Wes Hunting did not have an early interest in glass but always had an interest with creativity. Sometimes, when he wasn’t certain where it was going, he remained calm, because for Hunting, it’s about being able to make what he wants, when he wants and keep it moving until he can no longer make it happen.
Taking the scenic route on the way to working with glass, he always had an interest in visual arts and music. In 1976, he started his educated at Kent State University with a major in painting. During his time as a groundskeeper at Hale Farm, an early American historical village just outside of Kent, Ohio, he was thrown into glassblowing.
Hale Farm had a small glass shop along with other craft areas for visitors to walk around and ponder. After the head gaffer at the glass shop walked off the job after getting into a tiff with the grounds manager, he looked at Hunter and told him to go and give the customers a hand. From there, he gathered hot molten glass out of a replica of a historic furnace and fell in love.
In the late 1970’s, there weren’t a lot of universities that offered glass as an art medium, but Hunting was determined to gain a degree in this hot molten he began to love. Between 1977 and 1979, Hunting took workshops and studied with those who appreciated the art of glass around him. For him, KSU was a place of great creative energy that produced many talented artists in their own right. Lucky to have been apart of the madness, Hunting took the next step in his education and pursued glass at the Penland School of Craft.
After graduating In 1981, he traveled to Italy for two months to experience the Italian glass scene. After moving to Chicago and struggling to get through fire codes that were unbelievably strict, Hunting built his own hot-glass studio, Hunting Studio Glass, in the summer of 1982.
Today, Hunting works with his son, Wesley Justin in rural Wisconsin. As a team, they are always striving to take the work to a new level of intensity. For Hunting, the hot-glass has given him a way to express himself, by painting with the molten glass.
“There is no other material like glass. The colors are totally unique, as they can be transparent or opalescent. The way light passes through colored glass adds a third dimension that cannot be duplicated by any other material.”