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About John Wakefield and Artistry in Glass

I was born in England and studied geology at Leeds University before enjoying a fascinating career as an Exploration Geologist and University Professor – working in Botswana, Zambia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Spain, Portugal, and the Netherlands. 

Admiring the US from childhood, I immigrated in the 1980s and together with Claire founded Artistry in Glass in 1986.

Our original location was a small shop in Plaza Palomino where we specialized in crystal engraving for awards and giftware but I soon realized that it would be necessary to diversify in order to increase sales. The subsequent evolution of Artistry in Glass has been marked by the acquisition of new products and services as we reacted to requests from customers.  

We have overcome many difficulties in our small business journey,  including the 2008-2009 recession (which decimated our etched and stained glass business). To survive, we reinvented ourselves as specialists in the restoration of antiques and collectibles.  A recent, and more serious, challenge was the 2016 announcement that our venerable building on East Grant Road was earmarked for demolition owing to the RTA road widening project. Despite a very stressful 2 years, and with the help of the City of Tucson, we have bounced back with increased vitality in our stylish new location on East Fort Lowell:

Admire the transformation of our new location

From a dilapidated pottery shop (wittily named “Glazed Expressions”) to our custom-designed new Art Glass Center – see the timeline of our voyage through the shoals and reefs of architects plans, contractors delays, sub-contractors, zoning and permitting.

Artistry in Glass - Tucson's Art Glass Center

Over a period of more than 30 years Artistry in Glass has become expert in:

 

Through my more than 30 years in business, I have used my scientific background to perfect the techniques of art glass and, in the process, to learn insider business secrets.  Look out for these logos marking money-saving and safety tips. 

Insider money-saving tip
Insider safety tip

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