Naples glassblower Conrad Williams with a student. While Williams loves the medium and process of creating, he gets the most satisfaction out of teaching the craft. During his busiest months in March, April and May, Williams can teach more than 100 glassblowing lessons per week, including several workshops and demonstrations at The Ritz-Carlton, Naples.

Arts + Culture

Heart of Glass

For Naples glassblower Conrad Williams, sharing his process with others is the reward.

At his home studio in Naples, Conrad Williams heats 30 pounds of molten glass in a furnace set to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Removing it from the heat, he adds 16 layers of color to the outside, including a sheet of sterling silver in the middle. He textures the exterior with stones and volcanic rock, and uses a tool called the diamond wheel to smoothen the surface, peeling off layers in order to create a gem-like aesthetic. The result is a glass vase Williams calls a Geode. It’s one of many pieces of art he sells on his own website, as well as at Judith Liegeois Designs and The Ritz-Carlton, Naples. The 41-year-old glass artist's work is sought after by clients. One local woman recently commissioned Williams to install more than 20 of his platters, each 2 feet wide, across an entire wall on the inside of her home. But he is less interested in putting price tags on his pieces and more excited by the opportunity to show others how to appreciate and execute the glassblowing process.  “Most glassblowers you meet, when you ask them how they got started, very few of them will say, ‘I went to a gallery, I saw this beautiful vase and I had to learn how to make that vase,’” Williams says. “Most of them will say, ‘Oh, I went to the studio, I saw them doing it, I had to try it, I signed up for classes and I just could not get enough of this.’” That’s how it went for Williams. He first became interested in three-dimensional creativity at a young age a
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