Mainly self-taught, Adam Whobrey aka Hoobsglass, began developing his flameworking and sculpting skills beginning in 2001 by traveling the US and sharing techniques with fellow glass artists. By 2010, he had created his signature glass sneaker, the perfect visual statement for the pipe scene, and one which resulted in world-wide recognition from the glass world as well as the famous musicians and business professionals who bought the work. The combination of iconic design and world-class sculpting put Hoobs on the map.
After nearly two decades of mastering his craft, Hoobs continues to push the limits of the medium by leading some of the largest group builds ever created in borosilicate glass. His event, the Molten Art Classic, held in Southern California, has become the largest collaborative art event featuring the world’s top borosilicate glass artists who come together to create unforgettable functional sculpture to include the epic Space Station, Ghost Busters Ecto 1, and The Shipwreck, to name only a few.
Hoobs has exhibited his work and taught classes throughout the US, Canada and Europe to include: a 3-day class taught at Borofield Studio, Huddersfield, England, 2018; judge for the European Flame-Off, London, England, 2018; Spannabis Art show, RDM Gallery, Barcelona, Spain, 2019; DFO Flameoff Competitor, Peoples Choice Winner, 2019; and Day of Dunks, RDM Gallery, Barcelona, Spain, 2019.
Says Hoobs: “Since I was a young, I have had an active imagination and have explored everything from drawing to computer graphics to clay and wood. But there was nothing that compared to melting glass in a flame. From the first time I touched glass I knew I would do it for the rest of my life.”
Collected and sold in over 18 different countries, Hoobs’ glass blends cultures and exposes the art form to a broader audience. As of late, he is creating more refined and smaller verions of iconic imagery such as his Fear and Loathing Cadillac collab. His solo work will be on view at the Festival of the Arts in Laguna Beach, California, in July 2022.
Earlier this month, The Corning Museum of Glass hosted an impressive group of flameworkers for a collaborative, multi-day demonstration that resulted in incredible work. The Museum’s resident flameworker, Eric Goldschmidt, invited Dan Coyle (aka Coyle Condenser), Ryan O’Keefe (aka sdRyno), and Hoobsglass to the Amphitheater Hot Shop where they showcased advanced flameworking techniques (frame building, cold bridging, and complex assembly) to create an intricate monkey-piloted robot. Here are photos.’/.
The completed piece is a great blend of their individual talents and styles. Coyle is well-known for his use of the monkey in his work, and his background in scientific glassblowing led to the highly technical hollow work necessary for the functionality of the piece. Hoobs has developed a reputation for building intricate structures of glass that allow for larger-scale, highly detailed objects. This structural approach is the foundation for this piece. Ryno has developed a reputation for his figurative sculpture and particularly for his use of the iconic rubber ducky in his work. The color scheme and ducky references in this piece are clear nods to his influence.
“The world of flameworked glass has been seeing a great deal of innovation and momentum over the past decade that has largely been driven by artists making pipes for cannabis consumption,” said Goldschmidt, Flameworking and Properties of Glass Supervisor. “These artists are constructing objects that are not only beautiful and intriguing, but they must also function in specific ways for their collectors.
“Collaboration amongst artists has become a unique way for artists to make work that goes above and beyond what they might otherwise accomplish as individuals,” Goldschmidt added. “The three artists we invited to be our guests have collaborated successfully many times over the past 5 years. The piece they created here presents a great example of how the individual strengths of these artists combine to raise the bar even higher.”
Parts of the collaboration were livestreamed with thousands of artists tuning in from across the country. It is now available on CMOG’s YouTube channel.