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Glass art materializes across Arizona

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Raven Copeland stared at the flames of his torch through his protective glasses. He maneuvered his tools strategically to construct the multicolored oval shape and color coordination of the glass that he desired. The piece materialized into a glass sculpture of three small gold pillars, stabilized by a half-moon platform. The pillars held up a majestic glass ball coated with an array of green, yellow, purple and black. The piece, which Copeland dubbed “Transpicuous Position,” took first place in Tucson’s annual “Flame-Off” competition that features the best glass artists around the country. The art of glass-blowing emerged as a popular art form in southern Arizona since in the early 1970s. It began behind the craft of Tom Philabaum, who is widely regarded as the pioneer of the glass-blowing movement in southern Arizona. Philabaum first became introduced to glass in a ceramics...

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