American Made Show: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you arrived where you are today.
Mark Rosenbaum: I have been an artist all of my life, but I have been a glassblower for over 30 years. I first saw glass being blown when I was an undergraduate student at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. The whole process was mesmerizing. I decided then that I wanted to learn how to create that “magic”. I received my BFA from Tyler and then became the first to receive an MFA in glass from Tulane University in New Orleans. I started the first privately-owned glassblowing studio in Louisiana after graduating from Tulane.
AMS: Describe the path that led to your career as an artist.
Mark Rosenbaum: I am a second generation artist. My father was an illustrator who was the most talented artist that I have known. His studio was the den in our house and I learned from watching him. I was artistic growing up, but it was not until I was in college that I felt that I could be successful enough to make it a career.
AMS: What does the creative process entail for you?
Mark Rosenbaum: I do not do as much conventional drawing and planning as many artists do. Most of my creative thinking comes in front of the glory hole while I am working. I start with a germ of an idea and then see how it develops through the material. I take in to account the style, shape, colors, and marketability while I have a piece on the pipe.
AMS: What event or experience pushed you to take on art full-time?
Mark Rosenbaum: When I started to sell my work at festivals and through wholesale venues such as BMAC, I thought that it was an option to eventually become a full time artist. With more and more success in both the wholesale and retail markets, I was able to switch my career from teaching to becoming a full time artist.
AMS: What inspires you to create new designs?
Mark Rosenbaum: I am inspired by the material itself. Molten glass has a “life” to it. There are boundaries that are set up by the material. It is working through those boundaries that allow me to create my new designs.
AMS: Tell us about the technical processes you employ in your work.
Mark Rosenbaum: I make my work in the traditional Italian-style of glassblowing. This uses molten glass from a furnace that is gathered on the end of a blowpipe and then shaped in to the desired form. Within that process, I layer colored glass chips and powders to create certain effects that are individual to my pieces.
AMS: How would you describe your artistic style?
Mark Rosenbaum: My style is very traditional. I use classic shapes in a lot of my work. Those shapes are then manipulated with the addition of colored glass to add even more interest to the classic forms.
AMS: What type of customers tend to like your work?
Mark Rosenbaum: My work has a very broad appeal. I have a very wide line of work, so hopefully people from all walks of life will appreciate it. I have lower end pieces that are affordable as gifts, all the way up to large pieces that will be the highlight of any room.
AMS: What is your most popular product line?
Mark Rosenbaum: My new line of “Wisteria” Vases is becoming very popular. The imagery on the pieces is recognizable to people and they are responding real well to the work. My line of stemware is also a very good seller. It is priced right and affordable to to a wide range of people.
AMS: Do you have any big announcements or plans in the near future?
Mark Rosenbaum: There are always pieces swimming around in the back of my mind. It is just a question of when I allow them to come forward and have the time to develop them into reality. I am planning on some larger pieces that have a more layered, thicker feel to them to showcase the transparency of the material.
Meet Mark Rosenbaum at the 2015 American Made Show in Washington DC!
Company Name: Rosetree Blown Glass Studio
Studio Location: New Orleans, LA
Booth #: 1901
American Made Show Wholesale Storefront: http://shop.americanmadeshow.com/Rosetree-Blown-Glass-Studio