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Apr-29-2014 17:32printcommentsVideo

Tim King Talks Glassblowing With John Kelly At Awear

One of the coolest aspects to me is how collaborative and imaginative this form lends itself to creativity, being able to make a few sections and have friends do the same and build a piece however the mind conceives it.
—John Kelly

Aware Glass Emporium & Organic Apparel
Aware Glass Emporium & Organic Apparel

(PORTLAND, ME) - Tim King: John, your glassblowing is incredible. How long have you been involved in this art and what drew you in to it?

John Kelly: Both Adam and I have been glassblowers for almost 20 years now. We lived in Portland, Oregon, in the mid ’90's which was the center for these kinds of arts at the time. We both got swept away with the freedom that medium offers you. One of the coolest aspects to me is how collaborative and imaginative this form lends itself to creativity, being able to make a few sections and have friends do the same and build a piece however the mind conceives it.

Tim King: On the West Coast, glassblowing has been popular for many years. Is the business thriving on the East Coast in places like Portland, Maine?

John Kelly: Business is definitely thriving on the east coast and there is growing knowledge and demand for quality-built, beautifully designed, functional glass art.

Tim King: Are sales good and what are people looking for?

John Kelly: Sales are good and getting better all the time with an increased awareness for people wanting top-quality, locally-made art.

Tim King: Can you talk about your inventory?

John Kelly: Our inventory is one of the best in the country, featuring all the best local artists (Danny Camp, Fano, Dirty B) as well as the top artists (Coyle, Kurt B, Snic) from the around the country.

Tim King: What is your favorite glass blowing story?

John Kelly: Our favorite glassblowing story: working through the middle of the night with some of our country's top glassblowing artists and seeing some of the hottest art come into completion at about 6am after a long nights work of collaborative efforts.

Tim King: What is the future of your business?

John Kelly: The future of our business is growing and expanding in all directions. We opened an additional shop in Portland, Maine, Two years ago at 150 Preble Street which is a glassblowing studio that allows us to interact directly with our clientele, offering glassblowing lessons, workshops, and custom art. It has given our community a new sense of respect and awe for the devotion glassblowers maintain to progress in this field and push the limits; inspiring new artists to emerge and our seasoned artists to flourish even more, expanding their horizons of what they think is possible.

Our flagship store now located at 370 Fore Street in Portland, Maine, now open for 15 years, is presenting the glass art experience with a high-end gallery feel, really raising the bar and exhibiting this form of art in the best possible fashion. As always, Awear remains true to its roots showcasing Eco-conscious apparel, hemp, organic cotton, bamboo, and recycled materials to name but a few. In the future, we hope you will see a line of Awear fashion offered alongside our glass goods.

Adam Delafano, Agron Belica, and John Kelly


Awear Glass Emporium & Organic Apparel News Vid
Video Production by Lisa Spaulding, Journalist/Researcher
Salem-News.com Salem, Oregon 2014

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Agron Belica: Salem-News.com Singer/Lyrical Artist, Author and Writer

You can write to Agron at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com.

Visit Agron's Facebook page

Born in 1974 of Albanian descent, Agron Belica is largely self- educated in Islam. He attended classes in New Jersey about religious tenets and the doctrinal differences among the various Islamic sects under the tutelage of a shaykh. While there, he participated by giving lectures on Christian doctrines. He also studied the proper recitation of the Quran to such a degree of proficiency that he was selected to perform the call to prayer because of the excellence of his voice and pronunciation.

His eagerness to learn more about Islam motivated him to travel to North Africa in order to engage in dialogue with various scholars there. Since then, he has been working in the study, research, and writing about things Islamic, with a special interest in comparative religion.

Agron Belica and Tim King in NJ 2013

He developed a particular interest in the prophet Yahya (John the Baptist). In 2008, he published his Ihya al-Nabi Yahya, from which the present, more comprehensive study of Yahya has evolved. Belica’s work on some key words in the Quran has been referenced in Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar’s The Concordance of the Sublime Quran, a supplemental study resulting from translation of the Quran, The Sublime Quran, the first such translation by an American Muslim woman. His research paper on the meaning of those key words has also been cited in The Bible by Wikimedia Foundation. His work motivated Dr. Jay R. Crook to write the essay Rethinking John the Baptist, included in this volume.

Belica has also developed a considerable reputation as a socio- political hip-hop artist. He has already contributed a number of thought-provoking songs to the genre. His Newsic Revolution Album features the noted musician and author Gilad Atzmon. Belica’s songs about human rights have been played on six continents. One of those songs, Leave Those Babies Alone, was featured at the 2013 San Francisco Pride Parade, helping to rock 1.2 million people. His eldest son, Jamal Belica, has founded the Aldin Entertainment Music Group. (See: The Passion of The Baptist, Not The Christ)

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