom he respectively credits with learning murine, chip stacking, line-work, and reticello. In 2010, Rocko moved to doing hourly work for an independent glass distributor, for which he was allotted more freedom to explore these specialized techniques. After his murine work began to circulate the market, garnering him notoriety, Rocko decided to make the leap to working for himself in 2014.

    Since becoming an independent artist, Rocko has received accolades for his unique work, which has been displayed at galleries and created at live demos across the country. His art has been included in various glass competitions, for which he has received medals and first-place awards, and he has also served as a judge at the World Series of Glass and Champs Glass Games. As a result of his extensive knowledge and groundbreaking applications, he’s been invited to teach workshops at institutions including Corning Museum, Carlisle School of Glass Art, and numerous glass studios coast-to-coast. Rocko currently lives in Philadelphia, where he is a resident artist at Hancock Studios.


    Rocko Belloso

    Joy Munshower

    Joy graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Design with an emphasis in Ceramic Studio Practices. After college, she lived in Germany for a few years, explored most of central Europe, and then returned to graduate studies at California State University Fresno for Sculpture & Bronze Casting. She has since spent the last 20 years as a professional sculptor specializing in cast bronze, ceramic sculpture and now flame-worked glass.

    Joy spent most of her twenties as a professional sculptor selling her bronze wildlife sculptures nationwide through The Nature Company, Natural Wonders and Nature Crafts.

    For more than 20 years, Joy also worked in the construction and interior design industry specializing in tile and stone.

    In 2011, Joy took her first flameworking class and was hooked! Since that first class, Joy has devoted all of her time and energy to her glass creations and teaching her techniques around the world. Joy’s class and show schedule are available on her website, www.JoyMunshower.com, and her work can be purchased online at, www.JoyMunshowerGlass.com.


    Joy Munshower

    Kyle Meyer

    Kyle Meyer is a scientific and artistic glassblower originally from Wisconsin. He started his career in Scientific Glassblowing in 2001 after attending Salem Community College under the instruction of Daryl Smith. Kyle then went on to work for Sigma Aldrich for 13 years. After, he worked at the University of Georgia as the Glass Shop Manager for four years. Meyer joined Procter and Gamble in Ohio in 2020, where he is continuing his career as a Glassblowing Research Specialist.

    Throughout his professional career, Kyle has dedicated his free time to doing collaboration work with fellow flameworking artists. Additionally, he creates artistic glass that he commissions to galleries throughout the US.

    Artist Statement:

    Scientific trained glassblower with natural creative energy that motivates and inspires me. I explore possibilities through blending scientific and artistic glass with a splash of Tetris love. This culminates into a mash up of wild style that is unique and aesthetically pleasing.


    Kyle Meyer

    Elliott Todd

    Elliott Todd is a flameworker based in western North Carolina. He utilizes the process unique to flameworking to create work that breaks the mold of glassblowing. He has been a demonstrating artist the Grassroots Charity Flame Off, Hearth Glass, Visiting artist at Penland School of Craft. Elliott is a consultant and teacher for Yadawi, a Kuwait based craft school focusing on glass. Through Yadawi, Elliott was part of building and teaching in the first public glass studio in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for the Islamic Arts Biennale.

    Artist Statement:

    With my work, I seek to circumvent the typical process of glassmaking. Beyond the blown form and color applications. I use a combination of techniques that are more like metal fabrication than glassblowing. Using glass rods to create sculptures that achieve scale and pattern by repeating simple forms to create a larger sculpture.


    Elliott Todd

    Presentation and Film Screening

    Join us Friday evening at 6:30 p.m. in the Davidow Theater for a presentation for our opening evening program with curator, speaker, and advocate for artists, Susie Silbert; and a screening of filmmaker Dan Collins' latest documentary, "Paul Stankard: Flower & Flame".

      Susie Silbert

      Susie Silbert is a curator, speaker, and advocate for artists. For the last seven years, she was the curator of postwar and contemporary at The Corning Museum of Glass, where she oversaw a transformation of Museum’s flagship contemporary publication New Glass Review, and curated New Glass Now, a pathbreaking global survey of contemporary glass that traveled to the Renwick Galleries of the Smithsonian and the Toyama Glass Art Museum in Japan.

      Susie received her BFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003, and worked as a curator and collaborator at the Mark Peiser Studio in Penland, North Carolina, for four years as well as in a variety of other curatorial positions before and after earning an MA in decorative arts, design history, and material culture from Bard Graduate Center in 2012. She has lectured, published, and taught widely.

      She has taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, curated exhibitions at Parsons The New School for Design, Kansas City Art Institute, and UrbanGlass among others. Her writing has appeared in books and catalogues for Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Chrysler Museum, The Museum for Art in Wood, UrbanGlass, and the book CAST as well as in the magazines American Art Collector, American Craft, GLASS Quarterly, and Metalsmith.

      Susie Silbert
      Flower & Flame

      THE FILM

      An intimate portrait of an artistic life

      A boy wanders the New England woods, inspired by the beauty that surrounds him. Fascinated by the dew on the Lady Slipper Orchid, the honeybees dancing among the daisies, the lowbush blueberries surrounding the summer marshes. He struggles through school with undiagnosed dyslexia, determined to please his parents, and searching for life’s meaning. Then, suddenly, he discovers it.
      His path, his profession, his purpose.

      Glass. A magical medium. Neither solid nor liquid. Within its molten core, Paul J. Stankard pries open a window – revealing his memories, his faith, and his future. He trains in the craft of Scientific Glass, and embarks on a fruitful career; only to find something is missing…he has a deep unsatisfied need to create. He makes a leap of faith, abandoning his chosen profession to pursue a clearer vision: to live the life of an artist, to encase nature’s wonder in crystal, and to achieve excellence and acclaim the world over.

      This stunning new documentary from award-winning filmmaker Daniel R. Collins paints an intimate portrait of Paul Stankard, exploring his work, his wit, and his wisdom.



      A living master of an ancient medium

      Paul Stankard is an internationally acclaimed artist and pioneer in the studio glass movement. He is considered a living master in the art of the paperweight, and his work is represented in more than 70 museums around the world. In 1961, he enrolled in Salem County Vocational Technical Institute’s Scientific Glassblowing program, becoming a master of fabricating complex instruments. In 1972, Paul left industry to pursue his dream of being creative in glass fulltime.

      Over his sixty-year artistic journey, he has received two honorary doctorate degrees, one honorary associate degree and many awards within the glass community, most recently the Masters of the Medium Award from Smithsonian's The James Renwick Alliance, Glass Art Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award and American Craft Council College of Fellows. He is an Artist-in-Resident and Honorary Professor at Salem Community College.

      Stankard divides his time between flameworking and writing.  He is the author of four books; an autobiography No Green Berries or Leaves: The Creative Journey of an Artist in Glass, an educational resource Spark the Creative Flame: Making the Journey from Craft to Art, a two-section resource guide Craft as Career: A Guide to Achieving Excellence in Art-making, and his newest book Inspiration from the Art of Paul Stankard: A Window into My Studio and Soul.  


      Breathtaking beauty encased in crystal

      First came the failures. Months of experimenting on nights and weekends in a small utility room; a man on a mission, who had left a stable scientific profession, determined to develop a visual language to express the intricacies of his beloved nature in the secretive medium of flameworked glass.
      Slowly but surely, he began to achieve his vision. In the beginning, the illusions were deceptively simple; a single daisy suspended in a clear dollop of fragile soda lime glass; a spiderwort, delicately dancing in a disc resembling a dewdrop. Then the artist’s ecosystem grew denser, more complex, fertilized by the words of Whitman, pollinated by the growing interest of art dealers, galleries, and collectors who saw something totally unique in his innovations.

      After years of dedication, Paul J. Stankard elevated his craft to a fine art. Hs intricate designs eclipsed the boundaries of the traditional paperweight genre and became something else entirely. His forms evolved in style, structure, and substance, revealing exquisite detail of the referential landscapes he created and tended, and the physical and metaphysical beings that inhabit them.  

      Today, Paul’s masterpieces can be found in museums, galleries, and private collections around the world, appreciated by thousands who consider his work to be unparalleled in its scope and style.

      Dan Collins

      Daniel R. Collins is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, sharing the stories of innovative artists, unsung activists, and underground subcultures. He has strong roots in the glass-art community, producing work that focuses on the American studio glass movement and the often-misunderstood borosilicate pipe subculture. His editing work has won many awards, including a Mid-Atlantic regional EMMY Award in 2003 for Outstanding Cultural Documentary. Dan is also a published poet, musician, and faculty member at the traditional-arts nonprofit organization Common Ground on the Hill (McDaniel College, Westminster, MD). He is the co-founder of the Common Ground Veterans Initiative there, a program that promotes healing through the arts for combat veterans. In 2023, Dan formed the company Fire Team Films in order to provide an outlet for his glass-focused films.

      Dan Collins

      Gather 'n' Glass: IFC Dinner Party

      Saturday, March 16th, 5:30 - 10:30 pm
      @ Maria's by Di Paolo's Restaurant
      72 N. Virginia Ave. Penns Grove, NJ 08069
      $65 per person, pre-registration ends March 4th.

      After March 4th, call 856-351-2234 for availability.

      Join your fellow flameworkers and flameworking enthusiasts for a casual community gathering on the evening of Saturday, March 16th! Advanced registration by March 4th is required. A delicious spread of snacks, followed by a buffet style meal, and dessert created by the incredible Di Paulo's Italian Restaurant is included! A cash bar will be available. This is a great opportunity to congregate and socialize with the amazing flameworking community attending this year's event! We hope to see you there! Be sure to register by March 4th.

      5:30 - 10:30:  Spend time with new friends and old! Cash bar (closes at 10:00)
      5:30 - 6:30:  Doors Open - Bar Opens - Social Hour
      6:30 - 7:30:  Appetizer Hour
      7:30 - 10:00:  Dinner & Dessert

      Dinner includes Hot & Cold Beverages, Garlic & Rosemary Ciabatta Rolls/Dinner Rolls/Club Rolls, Mixed Green Tossed Salad, Classic Romaine Caesar Salad, Gnocchi Gorgonzola, Chicken Marsala, Hot Roast Beef Au Jus, Roasted Scottish Salmon with Shrimp, Eggplant Parmigiano, Roasted Vegetable Medley, Assorted Mini Pastries & Brownies.

      IFC Information

        The International Flameworking Conference returns to Salem Community College’s Samuel and Jean Jones Glass Education Center.

        • Friday, March 15
          • 6:30 p.m. - Susie Silbert, keynote address
          • Dan Collins, Paul Stankard: Flower & Flame
        • Saturday, March 16 - Glass Education Center
          • 8:30 a.m. - Mathieu Grodet, features (Canada)
          • 11:00 a.m. - Joy Munshower (US)
          • 12:30 p.m. - Lunch
          • 1:00 p.m. - Lilla Tabasso (Italy)
          • 3:00 p.m. - Kyle Myers (US)
          • 5:30 p.m. - Gather 'n' Glass at Maria's, catered by Di Paolo's
          • 10:30 p.m. - (Event add-on, advanced registration required)
        • Sunday, March 17 - Glass Education Center
          • 8:30 a.m. - Paul Stankard and Rocko Belloso (US)
          • 11:00 a.m. - Shayla Windstar Behrman (US)
          • 12:30 p.m. - Lunch
          • 1:00 p.m. - Ivan Bestari Minar Pradipta (Indonesia)
          • 3:00 p.m. - Eilliott Todd (US)


        IFC Parking

        Short placeholder heading

        • Glass Education Center
        • Salem Community College
        • 460 Hollywood Avenue, Carneys Point, NJ 08069
        • 856.299.2100
        • gec@salemcc.edu

        Holiday Inn - Philadelphia South-Swedesboro

        Hotel includes a bar and lounge for gathering with friends. Restaurant onsite. Rooms include free parking, free Wi-Fi, microwave, mini-refrigerator, and Keurig. Onsite fitness center available. 

        Exit 10 off Interstate 295 (1 Pureland Drive, Swedesboro, N.J.)
        $129 per night (plus tax)

        Special rate available until February 23, 2024


        Hampton Inn - Swedesboro-Philadelphia

        Breakfast included! Next door to the Holiday Inn Philadelphia South-Swedesboro. Rooms include free parking, free Wi-Fi, microwave, and mini-refrigerator. Onsite fitness center.

        Exit 10 off Interstate 295 (2 Pureland Drive, Swedesboro, N.J.)
        $119 per night (plus tax)
        856.467.6200 (Mention International Flameworking Conference when booking.)

        Special rate available until March 1, 2024.


        Towneplace Suites by Marriott

        Breakfast included. Next to the Holiday Inn Philadelphia South-Swedesboro and the Hampton Inn Swedesboro-Philadelphia. Rooms include a kitchenette. Free parking and free Wi-Fi. 

        Exit 10 off Interstate 295 (3 Pureland Drive, Swedesboro, N.J.)
        $139 per night (plus tax)

        Special rate available until February 15, 2024.


        Hampton Inn - Pennsville

        Breakfast included. Rooms include free parking, free Wi-Fi, microwave, and mini-refrigerator. Onsite fitness center.

        Exit 1 off Interstate 295 (429 North Broadway, Pennsville, N.J.)
        $139 per night (plus tax)
        Mention the International Flameworking Conference when reserving your room.

        Special rate available until February 15, 2024.


        Barrett's Bed and Breakfast

        Charming historic home and bed and breakfast. 
        Exit 2B off Interstate 295 (203 Old Kings Highway, Mannington, N.J.)

        visit http://www.barrettsplantationhouse.com/

        Mention the International Flameworking Conference when reserving your room.