WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - A Wilmington artist has found a way to make a living from his craft by using his business savvy.
John Burchetta is a glassblower, whose name is known all over the world. He's been working at his craft for 30 years.
Burchetta, a New York native, was headed towards law school when he took an elective on glassblowing. He's been hooked ever since.
"I'm just one of those sick people that love to do this hard work. I enjoy it. I refer to it as clean dirty work. I love creating something from nothing," said Burchetta.
Most glassblowing factories are no longer making money so they've had to shut down. However, Burchetta is busier than ever.
"A large glass factory is not as flexible, they are set up to do just a few different things and it costs them a lot of money to retool and do different things," explained Burchetta.
"We are more flexible and nimble. We are able to switch from blue bowls to green vases or whatever the customer wants in a moment's notice."
Burchetta and his partner Elizabeth Miele focus on custom design rather than mass production.
"As long as the emphasis is on glass and design, we'll custom make just about anything you want."
That's a long list, including light fixtures, sinks, night lights, vases, bowls, glasses, candlelights, perfume bottles, just to name a few.
As with any artist or athlete, not every day is successful, but it's the challenge that keeps Burchetta going. Glass is a humbling medium, he says.
"There are days when you come in and everything you attempt goes magically and there are days that things don't work for whatever reason. You're just not in that groove so we'll usually stop and attack it on another day."
Burchetta says now he and Miele are focused on giving back and teaching others how to do the art of glassblowing.
People are invited to come by the studio and get a lesson on the craft. He's also in talks with Cape Fear Community College to teach a brand new course on glassblowing.
If you would like to see or purchase Burchetta's work, his line is available at Blue Moon Gift Shops, located at 203 Racine Drive in Wilmington.
Contact him by calling 910-399-7614 or you can order online here.