Magnificent Business: Bud Spindt – Glassmaking Artist & Teacher
by Renée Tillotson
Bud’s love for glass is as clear as the material he works with. He finds every aspect of it satisfying.
“What I love about glasswork is its unlimited possibilities. I can make it into any shape, any color, whether transparent or opaque. I can capture and hold light with it, refract light and cast wonderful patterns. I can make sculpture out of it or even a painting with glass. The material is so seductive, so beautiful all by itself.”
Not only does Bud enjoy doing glasswork, he loves teaching it to others. He began teaching art and sculpture to kids at the Honolulu Museum of Art 15 years ago, which was so exciting he pitched a glass-fusing class to the director. He filled the first one then added a second, then a third, and bought bigger and bigger equipment.
With a Masters in Fine Arts and over 30 years experience in making glass art, Bud can now pass his learning on to others, teaching people how this unique material behaves, showing them that there are infinite possibilities, teaching them to enjoy the creative process itself. It’s a chatty class with students asking each other how they achieved this effect and that. “It’s pretty hard,” Bud says, “to make ugly glass!” So it’s very satisfying for even beginning students.
Bud also appreciates that the relatively small glass community on Oahu embodies spirit of aloha, collaborating with and helping each other. He especially enjoys working with Professor Rick Mills at UH Manoa.
Some of us fondly remember the Gallery at Ward Center, where Bud and his fellow artists of all ilks collectively displayed and sold their art and interfaced with the community for 27 years. Bud had a blast talking about art with everyone who came in, whether or not they actually purchased anything.
Paula Rath has written, “Creating art is normally a lonely pursuit. Art happens deep inside the individual artist, in a place where no one else can go. It’s all about the artist facing the blank canvas or sheet of paper or block of wood.”
So when Bud and watercolor painter Roger Whitlock – both of who worked with transparency – decided to collaborate, it was an intriguing moment. Bud provided the glass shards, Roger “painted” with them on clear glass, and Bud fused the painted shards onto the background piece. They displayed their finished pieces in a show called Trans Luxe.
“Sometimes I like to indulge in commentary on the human condition or create objects that are a focus for contemplation,” Bud mentions.
Looking back on his many works, Bud is particularly proud of the 12 foot tall bird sculpture that the State Foundation for the Arts commissioned him to make. If you can manage to get onto Kaneohe Marine Corps Base, you can see the art piece at Mokapu Elementary School. It’s made of stainless steel and glass in the shape of the Ae’o, the Hawaiian stilt bird that lives nearby at marsh on the Mokapu Peninsula where the Marine base is located.
Bud has two Holiday Sales to purchase his art for the holidays:
The Holiday Art Sale
December 5th & 6th, 4 – 8 pm
At the Atkinson Residence
603 Ahakea Street, Honolulu (in Kahala, near Elepaio Street)
- The Glass Art Holiday Sale!
December 7th, Friday 5:30 – 8:30 pm & December 8th, Saturday 9 am – 7 pm
Wesley United Methodist Church, Kimata Hall
1350 Hunakai Street, Honolulu (in Kahala, mauka of Zippy’s and First Hawaiian Bank)
Get in touch with Bud:
Bud invites you to view his work on Instagram (@budaroonie)
To contact by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To call him directly 808-256-0633
You can sign up here for his glassmaking classes, with new classes starting in January 2019 at the Honolulu Museum of Art.
This fascinating video shows how Bud blows vortex vases – see here.