201 Washington Avenue Grand Haven Michigan 49417 616-846-5460


John Riepma


As a child, some of my more vivid memories were of watching flame-workers at craft fairs and glassblowers at Colonial Jamestown. I worked in stained glass for many years before I was invited to watch two friends in their beginning glassblowing class. I was immediately hooked, and determined to learn the craft myself. That was over 25 years ago. A machine designer and builder by trade, I researched, designed, and built all of the equipment in my studio, Grand Rapids Glassblowing Studio.

Blown glass continues to amaze me every time I work with it. When molten, the natural tendency of glass is to assume graceful forms. Its ability to both absorb and transmit light and show depth allows beautiful effects not seen in other media. I like the tactile experience of working with a gather of glass that is over 2000 degrees, using heat, gravity, and tools to control its form. 

Glass is a difficult medium to master, demanding concentration, calmness, physical ability, and, above all, a good dose of humility. I hope that others find beauty and grace in my work, and enjoy viewing it time and again.

Selected Shows and Awards:

Muskegon Museum of Art Michigan Contemporary Art Exhibition (Regional), Hills Ford Purchase Award 2008, Susan Meston Purchase Award 2010, Muskegon, MI

Gallery Uptown Winter Art Festival June Packer Award, 2015, and J. Morgan Ltd. Fine Jewelers Award, 2016, Grand Haven, MI

Grand Haven Area Arts Council Art on the Riverfront, Second Place 2011; Gallery Uptown Award 2013: Grand Haven, MI

LowellArts West Michigan Art Competition, Lowell, MI

Festival of the Arts Regional Arts Exhibition, Grand Rapids, MI

South Haven Center for the Arts: “Breaking Possibilities: Constructing the Impossible” glass arts invitational show, December 2013-January 2014

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Tangled Up in Blue: Blown glass incalmo