The Spoken Image

Chris Ahalt, 26, spent Tuesday afternoon making intricate glass Christmas ornaments in his cluttered studio near the Huron Boulevard Parking Complex in the building commonly known as Scooterville. Ahalt makes his living crafting a variety of glass objects.

“I stumbled into (glass blowing). I took a semester off from school when I was going to (the Minneapolis College of Art and Design) to look for a full-time job. My friend was like, ‘Hey, I’m looking for an apprentice,’ he liked my work at school, and he needed some creativity around the shop. I was like, ‘All right, I guess I could do it as a hobby, you know, in my off time while I get another job,’ and he kind of scoffed at me. He said if I started doing it I wasn’t going to need another job, and sure enough I just took to it like a fish to water.”

“I go back and fourth, being ashamed that that’s where I come from, you know, paraphernalia. Really I’m not; I’m not ashamed – it’s an art form like anything else, and it pays my bills. It’s a good way for me to keep practicing, too, doing something that I like doing, getting better at it while getting paid, while being able to make a living. I have so many friends that went to school and aren’t able to make a living doing what they are doing. Paraphernalia is my bread and butter, and as much as I don’t want to be making it anymore, it pays the bills. I can’t say no to these guys out there that are willing to spend hundreds of dollars on these things, but it’s definitely not what I want to be doing in the long run.”

“I wanna get back to my roots of, you know, sculpting with many different materials and not be confined just to glass. I like wood a lot, and metal. When you’re doing one thing all day long every day it’s just kind of nice to have a little break; as much as I love glass it can be a bit much.”

Comments or ideas? Contact “>[email protected]